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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

15 August 2016

15/08/2016 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Armbar (Step on the Hip)

Teaching #546
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 15/08/2016

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on


For this fundamental attack from the guard, you first need to get control of their arm. There are numerous ways to do this, but in the interests of keeping things simple for drilling, a straightforward option is to grab their opposite tricep with your hand, then pull that across your body. You're then going to put your same side foot on their hip, clamping the knee of that leg behind their shoulder (essentially you're trying to take away their space, as well as blocking them from easily pulling their arm backwards).

If they're wearing a gi, grab their opposite collar with your free hand (keeping a firm hold of their arm with your other hand) and pull them down. If it's nogi, grab their head. Next, kick your free leg into their armpit, aiming to further break their posture and get your leg across their back. You're also going to use that to swivel your own body away from their trapped arm and get a better angle. From here, you can then push their head out of the way with your head/collar grip.

That should make it easier to bring your hip-pushing leg over their head. Slide the arm you're using to control their arm up towards their wrist. At this point, you can switch to grasping their wrist with your hand if necessary. Squeeze your knees together, lift your hips and pull down gradually on their wrist for the tap.

A common problem is that your partner will 'stack' you up onto your shoulders, making it difficult (though not impossible) to finish the technique. This is a common problem with the triangle too. To prevent that situation, push with your legs, as well as really knocking your partner's posture when you kick across with the armpit leg. You can also 'walk' back on your shoulders to recover a more extended position if they are squashing you. Finally, angling the leg you have by their head can help (like on Adam Adshead's old DVD), as that makes it tougher for them to push into you.

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Teaching Notes: The main trouble people had was getting that turn, so I will emphasise the swivel next time. I normally describe it the same way as when going for a triangle, that you want to end up looking at their ear. I could also talk about using the foot on the hip to help with the swivel, again like with the triangle.

I'd ideally have a class combining the triangle, omoplata and armbar all together, or perhaps a drill. That does require people to know all three of those first though: perhaps there is an earlier stage that could combine them all, requiring less detail? I'll have a think. I have begun to add in a swinging armbar and climbing armbar drill, which will also hopefully help get the armbar mechanics into people's heads. With the pendulum, it's the non-armbarring side leg, which you should to really swing out, kicking it back into their hip. There is a slight push off your other thigh too, which I didn't notice until Ross pointed it out, when I was demonstrating it on him.

On the climbing armbar drill, the problem is making sure people stay tight. I tried that climbing up a pole analogy Haueter uses, but I may need something else. Something like imagine you're stuck on with velcro or powerful magnets? I'll experiment. :)

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