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Always Find the Arm Bar From Side Control with Gilbert Burns
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Always Find the Arm Bar From Side Control with Gilbert Burns

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Most people who have been training for a while know that the longer you train, the easier it is to spot submissions. As a newer Jiu Jitsu practitioner, you may be so focused on just getting to a position like side control and sustaining it, that once you get there you are not sure where to go.


This is super common, not much is concrete in Jiu Jitsu. Every roll with every person is different and unique in its own way. The more you roll and train, the more versatile you become and the more you begin to see certain things that you previously were not able to see.

Get To Know the Power of Side Control


Side control is a great place to be for a number of reasons. Perhaps if you are in a match that includes points and you are up, without stalling you may get to side control to control the pace of a match and catch a quick breather. Side control also offers numerous entries for submissions. A super common submission from side control in particular is the arm bar.


In this video, Gilbert Burns demonstrates an extremely effective arm bar from the side control position, check it out below! 

 

 


 

Understanding the Armbar from Side Control

To begin the video, Gilbert starts with his partner in the side control position. This first thing he wants to secure is an underhook on his partner's arm on the far side. This maximizes control, and eliminates your partner's opportunity to gain the underhook himself and try to start coming up and potentially go for the back.

For more techniques, see Escaping From Side Control and Knee on Belly by Ante Dzolic.

 

The Importance of the Underhook for the Armbar Setup

Once he gets the underhook, he is using his hand to cup his partner's shoulder. Now the goal is to create some space, so if your knees are close to your partner’s body you are going to extend your legs to make that space. Now, very quickly you are going to post your other hand and use that underhook to pull your partner toward you, pulling him onto his side. 

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Once your partner is on his side, ensure that you underhook is tight and get heavy on top of him. This does a lot for keeping your partner close to you and making it more difficult for him to shrimp. As you get heavy on your partner, you are going to shift and open up your hips towards his head.

Staying Heavy While You Maintain the Underhook

 

As you get heavy on your partner, come up to your toes to make it easier to quickly move your legs. From here you are going to utilize a knee cut with your far knee, planting that knee in your partner’s armpit. Now that you have that knee to base on and your other leg is light, you are going to take your other knee and swing it around your partner's head to the other side of his body, planting your foot behind his back.


Throughout this movement, you will keep the underhook to make sure that arm stays isolated. As your foot goes behind the back of your partner, you are going to fall to your butt on the opposite side of your partner in which you started. As you fall, it helps position your body so you can curl your leg around the head of your partner as you go to secure the arm bar.


In a traditional arm bar finish, both of your legs will be over your partner. In this particular transition, only one of your legs will be over your partner, so just be sure to pinch your knees tight for proper finishing technique.

Gilbert also provides an example for if you transition to the other side of your partner and he gets a S-grip to defend the arm bar. In this case he recommends switching your own grips to a kimura grip, adjusting your body to bring your other leg over to assist in breaking the grip and finishing the arm bar.


This is a great technique to drill back and forth with a partner because of the flow it offers. Have your partner give some resistance in side control so you can practice your controlled movements. Drill the different variations with either one or two legs over your opponent and practice switching your grips so you can be ready for whatever gets thrown at you in a match.

Gilbert Burns Bio

Gilbert “Durinho” Burns is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Rafael “Fofitio”. He has often been regarded as one of the top Jiu Jitsu competitors of his generation. Gilbert has also made a successful MMA career in the UFC, serving as a grappling coach in the TV show, The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, as well as signing a UFC contract of his own in 2014. In his list of achievements he holds a 1st place title in the 2010 IBJJF World Championship No-Gi, 1st place in the 2011 IBJJF World Championship, and many others.


Gilbert focuses this instructional on building a submission arsenal. Techniques he covers include head and arm choke, kimura from half guard, guillotine from butterfly, triangle from side control, and so much more.


Gilbert Burns proves to be the exact kind of mixed martial artist that anyone would want to learn from. Stack up your submission inventory with technique from World Champion Gilbert Burns, check out his instructional here!

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