Armbar From Z-Guard by Craig Jones
Learn This Slick Armbar With Craig Jones!
Half guard is an common position utilized mostly by bigger grapplers although it can also be used effectively for the smaller Jiu Jitsu practitioner. One modification of half guard, Z-guard, is an often-used version of half guard smaller grapplers prefer. The difference between the Z-guard and half guard is minimal from a visible standpoint, but massive in terms of how it feels. Because the top knee of the guard player is pocketed in the guard passer’s hip, it is easy to make a lot of space.
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Personally, I prefer the Z-guard to the half guard for a few reasons. First, I am relatively small grappler, at least in my academy, and Z-guard allows me to control distance with less effort than traditional half guard. Second, I personally find Z-guard to be a more effective position for setting up submission attempts, especially those involving the using my legs.
One common submission used by proponents of Z- guard is the armbar, sometimes called Choi Bar here. Because Z-guard allows the bottom leg of the guard player to move easily, armbars and triangles are obviously great choice for submissions. In the following video, Z-guard expert Craig Jones explains how to set up and finish this submission.
When a top player attempts a cross face in the Z-guard, he must cover a great distance, and in doing so, he is exposing himself to the underhook grip position Craig secures. This position alone is very strong as one can attack a Marcelo Garcia style armbar by swinging to the other side, on transitioning to butterfly guard and sweeping instantly.
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Although Craig Jones explains the armbar finish from the turtle-like position, the other grappler will likely begin to roll forward, allowing the attacker to transition to a standard arm bar. Also, rather than attacking the armbar, a grip switch and minor transition will allow for other submissions like the kimura or omoplata.