Who loves armbars!? If you can raise your hand, then that at least means you aren’t caught in one right now, but maybe you’re always hunting for them.
An armbar is one of the most versatile submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since it can be finished from so many different positions, all body types can do it, and once they are set up they are hard to defend.
Armbars From Everywhere! Click Learn More below!
Since there are so many options of where to start with armbars as well as how to finish them we will go over a basic fundamental submission, an intermediate and an advanced; when you are ready, incorporate them into your rolls and learn how to hunt for those arms with precision and results!
Starting from side control, come to knee of belly keeping pressure on your partner to keep them from exploding into you and trying to sit up for a sweep. This pressure will usually cause them to shrimp and push your knee to relieve the pressure, which opens up some space under their far arm to scoop through and grab the shoulder. Now you have knee on belly as well as an underhook on their far arm, giving you a lot of control. Keeping your knee where it is roll your opponent towards you slightly, lifting their back off of the mat, and place your forearm across their rib cage to keep tight contact and pressure. Using your free arm swing your leg that
was posted out around their head and hide it under their back like a wedge. As you sit you will be facing them with one foot under their back and the other draped over their neck and chest area to keep pressure applied and avoid them sitting up. To finish the submission, make sure the thumb of their hand is facing up and slowly lean back while keeping the arm close to your body and simultaneously pushing up with your hips.
This submission starts from closed guard and is a great option for when you are on the bottom and are having a hard time sweeping your opponent. To begin grip the sleeves on both of your opponents arms; simultaneously bump your hips up and pull with your arms to break their posture. Open your guard and bring your legs back into a locked position higher up on their shoulders. Keep their hands close to your chest and squeeze with your knees to keep them from bending their elbows or escaping from the sides. Just like the beginner arm bar from mount, hip up into their straight arm to get a tap. If they are able to escape to one side you can then start to work on a crunch arm bar.
Become A Constant Threat On The Mats! Click Learn More below!
Pull them close to suddenly break the tension on the arm around your leg and grip the wrist. From there we are transitioning to a similar position that we talked about in the first arm bar; pull your foot back in a toreando-like fashion and step over while keeping control of the wrist. Step your other leg over as well and sit to the ground, forcing them flat on their back into an arm bar submission. Finish by making sure they are thumbs up, keeping the arm to your chest as you lean back and hip up into the back of the elbow. Both of your legs should be over your opponents body to keep them down.
Next time you are rolling in class and find yourself in any of these positions, try one out! I recommend starting with the basics and incorporating the motion into your muscle memory before you try the intermediate or advanced in a live roll, even though the advanced does look fun. Take a look at any of BJJ Fanatics videos of armbars to help with additional questions and make yourself an armbar master!