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Cool Armbar Finish From Turtle
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Cool Armbar Finish From Turtle

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The armbar from turtle is a great submission to attack frequently not only because it works well and is hard to defend, but also because you will often find yourself in the exact position necessary to get this submission. For example, if you are on top turtle and get shaken off by the defender, you will find yourself in that position.

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The armbar from turtle is also often a consequence of defense to the traditional armbar from mount. If you attack a simple mount armbar and the defender uses the hitch hiker defense, they can easily be followed to the turtle armbar position. It can also be found from kimura transitions, especially from guard. 

The biggest problem people have with the kimura from armbar is getting the arm straight. Because of the position, defenders can use a lot of strength to keep their arm bent and hidden. This is why so many grapplers will give up this armlock too early in an attempt to transition to another submission.

In the following video, the legend Kazushi Sakuraba illustrates a really cool and unique to find the leverage to apply pressure and finish the armbar from turtle.

When a defender gets their arm hidden behind their thigh as Bernardo does in the video, it can be extremely difficult to separate their arm and extend it. Because of this, we need to look for ways to manipulate the defender’s leg so we can get the finish. Traditionally, this is done by pulling the toes of that leg over your head so that you end of in a standard armbar, and although this works well, good defenders are wary of it. This unique way of getting the finish Sakuraba shows is one most grapplers won’t recognize and therefore can’t defend.

One important tip that needs to consistently be reminded that when attacking an armbar from any position, and especially more so from turtle, the attacker needs to continuously hug the arm. I see a lot of grapplers let go of the arm and hold the forearm like a baseball bat. The baseball bat grip works well for the finish but is horrible for transitions and attacks.

For more arm attacks, check out Diego Gamonal's Hidden Armbar series from BJJ Fanatics!  Surprise your friends and frustrate your opponents.  Get it here!

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