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Critical Details For Finishing The Armbar With Travis Stevens

Critical Details For Finishing The Armbar With Travis Stevens


When it comes to finishing the armbar, we can go pretty deep. There are many different layers of how to properly obtain, secure and finish an armbar. The methods may vary, but there are some principles that can’t be ignored if you hope to execute an armbar on someone that possesses a high level of skill.

In our early days of training with our peers we get lucky. We find that arm, simply sit back and command a tap. We don’t think much about finishing mechanics or the proper placement of the arm. We know that if we bend the arm the wrong way it will break. Your partner knows that too, and without much experience who wouldn’t tap? As you and your training partners progress and have gained some insight into the armbar position, you may find that your training partners are escaping your armbars with an increased level of success. This is when there becomes a need to understand how to finish an armbar on a deeper level.

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Luckily, we have Travis Stevens to show us exactly how this can be done. In this video, Stevens discusses the proper way to secure, maintain, and finish a strong armbar. Pay close attention to the details here, as this could completely change the way you finish an armbar and cause your success rate to sky rocket. Take a look!


Beginning in the top position with an armbar acquired, Stevens begins with some words on the placement of our arm in comparison to our partners. He advises us not to lay straight back and begin fighting at the bicep to separate the arm from the body.

Stevens provides us with a little experiment to make sure we’re applying the pressure to the correct area. With his partner giving resistance using only one arm, Stevens should be able to pull the arm away using only one arm, if he has proper placement. Matching elbow joint to elbow joint with our partner for the armbar doesn’t put us in the best position to get the job done. Instead Stevens places his elbow a bit higher on to his partners forearm and uses an upward pulling motion rather than pulling straight back to take the arm.

Securing the Arm

Next Stevens shows us how to secure the arm properly. He makes a pistol grip on his partner’s sleeve using his right hand. He tucks the arm tight to his body side hip 9this will be a very important detail later), and consumes the upper part of his partner’s arm with his other elbow joint. With these grips in place, Stevens can apply americana style pressure to his partner’s arm. With a high grip on his collar, he can now fall towards the head and create a tremendous amount of pressure helping him to separate the hands.

This next detail finds Stevens trapping the hand tightly inside of his elbow joint. This gives him the ability to manipulate the hand and prevent the hitchhiker escape. He also couples this bite on the hand with a secondary grip, keeping the hand trapped and under his control.


Extension is another topic of interest here. After Stevens has secured the arm at all these different points, he begins to sit back. He addresses a common pitfall here. When many of us sit back to finish the lock, we allow the arm to slide down out of our control. Stevens keeps good posture, elongates his body, and stretches the arm, keeping it near his chest for maximum strain on the joint.

Elbow Position

You may think that bringing the arm straight down the center line of our body for the finish is the way to go, and yes it can produce a tap, but if you’re looking to submit a higher-level player, you’ll need to position the elbow just right for the finish. Bringing the arm down the center actually gives your opponent easier access to the hitchhiker escape. Stevens recommends bringing the arm to the body side hip (your partner’s body side). This will yield much better results when trying to thwart the hitchhiker escape. Your hip also provides a much better fulcrum to break the arm over as well. Even if the hitchhiker escape is attempted here, the position of the arm will more than likely stop the efforts of the bottom player to escape.

There is a host of critical details here. Stevens has pointed out more than several common areas of struggle and tightened them all up for us. Practice these details and study them in depth. Attacking the arm in this way will almost guarantee you the submission every time you snag an arm. There are no holes here, just plain amazing technique.

Travis Stevens has a Olympic level approach to getting and USING grips. Some might say it's SCIENTIFIC!!! Scientific Gripping Systems By Travis Stevens will help ensure that you land your technique!



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