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Escaping the Arm Lock with Dean Lister
Know The Proper Steps To Escape An Armlock
Escaping arm bars can be risky business. Especially if your opponent has good knowledge of grip breaks, and how to unlock the webs we weave in order to stave off the attack. Depending on where your arm bar defense begins there are 3 areas of defense you might encounter.
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- Preventative - If you were sharp enough to see the armbar coming, you may be able to stop the chain of events before it even begins. This is obviously the best-case scenario, but when you’re tangling with experienced partners who may be using more advanced set ups and techniques, they may already be way ahead of you in the process.
- The Middle - In this scenario, you’ve succumbed to the armbar set up, but maybe your arms are still bent and not extended, or you’ve locked a successful rear naked style grip and managed to bury your limbs under your opponent’s legs. You’re still in trouble, but you’ve bought yourself some time.
- Last Ditch - In this particular situation, your arm is fully extended, and the tap may seem imminent. If you can keep your cool and use some good mechanics, you may still be able to survive the attack.
So, we have first, second, and third tier levels of trouble, and there are different escape options for each one. Let’s look at a solution for number three today. You may have heard of an escape that most refer to as the hitchhiker escape. This is probably the most common third tier escape option there is. This is an amazing defense, but if your partner does a good job of controlling the direction of your thumb, it will be very difficult to pull off. Take a look at this video from Dean Lister. He offers an alternative to the hitchhiker that just might get you out of trouble.
The most important takeaway from this video in my opinion is the way Lister Elevates his shoulder to buy himself more time. By getting his shoulder up off the floor, he steals leverage from the top player, and allots himself precious time to find a means of escape. After Lister finds elevation in the shoulder, he starts to sneak out under his partners legs, freeing him from the arm lock. Once his head is removed from the position the available transitions are plentiful.
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These are good concepts to brush up on. Our escapes should be just as sharp as our submissions. When you study the intricacies of escaping, your submission game will flourish as well.