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Executing the Arm Drag from a Standing Position

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there is one simple technique that opens up a collection of other techniques. One technique that can put you in a great position, regardless if you’re standing up or on the ground. That technique happens to be the arm drag. Arm drags work for everyone, no matter size or strength. The simplicity of the drag is what makes it work so well. Therein lies the importance of the arm drag.

Setting up Takedowns with the Arm Drag

The versatility of the drag is out of this world. On the feet, it sets up a variety of takedowns and trips. While on the ground, it sets up back takes, sweeps and submissions. Since all matches start standing, let’s talk about how it sets up takedowns. One particularly effective takedown off an arm drag is the double leg. Though why does the arm drag work so well here? The first reason is because it gets rid of a possible frame (the opponent’s arm) of defense and the second reason is because it will put you at a subtle angle that will make the takedown work. Check out how Marcelo Garcia, master of the drag, uses it to set it up.

Using The Arm Drag from the Floor Position

The beauty of the bjj arm drag does not end there. When you hit the ground, it only becomes more useful. There is a choke set up right after the arm drag. Once again, why does the arm drag work so well for this? The first reason is because the opponent’s arm opens up and the second reason is because of the great angle it gives you to shoot your arms in for it. The one and only Keenan Cornelius demonstrates how this works.

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Taking the Back from the Arm Drag

Last, but certainly not least, is the ability to take the back from an arm drag. Taking the back from the drag can be done standing, off of your back and from seated position just to name a few. From there, you can hit any technique that you like from your opponent’s back. In gi, you have plenty of gi chokes and in no gi, the rear naked choke is still king. Down below, you can see Marcelo Mafra hitting an arm drag to the back on former UFC contender, Benson Henderson at 2014 World No Gi Championships.

Since the arm drag works so well, it is a valuable tool to experiment with in training. If you find yourself in any of these spots, try it out. It could very well become one of your favorite techniques in Jiu Jitsu.

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