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Fabio Gurgel’s Amazing Arm Bar from Side Control

Fabio Gurgel’s Amazing Arm Bar from Side Control


The side control position offers an incredible level of stability and comfort when it comes to attacking. As long as we can keep the bottom player from recomposing their guard, we can enjoy a bit of time here to keep ourselves stable and balanced while we begin to get to work. This theme is ever more present when we’re approaching the side control as beginners. The side control may actually be the first dominant position you become comfortable with but do you have a blueprint that sets you up for success from this dynamic position?

Its likely you’ll gravitate toward certain themes here depending on your body type and preferences but with so many options it can be helpful to have some guidance. We happen to have this guidance in the form of a living BJJ legend and he’s sharing his best stuff with us in a new instructional with BJJ Fanatics. 

Fabio Gurgel is one of the most successful BJJ coaches and practitioners in the history of the sport. The trophy room is likely at max capacity for this icon and he continues to produce champions and share his incredibly vast wealth of knowledge with his students, and now, with you. 

The side control happens to be one of Gurgel’s specialties and in his newest instructional, Side Control Attacks and Submissions: Old School Evolution he’s complied some  of his greatest work from the position. You’ll find everything thing from the beginning stages of control and maintenance to multiple submission attacks in this highly anticipated release. Gurgel’s experience and knowledge run deep and you can be sure that these techniques have been forged in fire, battle tested, and are ready to be added to your arsenal. 

Let’s take a look at a sneak peek of what we can expect with Gurgel’s instruction. In this video he demonstrates an arm bar from side control. You don’t want to miss these details. Take a look at this!


Straight away we get some ideas on positioning that may not be what you’re used to. Gurgel makes mention of the urgency to always control the head and hug the bottom player. But this isn’t always necessary. Notice how Gurgel occupies the under-hook space with his arm and a grip in his own collar. He then begins to use the weight of his upper body to spread himself out over his partners head.

Ready for some Old School Evolution? Click Learn More!



This movement removes the frame from underneath him and causes it to slide downward toward the mat. In addition to removing the frame, Gurgel has now also put himself in to a position where movement from his partner’s hips does not affect him. The Americana lock is available here if there is no response from the bottom player, but its likely that they’ll remove the arm from trouble by hugging Gurgel and this is exactly what he wants. 

As his partner responds with the common movement of swinging the legs to try and gain some space back, Gurgel takes a grip on the pants with his free hand. He continues to incrementally move towards a more north south position and as his hips clear the line of his partner’s head, Gurgel now slides his knee forward. He then lifts his partners back from the mat so that they are now positioned on their ribcage, still maintaining the grip on the arm and the pants. No facing the same direction as the bottom player, Gurgel can sit back and finish the arm bar. Efficiency is definitely the name of the game here. There’s no wasted movement and Gurgel has provided us with ideas to completely control our opponent at every stage of this incredibly applicable submission. 

Closing with some sage advice, Gurgel reminds us of the importance of patience. This entire sequence could take several minutes but remember if you’ve done everything correctly from a positional standpoint, your opponent isn’t going anywhere. Don’t get greedy here. Spend some time wearing the bottom player out before you move to submit. Patience can make the difference between pursuing the submission successfully and the complete dismantling of all your hard work. 

The inch by inch approach taken by Gurgel will serve you over the lifetime of your jiu-jitsu, regardless of your age. As he explains, he allows his opponents to struggle for a bit before advancing, causing them to expend precious energy and ultimately give Gurgel what he wants. 

Side Control Attacks & Submissions: Old School Evolution by Fabio Gurgel

If you’ve been looking for a side control roadmap that recruits the concepts of the old school coupled with some incredible new innovations, this one is definitely for you. Gurgel’s approach is simple and applicable and sure to add value to your side control tool box! Pick up your copy today!



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