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Far Side Arm Bar from Side Control with Lachlan Giles
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Far Side Arm Bar from Side Control with Lachlan Giles

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Side control. There’s so much to consider. From a beginner’s perspective, this may be the first dominant position you become comfortable in.

Many of us gravitate towards side control early, for a simple reason, it can be a little easier to stay there. Maybe you’re the opposite, but my stints in mount and back control were incredibly short compared to my side control endeavors. Once I got comfortable controlling the position, the attacks started to open up.

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Side control is incredibly vast. There are hundreds of attacks, but here is some great entry level one’s to start with, that every player should get familiar with. There’s also the issue of frames. Good framing from the bottom player can really throw a wrench in to your side control attack plans. Its best to remove all the frames before you begin to try anything. Well need to have a clear pathway to begin hunting for submissions. 

One of the most common attacks from top side control is the far side armbar. This high percentage submission is definitely something you need to have in the tool box. IN this video Lachlan Giles gives us an extended breakdown on the far side arm bar and addresses some common themes that may help us implement it a little bit better. Check it out!

Giles begins in standard side control position. He’d like the limb he’s about to attack to be on the far side of his head, but if his partner is doing a good job of framing hell have to set a trap to get the arm into position. To do this, he fakes an americana set up. As he begins to push the hand to the floor to set up the americana, his partner answers by straightening the arm. As this occurs, Giles guides the arm to the to the other side of his head, exactly where he needs it. 

Giles’s next order of business is to get his partner up on to this side. Attempting this particular armbar when your partner is flat is simply not a good idea, as this will lead to the unraveling of the position. To being transitioning his partner to their side, Giles posts his cross-face hand, and uses it to push his weight back, using the momentum to pull his partner in to position. 

Utilizing a cupping grip on his partner’s upper arm, Giles then brings his elbow up and over his partners body, wedging it between himself and his partners rib cage. This is a movement that Giles refers to as the “up and crush”. You can use this detail to put quite a bit of pressure on your partner, which may cause them to give up other submissions as well. 

The stage is now set for Giles to being to step around the head. To begin this process, he leans toward his partners hips. His partner will likely frame here, so Giles simply pommels his knee to the inside of the frame, killing it, and then passing it off to his opposite foot. Be sure to move closer to your partner hips here if you hope to kill the arm. The closer you are, the easier it will be to eliminate the frame. 

As Giles swings his leg over the head, he’s careful not leave too much space between his leg and his partner’s body, as this will again be another juncture where the opportunity to defend is present. As his leg transitions to the other side, he keeps his heel tight to his partners back, keeping the pathway to escape closed. Giles also makes sure his opposite side knee is tight to his partners body, creating a vice like effect on his partners torso. This I incredibly important to be aware of as you make your way through the technique. 

Here, Giles simply rotates his hips and sits down on the opposite side of his partners body. At the completion of the technique there is the possibility of what we all know as the hitchhiker escape. Landing at an angle out from the head can be detrimental to securing the finish, and leave your partner nearly halfway through the escape. Giles recommends that we try to land closer to a 90-degree angle to give us the best possible opportunity to thwart this common technique. As he lands with the arm, Giles puts what he calls, kimura type pressure on his partner’s arm, and falls more toward the hips, bringing his partner wrist with him.  This makes it difficult for his partner to run in the other direction and begin working the escape. Here, Giles can now begin to sit back to achieve the tap. 

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In the last part of the video, Giles offers a quick addendum on positioning. As he steps over the head, he advises us to make sure that as we lay back with the arm, we keep providing counter pressure with our knee under our opponent’s armpit. This provides a fulcrum for which to bend the arm over as were trying to prevent the hitch hiker escape. If the knee is lazy and open here, there is no threat of pressure on the joint to help with stopping the escape. Giles also makes sure to suck up all the space between him and his partner with his hips to make sure there are no gaps let open. Great details!

This is definitely an arm bar we should all be attempting from side control. Especially at the beginner level. It gives us insight into lots of important mechanics when acquiring and hunting for arm bar finishes. Makes sure attacking the far side arm is on your radar, as you will definitely encounter the opportunity to do so in your conquests of the side control position. Once again, amazing detail work here from one of the greatest instructors on the planet! 

Want more from Lachlan Giles? Check out his DVD  "The Half Guard Anthology", and get to work on improving your half guard! BJJ Fanatics has it! Check it out here!

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