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Grab Your Wings For This High Level Flying Armbar With Johnny Tama

Grab Your Wings For This High Level Flying Armbar With Johnny Tama



While high level technique is considered “high level” for a reason, if you are familiar enough with the general movements of Jiu Jitsu then anything is attainable. Becoming creative and keeping up with the new age techniques is imperative for success, and should be desired by any practitioner who wishes to keep growing in their game.

One of the coolest aspects of Jiu Jitsu is it seems that there are infinite techniques that continue to be unlocked with the progression of the sport. The longer people train, more and more continues to be discovered. For some of the highest level guys, it happens in the average roll, when they just happen to see something slightly different and it opens up a whole new concept.

Not only is this cool for the practitioner to continue to develop his game, but it also adds an element to the competition side of Jiu Jitsu by being able to land something on your opponent that they have either never seen before, or don’t run into often.

One of the more common attacking positions in Jiu Jitsu these days is the headquarters position. It offers the top person many different variations of passing (check The American Jiu Jitsu Pressure Passing System by Jake Shields), and can potentially lead into leg entanglements. Being on the bottom side of this position, most people are trying to get to some sort of guard and getting whatever grips they can to prevent the pass. While these are not wrong, the top person is able to use those dire grips of their opponent to their advantage. 

In this video, Johnny Tama demonstrates a flying arm bar from the top of the headquarters position, check it out below!

The Technique 

To give a very brief description of the headquarters position, it is when your opponent is in a seated open guard and you step one leg into their guard and begin to kneel down on top of one of their feet, essentially rendering that leg useless. As you can tell in this video, Johnny does not completely kneel down as his opponent establishes a loose De La Riva guard.

Common grips from the top of this position include a grip on the collar and a grip on the pants on the leg that is between your legs. The bottom opponent will often have a collar grip as well, and will likely be trying to grab one of your feet to go for a sweep. If he is able to establish a De La Riva guard from here, his best option is going to be to try and sweep.

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In doing this, he will scissor his legs which will cause you to step back to maintain your balance. As you step back there is a good chance he will be using his collar grip to try and push you back to assist with his sweep. If you are aware of what is coming, you should be able to maintain your balance.

Where this works in your favor is the extension of his arm that has the collar grip. At this point, the only other thing in your way is your partner's leg in which you have a grip on. From here you simply use your grip to throw his leg down, and hip thrust stepping over his leg. Right now you should be standing directly over top of him, and if you wanted you could just sit down right into the mount. However, his arm is completely extended and can be taken advantage of. 

Rather than sitting down to mount, establish good grips on your partner's arm, turn toward him while stepping over his head and tactfully sit into the arm bar. This can and should obviously be drilled slowly at first, but as you get the hang of the movements you will notice that it all flows into one flying movement.

The philosophy of this technique is to give your partner a little bit, so he gives you what you want. You are stepping back to catch your balance as your partner pushes you, while also taking advantage of the extension of his arm. This is another great example of the importance of planning multiple steps ahead to get the jump on your opponent.

About Johnny Tama

Johnny Tama is a Brazillian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Juan Miguel Iturralde of the Alliance Academy. After attempting and not liking martial arts at a young age, Johnny was on the wrong end of a beating in a street fight which attracted him to Jiu Jitsu, and he began his training in 2009. After quickly climbing the ranks and smashing in competition at lower belts, Tama received his black belt in 2016.

Johnny’s list of achievements is a mile long, but most recent and notable titles include 2019 IBJJF World No-Gi Champion, 2018 SJJIF World No-Gi Champion, and tons of other 1st place spots in IBJJF opens. Johnny’s skill continues to progress and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon!

About Johnny's Instructional 

Johnny has devoted this instructional to the art of pressure passing. You can expect to find techniques such as folding pass with shin cut, addressing grips from top De La Riva, Ferere passto choke from the back, monoplata, and so much more.

Johnny is one of those practitioners who you watch just effortlessly flow through some of the most advanced techniques. He has had the opportunity to train with some of the best, and is continuously developing top level technique as he progresses in his career. Master the art of pressure passing and dominate in the headquarters position, check out his instructional here!



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