Hit The Arm Back and Americana With This Simple Set Up
Learn This Slick Arm Bar With Americana Set Up
If you are knew to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you may be wondering what exactly an arm bar or an Americana is. Both of these techniques are what are known as submissions. Usually, the arm bar and the Americana are some of the first submissions you learn. Why is this? Good question. Well, for starters, they are both quite easy to learn. Second, they are based on fundamental movement patterns, which are crucial for a beginner BJJ student to learn first. Why are fundamentals so important to learn? Well, they make up the foundation of all Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Even the high level guards, sweep, pressure passes and submissions used by top level BJJ competitors world wide are built on the fundamentals. Therefore, it is very important for you to be fluid in the core concepts of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before you move on to more intermediate and advanced techniques. Today we will focus on two of those core concepts: the arm bar and the Americana.
The Kimura is the Americana's Filthy, Dirty Cousin. Neil Melanson is a master at the Filthy Kimura and shows you how to dominate with it. Neil uses a physical, technical style that relies a lot on leverage and joint locks to move his opponents around, always threatening with a submission he’s perfected through both Catch Wrestling, and a deep understanding of Folk Wrestling, BJJ, Judo, Sambo and any other form of guys trying to grappler each other.
Getting back to the arm bar, and what exactly it is. The arm bar is a submission position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in which you extend your opponents arm straight out, and usually use pressure from your hips to squeeze the arm, trapping it and creating the leverage point you need to break your opponent’s arm as you pull at the wrist with both of your hands. Now, you might be saying to yourself “f*ck, I really do not want a broken arm.” Well, part of training jiu jitsu is learning to tap, so that your training partner does not accidentally and savagely shatter the bones in your arm. Also, there are many ways to prevent arm bars, which you will learn over time as well.
Okay, so now that we understand the arm bar, what the hell is an Americana? Sounds like some sort of propaganda piece. Well, the Americana is what is known in BJJ as a lock. The Americana is also sometimes referred as the bent arm lock, the key lock, the top wrist lock, figure four arm lock in catch wrestling, and ude garami in judo. The bent arm lock is where you position your opponent’s arm in an L shape and control everything from his shoulder to his wrist using a figure four grip (doubt wrist control). This leaves your training partner’s elbow and shoulder joints vulnerable to a submission. Again, this is another very brutal submission designed to seriously f*ck up your opponent’s arm. If their elbow does not snap in half their shoulder muscles will tear in an unimaginably painful experience.
What is great about the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that often times you can trick your opponent into a submission they were not expecting. Now that you understand what an arm bar and an Americana is, we will explore how you can use an Americana set up to submit your opponent with an arm bar. Typically both submissions are taught from side control but today we will look at how they can be used from top mount. Watch the video below to learn this set up. Check it out now!
There are some key takeaways from this training technique. First, the submission is demonstrated from full mount. It is important to note that you will not be able to successful hit an arm bar if you are trapped in your training partner’s guard or half guard. You need to have your legs free so that you can land in a perpendicular position for the arm bar. Pay attention to how the arm is first pinned flat on the mat with the “L” shape facing upward. Use both your hands to hold the arm at the wrist and elbow. Typically your opponent is going to recognize this as a sign that you are about to perform an Americana. This actually will cause your opponent panic and to begin countering the Americana attack. That is a good thing.
The next thing to focus on when you pass is to place on foot directly below your opponent’s elbow and your knee tight against his head – almost like it is a comfortable pillow for your opponent to rest for a second before you shatter his precious arm (not really though!). From here, you use the figure four grip kimura to clear your opponent’s grip. Notice in the video how the guy on bottom immediately goes to counter the Americana attack by grabbing his own wrist? This is actually the defense you are exploiting, as you will use this arm to hit the arm bar. Once your opponent’s grip is cleared, smash down on their face with your hand and pass your leg over his head. His arm is now yours for the taking.
What I love about this technique is that it uses your training partner’s natural instinct to defend his arm from the Americana as your way to distract from your real intentions: the arm bar. This is also a great demonstration of how to make things uncomfortable for your opponent. Notice the entire series looks pretty brutal for the guy on the bottom. Depending on how flexible your shoulders are, the “L” shape required for the Americana can be painful enough. The panic this creates will put your training partner into frenzy as that time is of the essence when it comes to defending against the Americana submission. Also, when you switch into the arm bar position, continue the brutalizing by smashing your opponent’s face as you pass your leg. The more uncomfortable it is, the easier you will find it to keep your training partner controlled.
So there you have it, a really slick arm bar using the Americana set up. If you are knew to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu this technique exposes you to some very fundamental movement patterns which you will find everywhere in jiu jitsu. Make sure to keep this technique in mind the next time you are in a live roll or competition. It could be your way to hitting a super fast and brutal submission!
Neil Melanson is The Man Who Does Everything In Jiu Jitsu A Bit Different – Yet All The Big Stars Worship Him: He Has The Weirdest – Yet Most Effective Grappling Game You’ve Ever Seen. Maybe it is from his integration of Catch Wrestling or his years of coaching some of the best MMA and No Gi Grapplers in the world. The current Blackzillians MMA Coach Neil Melanson’s Kimura Game Is More Efficient and So Much More Advanced Than Any Other Kimura Out There. His DVD / On Demand Series called the Filthy Kimura will completely change how you attack the kimura from every where.
The Kimura is one of the oldest and most effective submissions, and it reaches across tons of different grappling styles. Once it’s locked up, it’s either game over with the submission, or you use it to get a really dominant position to finish the fight anyway. It can come on from a ton of different positions, and you can use it against much more experienced fighters with good success. Every year, kimuras are being thrown on at every level, up to world championship black belt fights. Still, so many aren’t taking full advantage of how strong a position this can be, and how many different attacks you can chain to, until you get the tap.
This 4-volume set is an encyclopedia of double wrist locks (the Catch Wrestling name for the Kimura), with knowledgeable instruction on how to make any position a fight ender, just so long as you can lock your wrists. With advice given to him by such greats as Billy Robinson, Gene Lebell and Gokor Chivichian, Neil talks his way through how you can approach each position with a finishers mindset, and points out the few key details that most grapplers are going to miss.