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How To: Armbar from Side Control
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How To: Armbar from Side Control

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Side control is a top pin used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to control grapplers who are on their back. The most frequent way people end up getting stuck in bottom side control is after getting their guard passed.

From side control, the grappler that has assumed the top position can proceed to attack their partner in a number of ways. As white belts, grapplers are often taught how to get to mount from side control, which is great since one ends up in an even more dominant position.

The issue is that when dealing with skilled grapplers, getting to mount can be extraordinarily difficult and can often lead the guard passer to getting their guard back.

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Another option we have from side control is getting back control. Sometimes this is a quick choice depending on how the defender proceeds to defend their position.

After passing someone’s guard, you will experience many grapplers going to turtle rather than allows one to get to side control. People will also go to turtle from side control directly, so this would be a great time to take the back.

The last option we have from side control is attacking submissions.

There is a big problem when looking to attack submissions from side control, the issue is the hip frame. If the defender maintains a strong hip frame, it can be difficult to attack them because they can continuously make space with their arm.

In order to attack the submissions, especially the armbar, we need to get rid of that frame.

In the following video, Absolute MMA blackbelt and head coach Lachlan Giles shows how to attack the armbar from side control. See below:

A common mistake grappler’s make when attacking the far side armbar from side control is they grip the tricep with the underhook. When you want to get your opponent on their side for the armbar, gripping the tricep allows the defender to flatten out.

Instead of grabbing the tricep, grip the shoulder and place your elbow on their rib cage. This will make it easy to get your opponent on your side and keep them there as well.

Finally, after spinning to the final position, there is no need to change leg position due to the foot being under the defender’s back as the armbar works just the same in this position as it does in the traditional one.

Lachlan Giles is one of the BEST teachers around. His YouTube channel has helped grapplers across the globe. The Guard Passing Anthology: Half Guard By Lachlan Giles is easily one of the best resources available ANYWHERE. Giles has world class technique matched with UNPARALLELED teaching ability!

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