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Let John Danaher Fix Your Arm Bar from The Guard

Let John Danaher Fix Your Arm Bar from The Guard


How often do you pull off the arm bar from the guard?

For me, this is not a high percentage technique. Unfortunately, it’s been a fundamental pillar of my BJJ training since day one, but it’s definitely never been a front runner in my arsenal.

Many people speak about the arm bar as if you must have long legs, or a wiry frame to execute one. Of course, physical attributes can be helpful, but positioning and mechanics can help a person of any size attack an arm bar and be successful.

The Best Instructional To Fix Your Armbar! Click Learn More below!


I feel one of the most difficult road blocks we encounter when attempting arm bars is probably being folded in half while trying to do so. When we stay in our opponent’s workspace so to speak, it can be relatively easy for the to stack us, and dismantle the attack completely. Another pitfall seems to be the controlling of posture. It can be incredibly difficult to keep the top player in just the right position to actually make an arm attack stick when we throw it up.

So, what are we doing wrong? Why s this fundamental technique so elusive to some of us?

So, this guy, John Danaher. I think he may be on to something.

Danaher has released a series of instructionals that are revolutionizing the way we approach some of the most highly utilized positions and techniques in the game. His most recent release is dedicated solely to the arm bar. Yes, there are 100’s of variations of the arm bar. From basic to elaborate set ups, the technique is applicable from a multitude of positions, and provides us with endless setups. But, why not start with its most traditional application. The arm bar from the guard.

A lot can be learned by examining the arm bar in its most basic form, and John Danaher has some fantastic things for you to think over contained here in his instruction. I learned quite a bit during this short video, and I think you will too. Check it out!

At the opening of the video Danaher describes what you may know as an arm bar from the guard. Typically, there’s some control of the arm that you’re hoping to attack, a change of angle, and boom, you’ve got an arm bar. But this probably will only work on your teammates if they are very new, or asleep. What about controlling the posture?

Systematic Breakdown Of How To Improve Your Armbar! Click Learn More below!


Instead of controlling only the arm he wishes to attack, Danaher also couples the control he has over the arm with a collar tie. He aims to place his partner’s head directly over his own elbow, which is ideal for this arm bar, but the minimum requirement is that the top players elbow be at least inside the hip.

With these controls in place, Danaher can apply a top lock over his partners shoulder.

Let’s pause here for a second. I almost felt that after watching this video, that a top lock included in the arm bar set up might just be a mandatory principle. Why not always teach it this way? It provides an immense amount of control tot eh arm bar set up position. And gives you the freedom to move properly to the next stages of attack.

With the top lock now in place and the elbow buried deep within the line of the hip, Danaher is now able to reach under his partners leg and pivot to an angle that’s at least 90 degrees, or as Danaher states, sometimes even greater. From here he can circle his leg around to the other side of the head and begin to work for the finish from here, or drive his partner over to the ground, and attempt to complete the submission with his partner on his back.

In this short video alone, we can see that there is much at work where Danaher’s variation is concerned, but everything has its place and purpose, and the things he focuses on controlling carry a great deal of weight. Making sure that we’re aware of the positioning of our opponent’s head, their elbow, in relationship to our hip, is already a mega important indicator of when it’s a good time to try to even attempt an armbar. This theme alone could be a central problem in any difficulty you’ve had in your efforts to chase down an arm bar.

Danaher leaves us before sharing finishing mechanics, and further details, but has given us plenty to think about.

If the arm bar has been as troublesome for you as it has been for me, I hope this video gave you some insight into why that may be, and that you picked up something that you can apply right away!

Join John Danaher with the latest installment of his systematic approach to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Check Out "Enter The System: Arm Bar" and get to work on improving your armbar game! BJJ Fanatics has it here!



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