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Stopping the Hitchhiker Escape
The hitchhiker escape is a simple yet very effective technique to defend and get out of the traditional armbar. In fact, the hitchhiker escape is probably the most utilized armbar defense and is used by grapplers new and skilled alike. When I am attacking an armbar, I would probably argue dealing with the hitchhiker escape can be more annoying than any other aspect of armbar defense.
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The hitchhiker is escape is the first defense people go to when being attacked. As their arm begins getting extended, they curl their arm up making a symbol resembling that a hitchhiker would make. This will allow them to walk their legs away and come on top fairly quickly. This presents an issue because you have to extend the armbar to finish the submission, but the defender also needs the extension to do this escape.
In order to stop the defender from using this escape, the first step needs to be a technique that stop them from rotating and curling their arm. Without this, the defender will not be able to circle out. In the following video by Lachlan Giles, you will see how to do this.
The second part of the counter requires a technique that limits the mobility of the defender’s head. Lachlan does this by bringing his feet under their head and hooking with it. Another way of doing this that also prevents them from coming on top is similar, but instead of the outside foot also being on top, you can bring it over the face like a traditional armbar.