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Three Tips for Finishing the Armbar
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Three Tips for Finishing the Armbar

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Increase Your Armbar Finishing Ability With These Tips!

The armbar is a very traditional submission in many grappling arts that achieves its ability through hyper-extension of the arm at the elbow joint. There are numerous ways of setting up an armbar and dozens of details that can be added for increased effectiveness. Through my years of training, I have learned a lot of those details but three have stuck out with me the greatest.

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In order for an armbar to be effective, it has to have the ability to break the elbow joint. At the highest levels, grapplers will not tap unless they realize that there is enough pressure to cause an actual break in the elbow. The three following details I will go over will not only help cause the pressure to break the arm, but also limit the defensive mobility of the grappler being attacked.


The first detail has to do with directionality. If you take a look at your arm, you will notice that the elbow falls in the same line of the pinky. Regardless of how the arm is rotation, the elbow will always fall in line with the pinky. This means that the direction of the pressure against the elbow in the armbar should always be pushed towards the direction of the pinky.


If a defender is using rotation to defend their arm, the attacker should always push the arm towards the pinky regardless of where the arm is. This makes the submission more painful and also defenses like the hitch hiker escape more difficult.


The next tip is about elbow position. In order to place an effect lever to break the arm, a lever, in this case the hips, need to position right under the elbow. If the elbow is shallow, the lever will be under the forearm and there is zero chance of breaking the arm, and probably little chance of any pain. If the elbow is on the belly, the shoulder can respond to the pressure by rising and there limiting arm breakage.


The final tip is regarding the importance of the attacker’s legs in the attack. Everyone knows that for an armbar to be effective, the knees must be pinched very close to each other. There is another important aspect of the legs that need to be added, and that is the contraction of the hamstring. This detail is vital because it mitigates a lot of defensive movement and significantly increases pressure on the armbar.

Learn the basics, and join Raphael Carneiro and his DVD "Dynamic Fundamentals". Check it out here!

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