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Very Simple Armbar-Americana Transition

Very Simple Armbar-Americana Transition


 The armbar and Americana are two of the most basic techniques in Jiu Jitsu. The Americana, however, is very underutilized, and for good cause, it is one of the most difficult submissions to finish against skilled opponents. Rather than ignoring this basic shoulder, however, its important to examine ways to utilize it to improve our success in getting the submission.

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One of the earliest transitions one might learn in Jiu Jitsu, and is something every grappler should eventually become capable of, is connecting the Americana to the armbar. Usually, when we pin an arm down to attack an Americana, the defender will roll over on their side and grab their own arm. This will allow the top player to slide up to S-mount and attack a simple armbar.

There is, however, another transition, that is kind of the reverse of the Americana-armbar we learn as white belts. This transition starts at the armbar and then utilizes an Americana. Watch the following video by BJJ Fanatics to see what I’m talking about:

Although it may be difficult to finish the Americana from this angle, it is important to see the bigger picture of why this technique is valuable. The most common defense for the armbar is the one you see in the video. The defender makes a figure-four grip and places their palm under the defender’s legs.

 This is a great defense and the grip also makes it very difficult to break the defender’s arms apart. What they are doing, however, when defending the armbar like this is giving you the best angle to switch your grip to an Americana grip. When they feel that transition, they will have to let go to defend, and when they do that, you easily revert back to the armbar.

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