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Guard Offense – Submissions – The Armbar

December is finally here and with it the holiday season. What better time to give the gift of submission attacks. Let’s dive right on into the first one that comes to mind…the Armbar from Guard.

A primary method uses head control with one hand while getting a cross-grip over the opponent’s arm with your other hand, hooking the fingers around the elbow. Place your foot on their hip keeping the inside thigh against the opponent’s shoulder thus trapping their arm. This foot will also be used to turn your torso to the side. Bring your opposite leg up and into the opponent’s opposite side armpit breaking their posture. Circle your hand around the opponent’s head and push. Bring your leg around and then over the opponent’s head (your knees may be bowed out at this point). Bite down on the opponent’s neck and torso with your legs. Now finalize things by pulling down on their wrist, thumb up/pinky down, all while squeezing your knees together and lifting up your hips to apply the submissions.

Another popular method utilizes a cross-grip on the opponent’s lapel simulating a Cross-Collar Choke attack. This gives you another variation of upper body control. However, it really helps set up an armbar while the opponent is fending off the choke.

This brings us to some very important principles regarding submission attacks which many times get missed over the actual technique itself:

· Constant emphasis on the importance of set-ups

· Various "triggers" which actually guide us into the submission

· The concept of submission hunting

One obvious trigger is when their arm is extended while pushing on your body somewhere. Another not-so-obvious trigger is when the opponent’s arm is above your sternum. Yet another is when their arm is across the centerline. When their arm is straighter and the elbow is higher it increases the percentage of actually hitting the armbar. Sometimes this needs to be done by pulling the opponent’s arm up and into position.

Doing a bit more with the armbar, it can always be used as a set-up into another submission (such as the Triangle Choke or Omoplata), or into a Sweep (such as the Flower Sweep). One tactic that doesn’t get enough exposure is using the armbar attempt to expose the opponent’s back. Think arm drag, and this tactic may make more sense. Give it a try.

Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!

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