Jiu-Jitsu armbars are a type of submission technique that can be used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other grappling martial arts. They involve manipulating your opponent’s arm to hyperextend their elbow joint, causing them to submit or risk injury.
What is a Jiu-Jitsu Armbar?
An armbar or arm lock is a submission hold commonly used in grappling martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, and mixed martial arts (MMA). It is a joint lock that targets the elbow joint, and it can cause pain, damage, or even a fracture if not released by the opponent.
To execute an armbar, the attacker starts by securing control of their opponent’s arm. This can be done in a number of ways, such as by trapping their arm between their legs or by grabbing their wrist and pulling their arm towards their body.
Once the attacker has secured control of their opponent’s arm, they then apply pressure to the elbow joint by extending their hips and pulling their opponent’s wrist towards their body. This puts pressure on the elbow joint, causing pain and the potential to cause damage if the opponent does not tap out or submit.
The armbar can be executed from a variety of positions, including from the guard, mount, or side control. It can also be executed as a counter to an opponent’s takedown attempt or as a transition from another submission attempt.
The armbar is a highly effective submission hold, but it requires a good deal of skill and practice to execute properly. It can also be difficult to set up against a skilled opponent, as they may be able to defend against it or counter with their own submission attempts.
Brief History of Armbars
Armbars have been a part of martial arts and grappling techniques for centuries and can be found in various forms in many different disciplines. However, the specific use of armbars in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be traced back to the early days of the sport.
BJJ was developed in the early 20th century by the Gracie family in Brazil, who sought to create a martial art that would be effective in real-world self-defense situations. The Gracies were influenced by a variety of different grappling styles, including Judo and Catch Wrestling, and sought to adapt and refine these techniques to suit their needs.
One of the key elements of BJJ is the focus on submissions, or techniques that force an opponent to concede defeat or risk injury. Armbars are one of the most effective and versatile submission techniques in BJJ, and have been a staple of the sport since its inception.
Over the years, BJJ practitioners have continued to refine and develop their armbars, incorporating new grips, angles, and transitions to make the techniques even more effective. Today, armbars are an essential part of the BJJ arsenal and are used by practitioners at all levels of the sport.
Different Types of Armbars
There are many different types of armbar variations in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, each with its own variations and setups. Here are some of the most common types:
- Armbar from mount – This is a basic armbar that is applied from the mounted position. The attacker traps the defender’s arm with their legs, then leans back to apply pressure to the elbow joint.
- Armbar from guard – In this variation, the attacker pulls the defender into their guard and then traps their arm, using their legs and knees to apply pressure to the elbow joint achieving the armlock.
- Armbar from side control – This armbar is applied when the attacker has side control over the defender. They trap the defender’s arm with their legs and then rotate their body to apply pressure to the elbow joint.
- Flying armbar – This is an advanced technique that involves jumping onto the defender’s back and taking them down while simultaneously applying the armbar.
- Rolling armbar – This armbar is applied while rolling or flipping, typically when the defender is trying to escape a position. The attacker uses their momentum to roll into the armbar position and apply pressure to the elbow joint.
- Kimura – Although technically not an armbar, the Kimura is a submission that can attack both the elbow and shoulder joint, similar to many armbars. It involves trapping the defender’s arm with both hands and then applying pressure to the elbow joint by twisting the arm.
These are just a few of the many different types of armbars in BJJ. Each of these techniques can be modified and adapted to suit the specific situation and opponent, making them a versatile and effective part of the BJJ arsenal.
Haisam Rida hit an amazing armbar last year again Cyborg in the ADCC 2022 Champitnoships
How do you set up an Armbar?
There are many ways to set up an armbar in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, and mixed martial arts (MMA). Here are some common setups:
- From the guard: If you are on your back in your opponent’s guard, you can attempt to set up an armbar by controlling your opponent’s posture and breaking their posture down. Once their posture is broken, you can use your legs to trap one of their arms and secure control of it. From there, you can shift your hips and pivot to set up the armbar. The closed guard armbar is one of the more popular armbar submissions.
- From mount: If you have mounted your opponent, you can attempt to set up an armbar by isolating one of their arms and securing control of it. You can do this by grabbing their wrist or elbow and pulling their arm towards your chest. Once you have control of their arm, you can shift your weight and pivot to set up the armbar.
- From side control: If you have secured top position side control on your opponent, you can attempt to set up an armbar by controlling their arm and shifting your weight. You can do this by grabbing their wrist and pulling their arm towards your chest, while shifting your weight onto your opposite hip. This will create space for you to pivot and set up the armbar.
- From back control: If you have secured the back control position, you can set up and armbar by deep hooking one of your opponent’s arms and clearing your opponent’s head with your thigh/leg.
- From standing position and failed takedown attempt: If you are attempting a takedown on your opponent and they defend it by sprawling or sprawling and spinning, you can use the momentum to set up an armbar. As your opponent spins or moves away from you, you can follow them and secure control of their arm, using the momentum to set up the armbar.
These are just a few examples of how to set up an armbar. It’s important to note that setting up an armbar requires good technique, timing, and precision. It’s also important to be aware of your opponent’s movements and to adapt your strategy accordingly.
How do you Defend an Armbar?
There are several ways to defend against an armbar in grappling martial arts:
- Posture up: If an opponent is attempting to set up an armbar from their guard or from a mounted position, one effective defense is to posture up by straightening your back and creating space between yourself and your opponent. This can make it difficult for your opponent to secure control of your arm or apply pressure to the joint.
- Protect your arm: To set up an armbar, the attacker needs to control one of your arms and isolate it from your body. One way to defend against the armbar is to keep your elbows close to your body and protect your arms by keeping them close to your chest.
- Stack the attacker: If an attacker has partially secured an armbar but has not yet fully extended your arm, you can try to stack them by standing up or lifting them off the ground. This can alleviate the pressure on your arm and create space to escape the submission.
- Roll or spin out: If an attacker has fully secured an armbar and is applying pressure, you can try to roll or spin out of the position. This can be difficult to do and requires a good deal of skill and practice, but it can be an effective way to escape the submission.
- Counter with a submission: If an attacker has partially secured an armbar but has not yet fully extended your arm, you can try to counter with a submission of your own. For example, you can try to grab your opponent’s foot and apply a toe hold or heel hook, or you can try to grab their neck and apply a choke.
It’s important to note that defending against an armbar can be challenging, especially against a skilled attacker. The best defense is to prevent your opponent from setting up the submission in the first place by keeping your arms close to your body and maintaining good posture.
Who are the Best People at Armbars?
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there are many accomplished practitioners who are skilled at applying armbars. Some of the most well-known BJJ athletes who are particularly adept at executing armbars include:
- Roger Gracie – a multiple-time world champion and one of the most dominant BJJ competitors in history. He is known for his exceptional technique and proficiency with armbars.
- Ronda Rousey – a former UFC champion and Olympic medalist in Judo who transitioned to MMA. She is widely regarded as one of the best female fighters of all time and well known for her armbar attacks and submissions.
- Marcelo Garcia – a world-renowned BJJ black belt who has won numerous titles and accolades throughout his career. He is known for his exceptional grappling ability and particularly his skill with armbars.
- Braulio Estima – a multiple-time world champion and one of the most accomplished BJJ practitioners of his generation. He is known for his innovative techniques and particularly his proficiency with armbars.
It’s worth noting that there are many other accomplished BJJ practitioners who are also skilled at executing armbars, and that the effectiveness of any technique ultimately depends on the individual practitioner’s skill and execution.
Why Should You Learn Armbars?
Learning how to execute an armbar can be beneficial for a number of reasons:
- Effective submission technique: The armbar is one of the most effective submission techniques in grappling martial arts. It can be used to submit opponents from a variety of positions, and it can cause significant pain or even a broken bone if at the right angle or not released by the opponent.
- Versatile technique: The armbar can be executed from a variety of positions, including from the guard, mount, and side control. This makes it a versatile technique that can be used in a variety of situations.
- Counter to opponent’s attacks: The armbar can also be used as a counter to an opponent’s attacks. For example, if an opponent attempts a takedown, you can use the armbar to defend against the takedown and submit your opponent.
- Develops grappling skills: Learning how to execute an armbar can also help develop your grappling skills. It requires a good deal of technique, timing, and precision, which can improve your overall grappling ability.
- Effective self-defense technique: The armbar can also be used as a self-defense technique in real-life situations. If someone attacks you and tries to grab your arm, you can use the armbar to defend yourself and potentially subdue the attacker.
Overall, learning how to execute an armbar can be a valuable skill for anyone practicing grappling martial arts, as well as for those interested in self-defense.