How To Do The Basic Arm Lock In Jiu Jitsu


Why Jiu Jitsu Focuses On Submissions

Jiu jitsu is based on leverage and ultimately landing a submission. The strategy is simple. Leverage based techniques that work against a joint or choke the opponent unconscious is a much more reliable way of taking at a larger and stronger attacker than trying to land a knockout punch or kick.

This is truth. And you can test it for yourself. Have a kid punch you in the stomach as hard as they can. Most men would be able to easily withstand that kind of attack. But then allow the kid to put you in a rear naked choke. The results would be very different.
So that’s why submissions are so focused on in jiu jitsu.

In this video, I’ll teach you one of the most basic and effective submissions of all – the armbar.

How To Do a Basic Armbar In Jiu Jitsu

Today we’re going to talk about how to execute a basic armbar. Armbars are a great submission and can definitely win a lot of fights. The basic armbar is best if it’s pulled off quickly, which is why it’s important to drill. They are usually done from mount or guard. The basic principle is to bend your opponent’s elbow against the joint. Of course, this would result in breaking your opponent’s arm unless he taps. It can easily win a street fight or a tournament. Like I mentioned earlier, this move is typically done from mount or guard. For today, we’ll just be practicing the move itself. I’ll show you what a good armbar looks like and walk you through the steps to execute one.

Step 1: Getting The Arm Lock

Here’s how to do the just the lock by itself. Your partner is going to lay on his back with you sitting on one side of him. You’re going to scoot in close and swing one leg over your partner’s neck. The other leg goes over his stomach. The arm he has nearest to you should be between your legs. Now, you’re going to grab onto his arm and sit back.

Step 2: Finishing The Submission

You have your partner’s arm, so hold on to that. Slowly lift your hips off the ground. This is bending your partner’s elbow against the joint. Make sure that his thumb is pointed up; this makes sure that his elbow is actually against the joint. As soon as your partner taps, release the lock.

Conclusion: Tips On The Basic Arm Bar

To sum up, be sure you have a strong hold. You don’t want your opponent’s arm to slip away, especially because he can then turn over and might even be able to steal a mount. Check and see if your partner can pull his arm away to make sure. Also, you want to be very close to your partner. Don’t let your legs be extended very much. Otherwise, you’ll be bending against solid bone, and not the elbow joint. The checks you want to make are the following: check that you have a strong and solid grip, check that you’re sitting close to your partner and that there is very little space between him and your hips, and check that his thumb is pointed upwards. If these are in place, you’ve got a great armbar and you’re ready to start drilling this move!

For the ultimate guide to jiu jitsu training go here –

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Father of eight, Dr. Scott Sullivan is the chief instructor at Bam Bam Martial Arts in Houston, TX. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and is a seasoned martial arts instructor with over 30 years of experience. A firm believer that martial arts really does help people become more fit, safe, and happy, he remains vigilant about helping people improve their lives through martial arts.