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: Armbar

The Armbar, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), is one of the most basic yet effective techniques, predominantly used in submission competitions. This technique focuses on trapping the opponent's arm between your legs and applying leverage to fully extend it, thereby forcing them into submission due to the immense pressure exerted on the elbow joint.


Start from the mount position, ideally high mount, targeting one of your opponent's arms. Control their arm by gripping their wrist and elbow.


Flare your knee out and slide your foot up close to their head, trapping their arm. Swing your other leg around their head and tuck it under their neck.


Lean back while pulling up on their arm. This applies pressure on the elbow joint, resulting in submission.

How To Defend

A primary defense strategy against an Armbar is stacking your opponent. This involves leaning into them and stacking them up onto the back of their neck, making it hard for them to extend their hips and apply the Armbar.

How To Counter

The hitchhiker escape is often used to counter the Armbar. It involves turning and twisting the thumb down and away from your opponent's legs, while simultaneously moving towards the side of the arm that's being attacked, thereby creating space to pull out the arm.

When To Use

The Armbar is frequently used in BJJ competitions because it’s a high-percentage move that works against opponents of all sizes. It gives a competitor the control they need to manipulate the arm and apply pressure to the elbow joint.

While executing an Armbar, it's important to keep your legs heavy and squeeze your thighs together. This keeps your opponent's arm trapped and makes it harder for them to escape.

The Armbar is a universal submission that's critical to BJJ and many other grappling arts. It is ideal for gaining upwards momentum in competitions due to its high success rate and applicability across various scenarios.

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