Path to powerful arm bars in BJJ
The path to powerful arm bars in BJJ is through the head and shoulders. On the surface, the Jiu-Jitsu arm bar is an attack on the elbow. After all, that’s what will actually break if the opponent refuses to submit or tap out to the hold. However, your ability to control a tough, resisting opponent long and well enough to get to that breaking point is mostly bound up with your ability to dominate your opponents head and shoulders. This is the key. Again, the path to having powerful arm bars in jiu-jitsu is through the head and shoulders. In addition, in the use of arm bars from bottom position in particular, you must be able to take your opponents head into an unnatural position that thoroughly undermines his ability to stack their weight into you and stop your attack. Use the crossface leg, or the one that goes over the head, to curl back in such a way that his head is taken completely out of alignment and remains in the downward position. This makes effective resistance very difficult. As is so often the case in Jiu-Jitsu, you have to win several preliminary battles in order to win the major battle. In this case, the head before the elbow. Drill this over and over and watch your armbar game skyrocket. This is a major part of our beginner curriculum at Savarese BJJ (www.njbjj.com) along with triangle chokes, guillotines and takedowns. Once you get comfortable with your armbars from the guard, your armbar game will improve from all positions.