BJJ armbar techniques all that you need to know

BJJ armbar techniques all that you need to know

The armbar BJJ is a tough Brazilian jiu jitsu submission. Every practitioner shouldn’t neglect the effectiveness of the jiu jitsu armbar to submit his or her opponent. Besides, the BJJ armbar technique is one of the basic submissions moves used largely by many fighters to win several matches at the top jiu-jitsu, UFC, MMA competitions. The reason why the armbar is one among the primary submissions generally taught to beginner grapplers martial artistes

What is beautiful about the armbar jiu jitsu submission is that it is one of the simplest and most famous jiu jitsu gi no-gi submissions techniques. Besides, the armbars can be reached almost from everywhere (from dominant and non-dominant positions) like from the guard, the mount, side control, the standing position, and more.

Thus, we find out a plethora of variations like the flying, the straight, the inverted armbar, and more.

source: Anton Zwijsen

This Brazilian jiu-jitsu article is a piece of knowledge about the arm bar BJJ UFC. You find here all what you need to know like how to armbar, what’s an armbar, and more. Stay tuned! 

The armbar BJJ basics concepts and principles

source: Bernardo Faria BJJ

What is armbar?

The armbar does stand for a basic jiu jitsu submission available to a savvy practitioner from nearly every position. It’s known in Judo martial art as the cross arm-lock (or ude hishigi juji gatame). Also, it’s well-known in several other fighting disciplines like the wrestling, UFC, or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). 

Otherwise, the arm bar is an elbow’s hyperextension that needs a smart control of the opponent’s arm to apply it correctly. Unfortunately, this submission can damage the opponent’s elbow when it’s done incorrectly.

How does the jiu jitsu arm bar work? How to armbar BJJ?

The armbar is a result of a tough control of the opponent’s arm. And to reach the armbar UFC jiu jitsu, the attacker needs to follow several steps such as:

  1. Entering the arm bar position by controlling the opponent’s wrist of the desired arm between his or her legs. And he needs to use his or her legs to control the upper opponent’s body. 
  2. Then, he needs to squeeze their knees together for better pressure on the opponent’s chest and head. 
  3. The BJJ attacker maintains the opponent’s wrist holds to their chest, and he ensures that the opponent’s elbow is lying across their hips.
  4. Then, he should use his or her full-body leverage (hips up and wrist down) to extend the opponent’s elbow and get the submission.  In this situation, the elbow undergoes a large amount of pressure that leads the opponent to tap out. 

The Armbar Origin and history

bjj armbar

Who created the armbar?

People in the grappling field think that the armbars techniques had existed since ancient Greece. Nevertheless, now the arm bar is an effective technique submission used in several martial arts like the BJJ, Judo, UFC, Wrestling, etc. 

The arm bars had become the submission choice for several Brazilian jiu-jitsu martial artistes like Carlos Gracie Sr., Rodolfo Viera, Roger Gracie, Alexandre Ribeiro, Andre Galvao, Marcus Almeida and Rafa Mendes.

Otherwise, the some BJJ fighters and instructors have had well developed several armbar jiu jitsu variations. 

The armbar from the guard has become extremely popular and largely effective. Thus this kind of arm bar has ravaged the jiu jitsu and grappling tournaments with amazing submissions. Indeed for the other variations. 

Most used BJJ arm bar variations

The armbar has had tremendous success in Jiu-Jitsu and in MMA competitions because it can be reachable from many grappling positions. Furthermore, Ronda Rousey has proven can be also well applied as a savage submission in the Mixed martial art (MMA) tournaments. 

Here we go step by step to do properly arm bars from several jiu jitsu positions.

How to armbar from the closed guard?

jiu jitsu armbar

The closed guard is among the first position thought in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Besides, when a BJJ practitioner is there he can process with many submissions techniques or positions transitions. And, the arm bar is one of those techniques that could be done from the BJJ closed guard.

The set up for the jiu jitsu closed guard armbar may have several variations, but the main steps are:
  1. Reach the closed guard, or if you’re already there that’s nice. (Need more information on how to do it!! check out this BJJ article: Jiu Jitsu guard all what you need to know)
  2. Chose one opponent’s arm to attack, then grip lightly the wrist so your opponent could not detect your attack intention (if so the attack will fail).
  3. Then, you have to do several BJJ moves simultaneously. Use legs to break your opponent’s posture. Meanwhile, Isolate arm and use your free had to more control it (install a collar grip or you can grip the arm triceps). 
  4. Then, open the closed guard. And use your legs to shift your hips to create a 90-degree angle within your opponent.
  5. Then move your legs one to control opponent head and the others his or her chest.
  6. Then make sure that the attacked arm’s elbow is on your hips. And squeeze your legs to make it so tight.
  7. Finish the arm lock with little moves hips up and wrist down. 

How to do an armbar from BJJ mount?

source: Stephan Kesting

The BJJ full mount position may be the second most dominant position after the back position. While you’re at the full mount jiu jitsu you could apply several dominant BJJ techniques submissions or transition like the armlock.

The mount BJJ armbar or called also Jiji Gatame tends to be a classic position for an effective attack in Jiu-Jitsu. Though, it may be a very fragile position because it can be lost if the opponent arrives to escape his or her elbow during the armbar lock set up. But it deserves a try. 
To do a proper armbar from the full mount jiu jitsu, you have to follow these easy steps:
  1. When you’re at full mount position, you have to secure first the position (don’t get sweep it).
  2. Side up over your opponent’s stomach to reach the high mount position. 
  3. Here make a trick to force him or her to react using their hands like pretend that you look for the cross-collar choke. 
  4. In most cases, the opponent ought to bring their hands up to the collar to defend the choke. 
  5. Frame both opponents’ hands as it comes up, using your knees.
  6. Now, grab the triceps of the same-side of the attacked arm. And Pull the arm into your chest and secure it by bringing your same-side knee closer to their head.
  7. Now establish the position and continue with the attack. So, bring your chest closer to your opponent’s chest and lean your weight into their trapped arm. This move is going to help you in securing the arm and prevent it from escaping their elbow.
  8. Then, you have to shift your body weight to the leg furthest from the tapped arm. Meanwhile, you ought to bring your other leg up higher and around their head. But, make sure to perform these BJJ techniques moves while maintaining constant pressure on your opponents. This is often referred to as jiu jitsu S-Mount.
  9.  Now, let’s process the legs touches; bear your top leg over your opponent’s face, and secure it. Then, bring your lower leg up and shift your weight. Now you modified your position from the BJJ full Mount to the side with a 90-degree angle within your opponent where their arm is between your legs.
  10. Finally, close the distance and make the opponent arm tight to your chest and. Then, start to lean back towards the ground and raise your hips up to hyperextend your opponent’s elbow.  And here is the tap.

How to armbar from the back control in jiu jitsu?

The armbar jiu jitsu from back control is among the tough armlock variations. And also it’s among the savage Brazilian jiu jitsu submissions. 

Here is an instructional video on how to do properly an armbar submission technique. 

source: The Grappling Academy

How to do a straight armbar?

how to armbar

The BJJ straight armbar is also a usable submission technique. And here you arrive to do an elbow hyper-extension using your hands rather than using your hips. 

Otherwise, this set up is going to help you if you tend to hunt a straight armbar from the jiu-jitsu guard. 

  1. Let’s assume that you’re already taken the full guard. This kind of armbar is likewise the mechanic of the one from the guard position and we’re going to attack the same-side arm, not the cross side.
  2. Then, start by settling your control on the opponent’s arm. Use both arms to control the opponent’s wrist and elbow. 
  3. Then, to perform this move more easily, you have to break your opponent’s posture.
  4. Then, shrimp your hips to bend on the opponent’s side of the controlled arm. And don’t forget to close the distance within your opponent.
  5. After make sure to well isolate your opponent’s arm while you’re securing the control. Then, move your top leg across the opponent’s back where the knee will crackdown on the nearside shoulder of your opponent. And your lower leg has to foot on the opponent far side hip. Then, squeeze your knees together. 
  6. Now you’re ready to attack the arm. So bring the opponent’s arm and wrist up, then secure it between your shoulder and neck (here you need to your knees control on your opponent’s shoulder). 
  7. Finally, move up your arm to only above the elbow, clasp your hands together during a gable grip and depress. And, here is the tap.

How to armbar from the jiu jitsu knee belly positions?

source: The Grappling Academy

The knee belly or knee ride position is among the tough and painful Brazilian jiu jitsu positions. As a BJJ attacker, you can do several attacks and transition like the armbar. 

You can reach the knee belly position after passing your opponent guard, or from the side control and many other jiu-jitsu positions.  And while there just follow these small steps to get a smooth BJJ armbar:

  1. While in this position you have to apply high pressure on the opponent belly. Thus, you will force him or her to use his or her hand to decrease the pressure.  
  2. Seize the opportunity to grip the opponent’s arm (preferably from the triceps). Then, pull it toward your chest while maintaining the dominant position.
  3. Then, you have to turn by 180-degree while securing the arm. Because to apply an armbar the opponent’s arm ought to be controlled tightly between your legs.  
  4. Then, use your legs to control both the opponent’s head and chest, and squeeze them to make the control so tight.
  5. Finish the arm lock BJJ technique submission.

How to do a flying armbar?

The flying armbar moves stand among the foremost spectacular submission techniques in mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s quick, savage, and effective submission when performed correctly.

But, the practitioner could not do it properly; he will provoke an undesirable injury. So, be prudent when you do this kind of acrobatics moves. 

The flying armbar entrance starts for the standing position in a BJJ or MMA fight. And what follows could be a flying armbar BJJ fight scenario:

  1. The standing position BJJ begins with hands fighting and distance managing. The first fighter who will arrive to install his grips of control will do more better things in the fight. In this situation be the one who ties his or her opponent up, one arm around the head, the 2nd overwrapping the opponent’s arm.
  2. Use the BJJ action-reaction principle to cause an explosive opponent’s reaction. Here for example you can snap down your opponent’s neck to cause a reaction. 
  3. While your opponent tends to regain his or her balance, you have to bring your foot and jump with one leg over the controlled arm so it crooks into your opponent’s face. 
  4. Then, keep the controlled arm’s wrist tight to your chest and slide it down.
  5. Finally, finish the jiu jitsu flying armlock by driving up your hips to hyper-extend the opponent’s elbow.

 How to do a helicopter armbar?

source: The Grappling Academy

The helicopter armlock moves stands also among the foremost spectacular submission techniques the BJJ martial arts. Meanwhile, it’s a sign of a potent control over your jiu-jitsu opponent. And it’s a result of the BJJ concept “size doesn’t matter”

Gracie Barra black belt Braulio Estima has had the honor to be the first BJJ fighter to introduce the helicopter armbar. Then, this flashy jiu jitsu move spreads everywhere and tested by several practitioners.

Otherwise, the helicopter armlock is a quick, savage, fantastic, and effective submission when applied correctly. 

There are many entrances to the helicopter armbar like from the open or the De La Riva guard. Let’s pretend the following scenario.

You look for a helicopter armbar from De La Riva guard. How to reach it? 

Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Start by loading your opponent’s weight over you, until he’s floating over you. And there, your hips have to underneath your opponent.
  2. Then, rock backward and roll your opponent’s weight up onto your feet and lift them up.
  3. While the opponent’s weight loaded above you, unhook your De La Riva hook, pull the controlling arm towards you, and convey the unhooked foot around your opponent’s head.
  4. Simultaneously, tap with the opposite foot on the opponent’s hip to make a rotation. 
  5. If all done properly your opponent should fall under the armbar position, where you’ll then finish the arm lock.

How to armbar from the BJJ turtle position?

More often the turtle position is reached when a jiu jitsu to defend a guard pass. It’s an advanced BJJ position with the possibility to execute several submissions techniques like the armbar.

How to armbar properly from the jiu-jitsu turtle position? 

Like all BJJ armbars variations, you have to isolate the opponent’s arm. And maintain a tight control then finish the armbar.

Furthermore, here some tips that will help you perform well the armbar from the turtle position.

However, there are many variant entrances to armbar from the turtle, here we present the knee down armbar. 

  1. First, you should start by controlling your opponent’s hips to prevent him or her from changing the position.
  2. Then, reach the north-south position while maintaining the pressure on your opponent.
  3. Press with your chess and meanwhile reach your opponent arm, and secure it.
  4. Then, state to slide over your opponent back and meanwhile bring one leg to hook his or her back and bring the other knee to set aside your opponent’s head.  
  5. Then, you have to Position within the controlled arm. And extend your body to bring the opponent’s arm tight to your chest. 
  6. Drive your hips down toward the ground to extend the arm’s elbow. And here is the tap.

Jiu jitsu arm bar escapes

Escaping the arm bars depends on many factors like how well is your opponent performing the submission, and your timing is the major key to do an awesome jiu jitsu armbar escape.

How to escape an armbar in jiu-jitsu?

Let’s watch these BJJ instructional videos on how to escape a BJJ armbar.

source: Stephan Kesting

source:  Keenan Cornelius


The arm bar technique is one of the simplest and most famous jiu-jitsu gi no-gi submissions. And, it can be reached almost from everywhere (from the guard, the mount, side control, the standing position, and more). Thus, In Brazilian jiu jitsu there are many arm bars variations like the flying, the straight, the inverted armbar, and more.

We hope that you have had fun reading this jiu-jitsu article. And don’t forget to perform well the armbars techniques in your upcoming jiu jitsu class sessions.



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