The Armbar in Mixed Martial Arts

The Armbar

A submission one sees a lot of in professional fighting is the armbar. This move is very simple by design which makes ease of use a large factor in its popularity among all types of fighters. This move also has many variations in setup which makes it a threat from many different positions. In addition to that it has both offensive and defensive variations which make it and even broader threat.

There are many subtle differences between the types of armbars but they all have the same basic finish. The move is performed by putting both feet across the opponent’s chest with one arm between your legs. The trapped arm is then held at the elbow joint with your arms. then pressure is applied by rolling the hips up and pulling back on the arm.

Offensive Aspect

This move can be used in many ways as a strictly offensive move. For example Its use from the mount or knee-on-belly position is a very hard move to defend against. The attacker has a full range of motion and has the leverage of his whole body at his disposal. Also because of the increased amount of control when on top it makes setting up this move easier as well.

Another derivation of the move that is rarely seen but would surely surprise an opponent is the flying armbar. This move is executed from the standing clinch position where the opponent is expecting strikes or some sort of take down, not a submission. If landed successfully fast and unexpected type of armbar is sure to end a fight quickly.

Deffensive Aspect

One of the most commonly used variations of the armbar is used when in the guard position. Its set up is straightforward and easy to complete. Also once comfortable with the move it can be locked in very fast. This makes its use as a counter move a very real threat. This is true especially in mixed martial arts where mounted opponents use strikes a lot which opens up arms for attack

Also this move can be used when in bottom sidemount position. From a sidemount the armbar requires a little more strength and flexibility to complete. This could also surprise an opponent with a quick submission because many people feel very comfortable on top in sidemount position.

Lastly a variation of the armbar from the half guard position can be used to overpower an opponent. This move is a more complex setup and finish which requires some finesse, so it is a more advanced move. However it is just one more of the positions an armbar canb be successfully landed from.

The Veteran’s Move

The armbar is probably one of if not the first moves that people learn as they enter the world of mixed marital arts and has probably been tried by people with no training. This does lead to a host of counter moves and defensses against the move as well. However an experienced grappler who practices this move can use this move very effectively because of its versatility and speed.

Ronda Rousey bends Meisha Tate’s arm the complete opposite way

The armbar is also a very dangerous move. With an experienced user and enough pressure an armbar can rip the tendons and ligaments of the elbow or even break the bones of the arm.

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