Master The Armbar From Closed Guard – Episode 01

If you’ve ever seen an MMA showdown on TV, or any clip of one while browsing through social media, there’s a high chance that you’ve witnessed Jiujitsu techniques without realizing. A basic and popular technique you’ve probably seen in MMA is the armbar, which is when one fighter uses the body to hyperextend the opponent’s elbow joint. The combination of the two, the transition from closed guard to armbar is also BJJ-101. These moves are part of the basics when you pursue training in grappling, and we’re going to discuss their significance and briefly, how to transition to an armbar from closed guard.

Some tips to perfect the arm bar

To understand how to armbar from guard: pick the arm you want to attack and cross grab it at the tricep. Cross grab their shoulder using your other hand, to hold them in place and prevent them from posturing up. Put your foot on the opponent’s hip and connect to their side next to the arm you’re attacking. Then, you use your other leg to hook across their back. Use your legs and hips to turn and get an angle for the submission. Finally, pass your leg over the opponent’s head, then bridge your hips up while keeping your knees tight. When in position, keep your leg heavy on their neck while cranking and wrenching their arm.

The armbar from guard is one of the bread-and-butter techniques in BJJ. You can even call it a signature move. While there are a handful of modern techniques fighters use today instead, when the pressure is on you will always see a closed guard being used to break down and submit people.


Classic Examples of a Closed Guard Armbar

Kazushi Sakuraba tried this combination on Kevin Randleman at 2003’s Pride Final Conflict.

Probably the most infamous use of this move is when Frank Mir literally disarmed Tim Sylvia from the guard, and he didn’t tap leading to a nasty bone break.

Also, Frank Shamrock submitted Kevin Jackson from guard right as he got taken down.

Royce Gracie submitted Kimo Leopoldo from the bottom at UFC 3, back in his prime.

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