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In The Arena Blog

Finishing an Armbar When Your Opponent Grabs His Lapel

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A common defense to the armbar is to grab your lapel and hold on for dear life. Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin has a tip to show you a way to break this grip and finish the armbar.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
How’s it going everybody? It’s coach Ryan Fortin here with The Arena, and this would be your tip of the week. This is something that I do to help me get the arm when I’m trying to get an armbar and they’re hanging onto the lapel. So here I am, armbar position, right? My arms are in like this. I’m controlling the arm, and I’m holding onto the leg so he doesn’t bridge. And I want to get this arm right, but he’s hanging on to his lapel, which is a good defense because that allows their free arm to be able to do other stuff with it, right?


So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to let go of this pant grip here, right? And I’m going to grab the same lapel that he’s grabbing just low. And then I’m going to stick my heel and just like this, and watch my heels in it and I’m holding on this side, I’ll use my foot to push away, and then as I’m leaning back, that’s how I’ll break the grip. And then I’ll find the thumb and finish the armbar. Once again, we’re in an armbar position. The guy’s holding onto his lapel. I’m trying to find a way to break that grip, okay. I’m going to get my foot, I’m going to get it right inside that lapel. Grab beneath it, kick it to break it free, and then find the thumb. I hope that helps you get some more armbars.

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