by Rory Coughlan
Straight Armbar (Juji-Gatame) from Guard
If you don’t know the armbar from the guard then you don’t know Brazilian jiu-jitsu!
One of the unique things that sets Brazilian jiu-jitsu apart from other grappling styles is the emphasis on the guard and developing the ability to submit the opponent from the bottom.
From the early UFC’s to the latest strike force event, from your local jiu-jitsu tournament to the Mundials, you’ll see the armbar from the guard over and over again.
Interestingly when new students roll against a more experienced female BJJ practitioner, the most common surprise the new student gets is tapping out due to an armbar from her guard! This scenario has played itself out in countless dojos around the world.
If you’re going to be dangerous off your back then you need to get good at the armbar from guard! This is even more true if you do no gi or mixed martial arts, because without the gi all your collar attacks will no longer be available.
Most common error is the bottom practitioner doesn’t move their hips to create a perpendicular angle and tries to armlock the opponent with their bodies aligned straight on. In this position the armlock has little leverage and your guard can easily be passed. If you’re on the bottom in BJJ then you have to move your hips!
Americana Lock (Ude-Garami) from Side Control
Side control is a great control position where you utilize your weight to control a struggling opponent, and two of the most effective, lowest risk submissions from side control are the Americana and Kimura locks.
With or without gi, the Americana is always there, making it one of the more successful submissions in MMA.The Americana will teach you the BJJ principle of using two limbs of yours against your opponent’s single limb. And understanding the anatomy of the shoulder joint will help you use leverage to tap your opponent out.
Common mistake is allowing the opponent’s elbow to drift away from their body. The further away his elbow is from his body the more it releases the tightness in the shoulder joint, and may even allow him to straighten the arm and escape.