Think about your first few classes as a white belt hitting the mats for the first time. What were some of the offensive techniques you learned? I’m sure the armbar would be an agreed technique we learned and used often being they were the only ones you could sort of pull off?
I could think back to my first few classes and instead of rolling as I was quite inexperienced, I would work with someone on just what we learned in class and often I would review and work the armbar. Learning to defend the armbar became beneficial to me since in my one and only competition an armbar was attempted on me, unsuccessfully but attempted none the less.
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In watching several grappling matches between female grapplers many times, the submission came by way of the armbar. It made me curious to just how often women choose the armbar as their means of a win by submission in matches.
One of my favorite female fighters to this day became known for her armbar submissions, Rowdy Ronda Rousey had 14 MMA fights, 12 of them Victories! 9 of the wins were by armbar and 6 of those armbars came in less than a min into the fight. It only took her 14 seconds to submit Cat Zingano at UFC 184 via armbar.
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In Michelle Nicolinis’ 5 MMA fights, she was the victor 4 times, 3 of her opponents didn’t get passed the 1st round and submitted to her devasting armbars. While fighting in The IBJJF Worlds Michelle Nicolini held on to an armbar on her obviously tough opponent Tammi Musumeci who just wouldn’t tap resulting in Michelle breaking her arm.
Michelle Watersons’ 22 fights resulted in 16 wins, the majority of them were once again, armbars as shown here.
So what is it about the armbar that all those successful female fighters recognize? It is a pretty accessible technique, and something easily recognized once we become familiar with identifying our opponents’ mistake of not keeping their elbows tight and close. The traditional armbar is set up of course from the top mount position, securing the arm of our opponent and positioning our legs to set up an S mount, allowing us to bring a leg around the head of our opponent and bringing our feet close and closing our knees around their arm, as we fall back, hip up and pull the arm down while holding at the wrist, thump up to get the submission, as a now blue belt I have learned several variations of the armbar that takes my armbar game to a whole new level.
Check out BJJ Fanatics and yet another Armbar victory by Two Time Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison and find the right instructional video to help your game.
For more from Kayla Harrison, check out her instructional The Real Judo Chop and Other Favorites from BJJ Fanatics! This Olympic gold medalist is going to give you all of her secrets! Get it here!