Ed Perdomo and Johnny Rodriguez went over a solid defense against ground-and-pound from the guard last week with a sweep to the back mount. From that position, it was possible for Ed to ground-and-pound his way to victory, but what if Johnny had blocked Ed’s transition to the back by assuming the turtle position? This week, MMA Gospel’s Technique of the Week will join Ed and Johnny as Ed counters the turtle position defense with a rolling Armbar that many fighters simply won’t expect.
Having swept Johnny successfully, Ed looks to set a hook on the far side to move into full control of Johnny’s back. Johnny counters by pulling his elbow and knee together into the turtle position (LEFT). Ed now must make a decision between trying to ground-and-pound Johnny from the turtle, attempting to force the hook through, or finding a way to use Johnny’s turtle against him. Ed chooses the latter.
Ed starts working for an Armbar submission. He knows that from the turtle, Johnny will likely look to roll sideways and regain his guard so he uses this against Johnny by setting up a technique where an attempt to roll from Johnny will only assist him. Ed starts by turning 180 degrees into Johnny and using his far hand to secure an inverted underhook on Johnny’s far shoulder on the same side he has a hook set from the sweep (RIGHT).
Using his hook for leverage, Ed pulls back on Johnny’s shoulder to create a gap between Johnny’s knee and elbow. He then tucks his head into that gap, under Johnny’s torso (LEFT). Ed keeps his head tucked and shoulders rounded to make the roll easier and to prevent his neck from getting caught under Johnny as he rolls.
Now that he has set up the position Ed pushes his shoulders to the mat and executes a basic forward roll over the shoulder closest to Johnny’s head (RIGHT). If Johnny is already moving to roll in an attempt to get Ed off his back, this will only assist Ed in completing the technique.
Once Ed has completed the roll, he immediately moves to isolate Johnny’s arm. He starts by maintaining his control over Johnny’s arm as he rolls. From there, he uses his free hand to push Johnny’s head away as he swings his leg around and over Johnny’s face (LEFT). He maintains his grip on the arm above the elbow near Johnny’s armpit to prevent him from pulling his arm free.
Finally, Ed finished the technique, leaning back to extend the isolated arm and moves his hands to wrist control (RIGHT). From there he extends he hips and squeezes with his thighs to leverage the elbow and finish the Armbar.
- Turn 180 degrees to face the same direction as the hook you already have in place.
- Control your opponent’s shoulder with an inverted underhook.
- Create a gap between your arm and leg and tuck your head into it.
- Execute a forward roll over the shoulder nearest your opponent’s head.
- Maintain control of your opponent’s arm and use your free hand to push your opponent’s head as you swing your leg over their face.
- Lay back to extend the arm, slide your hands to wrist control, squeeze with your thighs, and extend your hips to torque the arm.
This Armbar is a slick move that, especially when executed quickly, can turn your opponent’s own intentions against them as you roll with them into the fight-ending submission. It is very important to practice this roll slowly many times before attempting to perform at speed not only due to the usual reasons of risk of injury to your partner but also the risk of damage to your own neck if you fail to tuck your head far enough under your opponent before rolling. Next week, MMA Gospel will take the opposite route to a step-over belly-down Armbar submission off of this same defense.
*Ed Perdomo is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean grappling art of Hapkido and is head instructor of the Hapkido Institute in Morris, IL.