Last week, Ed Perdomo and Johnny Rodriguez covered passing the guard on the high side. This week, Ed will build off of that maneuver with a Spinning Straight Armbar. The Armbar is a simple technique that not only follows the natural momentum of the guard pass, but also plays into the opponent’s natural reaction to having his guard passed in this manner. We will start with the last image from last week’s article to provide reference and to serve as a chance to remind practitioners of a few key positions coming out of the pass.
Ed has passed Johnny’s guard and is preparing to spin into the Armbar position (LEFT). Before he starts the spin, Ed makes certain that his outside foot is under Johnny’s shoulder near the armpit. This not only makes sure Ed will sit close enough to the shoulder when he finishes the Armbar, it also helps to prevent Johnny from rolling into the technique to prevent the submission.
Next Ed spins in place, swinging his inside leg behind himself and around Johnny’s head (RIGHT). As he turns, Ed uses his hand to push against Johnny’s leg, helping further prevent him from rolling into Ed’s legs. Ed also pushes his shin against Johnny’s rib cage to ensure that his leg is between Johnny’s elbow and the rest of his body.
When Ed comes about, he brings his foot as close to Johnny’s head as possible. This isolates Johnny’s head and arm between his legs. Ed then squats down and collects Johnny’s arm at the elbow with his outside hand and at the wrist with his inside hand (LEFT).
Once he has control of the arm, Ed moves to trap it. First, he holds Johnny’s arm tight to his chest and stands, pulling the arm up with him. Second, Ed makes a quarter turn into Johnny, keeping his feet in place. This traps Johnny’s arm between Ed’s thighs (RIGHT). Finally, Ed squeezes Johnny’s arm tight between his knees and sits to the mat as close to his shoulder as possible.
Ed then finishes the submission by lying back, turning Johnny’s thumb away from his chest, and extending his hips (LEFT). Important things to note in this position are the fact that Ed’s outside foot is tucked tightly under Johnny’s head by the spin and that his inside leg is between Johnny’s shoulder and head. With this position, Johnny’s head and arm are totally isolated, preventing him from trying to roll into the Armbar and clasp his hands in defense.
- When you exit the guard pass, make sure your foot is as deep in your opponent’s armpit as possible.
- Spin your inside leg behind you and around your opponent’s head, making sure that your stationary outside leg is between your opponent’s rib cage and elbow.
- With your inside foot as close to your opponent’s head as possible, squat and collect their arm.
- Stand up, bringing the arm with you, and make a quarter turn into your opponent to trap the head and arm.
- Sit to the mat as close to your opponent’s shoulder as possible, squeeze with your knees, lie back, and finish the submission by extending your hips.
This Armbar takes a fair amount of practice to get down pat, but it is a very viable option against wrestlers, who will want to turn into you for a single during the scramble, and strikers, who will be looking to flip over and get to their feet. In both cases, the opponent’s natural reaction is to turn in a direction favorable to your attack. Next week, Ed will pass the guard on the low side and move into side mount.
*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, Illinois.