Armdrag Counters

Q: “What are some simple ways to prevent armdrags as well as handle them once they’re in process or completed?”

A: Armdrags are a great tool to get behind your opponent or to set up other moves. They can be used on the ground (e.g. from the butterfly guard) or on the feet (e.g. to set up a tackle). They are simple, powerful and effective, and because of that they are also pretty popular, so knowing how to prevent them and counter them is a good idea!

Here are 3 relatively simple solution to try against an armdrag – each option works both on the ground and on the feet:

  1. Preventive posture: don’t give him your arms in the first place. Keep your elbows one fist’s width or less from your ribs. Some people have described this as “T Rex posture.
  2. Re-armdrag: do the same back to him. As he fishes for his armdrag, or even if he is partway finished it, get your hand on his tricep and try to pull yourself behind him. For example, if he is dragging your left tricep with his left hand then get YOUR left hand around HIS left tricep as well. Often this turns into a big scramble resembling a methamphetamine-fueled square dance, but you usually end up in a neutral position and once in a while you get his back!
  3. Jam across: if he’s dragging your left arm then take your free (right) hand, shoot it across your body, over your left arm and over his left arm and onto his chest. This prevents his further progress. Now you can free up your dragged arm and try not to give it to him again.

Give these techniques a try – I’ve used them on a lot of people and they’ve also been used on me, so I can definitely vouch for them!

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