I was a white belt when I first saw the reverse armbar from closed guard (also known as the ‘arm crush’, the ‘razor lock, and the ‘cutting armbar’). At first I was pretty skeptical. I had all kinds of reasons why it probably wouldn’t work.
And then I started running into more and more people who had been submitted by it…
And then I started getting caught in it too…
And then I (finally) started using it myself…
(Although today’s post and video is about using the reverse armbar from closed guard here’s how I made friends with the reverse armbar from the top position.)
The reverse armbar from closed guard is obviously a powerful submission, but it’s also a great setup for sweeps when you’re on the bottom. That’s because your opponent will typically desperately drive into you to counter the armlock, which then gives you all sorts of momentum you can use to roll him from the top to the bottom.
Below is a video I shot with BJJ black belt Rob Biernacki showing a step-by-step breakdown of the reverse armbar from the bottom position.
He first shows the traditional version from the closed armbar, and then show you how to do it from the butterfly guard (a method popularised by BJJ phenom Marcelo Garcia).
Plus the knowledge bombs he casually drops about how to break posture could change the way you do the closed guard.
As always, Rob does a fantastic job of showing you the concepts behind the technique.
If you understand the concepts and principles at work in jiu-jitsu then you’ll be able to apply the techniques in different situations, adapt them against different forms of resistance, and figure stuff out on your own too.
Watch the video below and and then go out and ambush some of your training partners for me!
If you want to learn more about Rob and his highly conceptual approach to jiu-jitsu then click here for the interview I did with him a little while ago. Or you can just press play on the video below.
Be warned though: Rob can be pretty outspoken, direct, and doesn’t mince around the truth. I know that this interview ruffled a lot of feathers in the BJJ community…