The armbar is one of the ‘heavy hitters’ in jiu-jitsu because this submission ends a TON of matches, both in training and in competition.
But it’s a mistake to think of the armbar as a move or an attack; instead you should think of it as a position, almost like the mount, side control or the back.
That’s because if you want to submit skilled grapplers with the armbar you first need to be able to keep them in the armbar and shut down all their escape attempts. And, just like all other positions, if the opportunity arises to transition and improve your position, then you should take it.
Here’s the armbar control game from Rob Biernacki’s new instructional – BJJ Games – which will teach you how to control the armbar as a position. The live training footage starts at approx 4:21.
P.S. I was first shown a version of this drill by Sambo stylist and UFC fighter Oleg Taktarov more than 20 years ago and I got a lot out of it. That being said, Rob’s current version of the drill includes transitions to other positions and the inclusion of other submissions, and so I think it’s a better rounded, more exciting game to play.
The brand new BJJ Games instructional by Grapplearts is full of drills like this that’ll improve your jiu-jitsu through gamification.
These are the exact drills that helped Rob win gold medal wins at the ADCC Open and No Gi Worlds, making this the most complete instructional on the use of games and drills in the sport ever published. It includes 25 different drills and games, each with different variations and difficulty levels, so that you can get excellent training regardless of the level of your training partner.
The ability to set your own level of challenge means that even if you’re a white belt training with a black belt, or a black belt training with a white belt, you’ll BOTH still get something out of this training!