Lesson Plan for 2013-12-23: Royler’s Side Control Armbars

Armbar AttacksI like to look at Royler Gracie’s Submission Grappling book whenever I want some nice cringe-worthy submits.  Although his leg attacks are best at invoking a “I’m glad I’m not his sparring partner”, some of his armbars get points for the simplicity and creativity involved.  We will be looking at a couple of his armbar techniques from side control.  From the intro to the section on side control attacks:

Royler believes that across-side is one of the most stable and secure positions in submission grappling.  Therefore, he has developed a great number of submission techniques specifically for that position.

Although I am not a fan of side control as a primary fighting position for “Simple BJJ”, there is no denying that this is by far the most common place for white to blue belts to launch attacks from.  Once you have side control, even a low-level white belt should be competent at controlling the opponent until they make a mistake.

In this class, we will take a look at two of Royler’s armbars that I like to use.  First, we are going to cover a slightly simplified version of his step over armbar.  I like these armbars because your opponent rarely sees it coming since it is on the near side.  This one floats in and out of my arsenal depending on how much I’m focusing on attacks from side control, and I’ve had very good success with it.  There are some details that aren’t immediately obvious, but they will help convince you to make this a permanent part of your skill set, rather than just another move that you don’t think will work for you.

Second, we are going to cover a slightly tricky armbar that ends in a modified knee on belly position.  This one doesn’t feel as good at first, but the more you attempt it, the more natural it will feel.  It is also a good example of a variety of armbar where you are pulling the elbow into free space and using your shoulder and head to trap the hand.  This type of armbar comes up a a few different positions, and this is actually one of the easier positions to learn it from.

Let’s make great blue belts, one sore elbow at a time.

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