Simple arm bar from open guard

So, yesterday we learned a new arm bar from the open guard or, in my case, the butterfly guard. In this case, I am sitting up with my opponent in my butterfly guard when he reaches in for an under hook. I go ahead and let him get it, as opposed to fighting him. But then I trap his arm in my arm pit while grabbing behind his elbow.

As I’m trapping the arm, I’m also adjusting my feet so that one goes on the hip. The goal is to fully isolate the arm by pinching it between my knees.

Assuming all goes well, I should have the arm trapped, unable to rotate and with good pressure on the back of the elbow. As I then lift my hips, the pressure should be enough to get the tap.

I’ve done other arm bars from the butterfly guard. But this one is considerably easier to isolate and get.

Overall, yesterday was a really tough day to train. Being sick for the past week has made me quite weak and I found myself light headed as well as somewhat sick to my stomach. I had to take things slower than usual and keep it rather than light. And I wasn’t up to any free rolling after class.

We did work on some up, down and out drills from the mount, which kinda stunk simply because I was hoping to work on my guard techniques. Oh well, it was good to work on some other techniques, nonetheless.

Through the training, there were some good exchanges. This is one of those positions where I would much rather be on the bottom of mount than to actually have it. That’s simply because I’m still not very good at keeping the dominant position.

One of the guys I rolled with is considerably taller than me. He’s the same rank as me and he started on top. He did some good things by threatening with the collar choke. I simply formed a frame at the hip to keep him from advancing into high mount. It worked quite well on him and then I simply used my elbow escape to get him in my closed guard. I did this to a couple of other opponents during class. It’s very basic, but still effective.

One of the other things I tried was when my opponent postured up, even the least bit. I simply sat up and to the side of him and grabbed the pant at the knee. With my body up and the knee trapped, I was able to reverse my opponent so that I was in the top position of his closed guard. From there I could simple pass his guard.

I did went 3 for 3 with this move. My last two tries, I managed to get the guard pass fairly early as part of the reversal.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was told this was a risky move. And I can certainly see how missing the knee, or letting it escape, could definitely lead to trouble. But it’s so quick to execute and it leaves the opponent wondering what’s happening. It’s just another tool. My preference is to still establish my guard.

So, from the bottom of mount, I think my preferences are as follows:

  1. Elbow escape
  2. Sit up and trap knee
  3. Heel drag
  4. Hip slide
  5. Upa or bump and roll

We also did some refresher drills from the bottom of side head lock. These included the pendulum, going over the back and rolling the opponent backward.

Once we reversed our opponent, we also worked on some arm bar executions.


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