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BJJ Basics: Armbar from Closed Guard

By October 16, 2022No Comments

In BJJ, the armbar from the guard is a key stone technique.  If you can master a single key stone technique, it will help you with the rest of your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Here are 5 steps for a tight armbar from Closed Guard.

You’re going to execute a classic armbar on your opponents right arm. This move starts off with your opponent inside your Closed Guard.

BJJ Basics: Armbar from Closed Guard Step 1

Fold your right arm over your opponents right arm and grab the tricep. Make sure their elbow is on your bellybutton.

BJJ Basics: Armbar from Closed Guard Step 2

Get your left foot on your opponent’s right hip.

BJJ Basics: Armbar from Closed Guard Step 3

This is part is critical.

The 3rd step is getting your right heal to your left knee. As you do this, you must make sure your hip is off the mat. Step 3 can take multiple intermittent steps.

You want to get your opponent’s nose as close to the mat as possible.  This is an example of a critical BJJ principle where you always want to be attacking your opponent’s posture.

As you do three, your opponent will try to posture up. To stop this from happening, make sure your hip is off the mat. As soon as you pick up your hip, you become much heavier than if your hip is on the ground. This is because your opponent has to hold up both your leg and hip.

Armbar from Closed Guard Step 4

Check your opponent’s head with your hand in order to facilitate step 5.

Armbar from Closed Guard Step 5

Get your left knee over your opponents head (not their neck). Your left heal should be near the floor.

People will naturally forget about their right leg at this point, and your opponent will be able to get up. This is why you need step 4 – to keep their head down. You also need to remember to keep your right leg heavy.

Make sure to keep your right heal over your opponents shoulder, or they will stack you and you’ll be hanging upside down like a bat. To avoid this, don’t let your right heal fall to their spine. Keep your right heal on their shoulder.

If you can master this, it will help you with every single BJJ technique from the bottom.

Video: 5 Steps for a Super Tight Armbar from Closed Guard

I see the Armbar from the Guard to be a technique that personifies so many of the classic principles of BJJ- posture, structure and base.

By mastering the Armbar, you’ll be simultaneously mastering these principles and immediately your prowess on the mats will go up.


Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip is the Head Instructor for InFighting Training Centers located in Downtown Vancouver and Brentwood Burnaby. InFighting Training Centers offers programs in Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bootcamp Conditioning Classes and Personal Training

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Ritchie Yip

Ritchie Yip is a life long martial artist, BJJ Black Belt, and the head instructor of the InFighting Martial Arts Gym in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

Do you live in the Greater Vancouver, or Brentwood Burnaby area?
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