The one thing that is extremely important in every Jiu Jitsu exchange and that people don’t really pay attention to in their first few years of training is BJJ Grips. Nothing really happens unless you have a hold of the other person. After all, we’re talking about grappling, aren’t we? Well, the one aspect where grips literally mean success or failure is defense, and in particular, armbar defense.
Understanding Armbar Defense
The armbar is an iconic move in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and all of grappling martial arts and MMA, really. It works with and without a Gi and can be set up from a bunch of positions. The armbar is a powerful move that is not only dangerous as a submission but also as a position that ties together other submission attacks and transitions. Getting out of it is one of the most important things to master in Jiu Jitsu.
BJJ Grips play a huge role in armbars. Why? Let me put it in as simple terms as possible – you need grips to set up and finish an armbar in the first place. Conversely, denying someone those grips means you can defend and escape. Moreover, using grips of your own to prevent opponents from achieving the mechanical position required for finishing an armbar is also a highly effective defense strategy.
The reason why an armbar works is because your arm is in a position where pressure can be put on your elbow to make it bend ina direction it doesn’t anatomically bend in. In order for the elbow to be in such a position your arm needs to be outstretched, and the opponent has to control your shoulder and wrist. Knowing these two key aspects of armbars means you can use BJJ grips to stop them early.
BJJ grips in regard to armbar defense don’t just mean holding your hands together. Doing so will only delay the inevitable. On the contrary, defensive BJJ grips will not just buy time, but also provide ways out of an armbar attack, whether it is from the top or the bottom.
7 Different BJJ Grips To Help You Fend Off Armbars
The subject of BJJ grips si a vast one, and it will take you months of focused work to figure out what they’re all about. We can, however, help you hack defensive BJJ grips, especially in the context of armbar defense.
#1. Palm To Palm Grip
#2. Rear Naked Choke Grip
#3. Butterfly Grip
#5. Grabbing the leg
#6. Gi grips
#7. Grip Fighting
Now this last one is typically a kimura defense. But it’s just as effective as an armbar defense. In fact, it might even be better just because of the fact that you’ve got one arm that’s free. For example, right arm is being attacked. Grab on the inside of your right knee. Do it palm up, or palm down depending on your opponent’s angle. If you reach in really deep, just go palm up and into a human pretzel.