Arm Bar Set-ups & Knee Shield Smashing (diary entry)

armbar from guard2 (close up) armbar from guard3 (close up) armbar from guard5 (close up)20.04.2022

Wednesday evening saw junior MMA work on setting up an arm-bar from guard and senior submission grappling focusing on knee-shield passing.

In the former we broke down the circumstances when an arm-bar from a closed guard might be required. Before covering the actual technique and the peculiarities involved when trying execute it whilst being struck, we looked at establishing control. In MMA it is rarely a good idea to be on your back even if are confident at fighting from the guard. Gravity is on the side of the top fighter who, unlike submission grappling, might not be concerned about passing guard. Some fighters will sit comfortably in guard and either look to stack an opponent against the cage or simply deliver knockout strikes from their knees. With this in mind, the person holding the guard’s basic strategy should be to look for hip escapes first, sweeps second and submissions third. Those with more profeciency in fighting from the guard or are in a situation where they feel this presents the ideal trap for a particular opponent are the outliers here. Usually a submission from guard occurs when an opponent is either blocking your escapes and sweeps or even actively seeking to counter them. A good controlling position for the arm-bar is to first secure the arms. This begins with transitioning from a closed guard to a high guard with the knees restricting the opponent from pulling back. One arm then traps the opponent’s two wrists whilst the other pushes the head away in order to hook one leg over the neck and execute the arm-bar. Crucial points to remember in the execution is to position the hips on a 45 degree angle and to extend the hips with a solid core.

The first lesson finished with 4 x 2 minute sparring. The first two rounds mainly focused on stand-up with further emphasis on getting my junior client defend straight rights. The second two rounds were specific with my client fighting from the guard.

The second lesson looked at a straight smash and sprawl tactic to pass the knee shield followed by a method for passing through the guard. This was followed by 2 x 5 minute rounds of specific sparring from the Z-guard/knee-sheild. During the sparring we permitted most open guard, rubber guard attempts and lockdowns but re-set on a closed guard.

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