The Armbar. (MMA self defense series part 2)

Aaaaah the armbar (juji-gatame)… Made famous into pop culture trough gorgeous UFC fighter Ronda Rousey; Its efficient, elegant and accurate. Done right it will help you hurt your attacker by overextending the arm or even break one with minimum effort.

I’m sorry to say that I’ve been postponing this post because I really didn’t have time to take the pictures to break the moves down step by step, untill I tought to my self I’ll just find some pictures online so I can get this info out to my readers and then Bam!! millions of Ronda’s images out there doing armbars, its crazy!! So today as you may see my lovely assistant Miss Ronda Roussey will help us analyze these moves, step by step, courtesy of google. (LOL)

Ronda Rousey vs Sarah Kaufman

If you have a knowledge of martial arts such as judo or Brazilian jiu-jitsu you will recognize such a basic arm lock, there are several types of armbar, such as the standard armbar, flying armbar, helicopter armbar, but like anything in MMA we must get to a position where you are able to use this arm lock. As oppose to other locks or chokes an armbar requires your full body working in that arm lock for it to work, it’s not done by the hands itself, its done with your full body.

But how would this work in a self-defence scenario?

In a previous post’s we talked about what would be more efficient in an attacking/rape scenario, and I personally think the triangle to be a more suitable submission an armbar is a position that you kinda have to force your opponent to fall into. Let me explain. In you are in the bottom and your attacker on top of you; You would have to do an arm drag, try to move to a position where you find your self on top or gain control of the situation for you to do the arm bar from a bottom position. In a controlled scenario where it’s just you and your buddies it inst that difficult to do, but remember your attacker will try to punch you or hurt you, so in a real live danger scenario I personally think it would be a little hard to achieve.


How to achieve an armbar.

lets break this down guys, your opponent needs to be flat on the floor facing upwards and you on top(this is the basic armbar which most people know), as an attacker point this will be a little difficult to achieve, but well get there in a moment; So your on top, you are going to grab hold of one arm, which ever arm you want to hurt, you can do it with your hand or inner elbow but lets suppose the person will struggle so let’s do it with both hands.



In one motion your ass will hit the floor of the side of the arm you want to break and your leg that’s left outside swings on top of the victims head ( like Ronda here is showing us in the image above), this is very important since these two legs now on top of his/hers body will not let them get up, so they will just lay there and struggle for a moment. The object is to hyper extend the elbow for you to hurt your opponent, you do this by securing the arm to your body tightly and elevating your hips, so in theory, you pulling that arm and elevating your hips all together as a plank is what will break that arm.


However, in most life-like situations you wont be able to achieve that position, in a real life situation you find your self on the bottom, face side up, either about to be punched or possibly even raped, we would express this as similar to being in a closed guard position, your enemy between your legs (super uncomfortable right? but the most likely scenario).



So you’re in trouble, but as you see in the image below Ronda is also in trouble, what she does next is swipe that foot ( her left foot) above and over Miesha Tate’s head (the girl with the orange shorts) to find both her legs on the same side and then push her legs down to find herself again in a perfect armbar position.



With her legs she can also take her opponent all the way to the floor or armbar her mid way like in the image above. We are also forgetting that Miss Rousey is a armbar expert, and that she can basically do them in her sleep. But as far as for technique goes I would not recommend this move as your number one escape plan in a real life threatening situation, because you would expose yourself too much to be hurt.

I hope you guys find this useful, if you have any questions or suggestions on what other techniques we could revise as self-defence please email us at: or comment us below.



And thank you Ronda for asisting us today, LOL.


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