So, you’ve passed your opponent’s guard, got into the Side Control or Knee On Belly position, made them suffer there for a bit and then successfully, skillfully – heck, it could even be a highlights video material – transitioned to Mount. Bravo! All that is left to do now is to isolate their arm and finish them, right?
Well, yes but no. Your opponent is now not only protecting his neck at all costs, but he is keeping his elbows glued to his body as if his life depends on it as well! This leaves you frustrated, as you’re incapable of opening his arms up… What can you do in this lousy situation?
Robert Drysdale, an ADCC and IBJJF World Champion, has a solution for you.
YOUR SHOULDER IS NOT EFFECTIVE IN THIS SITUATION
Okay, so you’re trying to figure out how you could glide your shoulder underneath your opponent’s elbow and isolate his arms that way, perhaps trying to do so in order to get the Arm Triangle. This is the classic way to do it and it should work, right?
Well, it would but in a scenario where your opponent is giving you at least some space to work with. When they’re in total defense, their elbows tight to their body, then there’s little chance you will be successful with this approach.
Robert explains that, for this reason, one of the greatest options to isolate your opponent’s arm is not to try and do it with your shoulder – but by doing it with your forearm.
BUT YOUR FOREARM IS!
What does this mean? It means that you’ll try to get as low as possible and place your own forearm onto the area that is just below your opponent’s forearm, while you place your other hand around his wrist. You are now in a position to start peeling off that arm away from his body.
However, be don’t try to do this by pushing their arm away! This most likely won’t work and you’ll be unable to move their arm any more than you were able to do beforehand, especially if your opponent is at around the same strength level as you are.
So, instead of trying to do this with strength (and having to listen your opponent „congratulate“ you later about your strength levels, in a sarcastic tone), use your skill. In this case, Robert shows that this means you’ll lean towards the floor by pressing your bodyweight into your opponent’s forearm; while also using your leg, that is on the same side as the arm you’re trying to isolate, in order to add a bit more leverage.
When you do it like this, you’ll be getting one of their arms away from the body… And you’re ready to start setting up your Arm Triangle!
DON’T LET THEM RETRIEVE THEIR ARM BACK
Before he ends his demonstration, Robert points out an important detail: as you isolate their arm, your opponent may try to swim their arm back in and get an underhook on you.
To prevent this from happening, Robert demonstrates that you absolutely have to make sure that you preserve the grip on your opponent’s wrist as you isolate their arm, and that – as you set out to start making way towards getting that arm higher, you need to sneak in your head underneath it; almost as if you’re trying to place their hand onto the back of your neck. This will prevent your opponent from saving their arm, which you’ve worked so hard for.
Watch the video below and see Robert Drysdale demonstrate this approach in more detail:
Learn from Robert Drysdale, a world champion who trains and creates champions.
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