Jean Jacques Machado’s Teaches the Rickson Gracie ‘Invisible’ Arm Bar

Jean Jacques Machado’s Teaches the Rickson Gracie ‘Invisible’ Arm Bar

The road to submission in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is seldom an easy one.

One of those rarely seen, but very effective (and unexpected!) setups is the Invisible/Lateral Armbar aka the Paper Cutter Armbar. You’ll be setting it up from Side Control, while preserving extraordinary positioning over your opponent throughout the process.

Let’s take notice on how the legendary Jean Jacques Machado demonstrates this setup and technique.

The good old advice of establishing position before going for the submission applies here through and through as well. Starting from Side Control, Machado showcases that your first goal is to isolate the arm which you’ll be attacking; in such a fashion, that it ends up behind your back and scapula.

Sounds difficult to accomplish, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t actually. First, shift your hips towards the opponent’s, so that you can free your arm and start pinning it against their head – doing so with your elbow and forearm muscles. Then, try to establish control over the opponent’s arm with your far hand; this will cause them to try and hide it.
When they do this, you can get your other arm through! Place its elbow on the mats and push your tricep muscle against their arm; turn your hips to the opposite side and climb them on top of their other arm… And you’re in a great starting position!

All that you have to do from here to consolidate your position is use your other arm to control their near leg. Play around with this position and control for a bit in training. You’ll need to figure out the right weight distribution and balance – when you do, you’ll see that your training partners will have a very difficult time escaping!



Once you’re in full control, you can start setting up the Paper Cutter Armbar! Machado explains that you need to move your hips a bit further away, so that it ends up behind their other arm. When it does, you’ll be able to control this arm with ease, pinning it down to the mats.
Then, you will turn your head away while your other hand now turns and swims underneath the opponent’s second arm (one which you’ve been controlling all the way from the beginning). Once you do this, use your palm to control their shoulder from underneath.

From here, you need to start circling around your opponent, so that you end up behind him – in ripe position for attacking the arm! Pay notice to how Carlos does this; he makes small „steps“, all the while keeping control over the student’s two arms, as well as the weight distribution against his hip.
You’ll block the opponent’s other arm by pressing its shoulder to the mats with your forearm. This’ll incapacitate them from turning into you.

To finish the setup, Machado demonstrates that you need to step your leg over the opponent’s head and move your hip towards their shoulder. This’ll enable you to slide your other leg underneath them; then just tilt a bit to the sidepop your knee up while preserving good arm control, and finish the Paper Cutter Armbar!


Watch Jean Jacques Machado demonstrate this setup below: