The Armbar from Closed Guard is probably one of the very first submissions you’ll learn in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, it’s also one of the first submissions that you (as well as your training partners) will learn to defend against – since it becomes so easy to see it coming.
However, there are sneaky ways to set it up. For example, the following setup is going to be the stealthiest one you’ll ever learn!
Professor Henry Akins explains and demonstrates.
THE STEALTHIEST ARMBAR SETUP FROM CLOSED GUARD
The reason your training partners know that you’re going for an Armbar is because you’re telegraphing it – by grabbing their elbow. So, the moment you reach for the elbow, they know that they have to tuck it in.
Therefore, the way to be the stealthiest you can be is to not reach for their arm. But how are you supposed to set up the Armbar, then?
You’ll do it by first breaking the training partner’s posture. Then, as they post their arm on your chest to posture up, you’ll shift your head and shoulders into the direction this arm is pointing to.
The goal here is to have their arm pass your centerline (across the center of your chest). As soon as that happens, you can go for the Armbar.
Shift your leg directly underneath their armpit, while your other leg goes over their head. Clamp down with both of your legs, so that you prevent them from both pulling their arm out and from stacking you.
Professor Akins demonstrates how to do this on the video below: