Babu BJJ Armlock Tips

Sergio “Babu” is a BJJ Black Belt and coach of champions, teaching full-time at the famous Black House fight camp – home to Anderson Silva, the Nogeira brothers, and many more of today’s top MMA athletes.

Check out his full “Babu Mastermind” course online Here.

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Ah, the classic armbar from the guard. Some moves are called “basics” for a reason, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved upon indefinitely.

In re-watching the Babu course this past weekend I got to pick up on a few tricks that I think would be helpful for most of the grapplers out there looking to refine their submission game. Here’s some easy-to-implement armbar tips from Babu himself:

Babe shares some advanced tips to improve some essential attacks.

Babu shares some advanced tips to improve some essential attacks.

Staying Tight from the Start

If the opponent sees an armbar coming, you’re in trouble. The problem is, a skilled opponent usually has a sense for when an attack is available and so will be able to defend swiftly. One tip for keeping the arm secure is to use your knee on the same side of the arm you are attacking to clamp into his shoulder and keep his arm “pinched in.

By putting your foot on his hip on that same side, you’ll be able to generate serious pressure that will prevent the escape of his elbow as you cut to the 90 degree angle and swing your other leg over his back.

Preventing the Stack

Getting stacked up in an armbar is a frustrating position to find yourself in. Between the pressure on your spine and the inability to finish the submission you have ahold of, the old adage is as trust as ever: “An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Truer words have never been spoke. Babu has a unique way of preventing this “Stacked up” action from happening in the first place. First, he moves the back of his hip-side knee towards the opponents hip, as opposed to being under the armpit as usual. Next, he puts slams the back o this other knee into the back of his opponent’s head. By using a “butterfly” pressure, he keeps the hips and head of his opponent down, preventing him from getting posture or stacking whatsoever.

Counter the Counter – Omoplata

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like getting arm barred. My guess is that your opponents aren’t going to enjoy it either. If they are able to pull their attacked arm out of the traditional armbar position – you’re left with the other arm still between your legs.

Though the triangle transition is possible from here (by opening your head-side leg and bringing his head into the mix, breaking the posture, etc…), an omoplata is a more direct attack. As soon as the opponent pulls the arm out, immediately transfer his hand over your inside hip and kick both legs STRAIT and forward to slam his shoulder into the mat. Reach under his far arm for the far lapel and lean forward for the tap!

Keep rolling, and give these details a try tonight!


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