Newer Female Grapplers, Learn The Armlock To Secure Great Results, photo credit

April 6, 2022,

Back in the day, it used to be called twisting her arm. Girl to girl fight that is.

From what we remember, it was very effective. Many a beautiful feminine girl, who talked a good game but physically could not back it up, cried uncle.

Wished for their Auntie too.

So it is not surprising that arm locks, a form of joint locks, is used effectively in female grappling and MMA.

As a newer female wrestler, you might benefit from the application of an arm lock.

Today, through Jiu-Jitsu, it’s gone high tech.

An arm lock in grappling is a single or double joint lock that hyperextends, hyperflexes or hyperrotates the elbow joint or shoulder joint.

An arm lock that hyper-extends the arm is known as an arm bar, and it includes the traditional arm bar, pressing their elbow into your thigh, and the triangle arm bar, like a triangle choke, but you press their elbow into your thigh.

An arm lock that hyper-rotates the arm is known as an arm coil, and includes the Americana, kimura, and omaplata.

Depending on the joint flexibility of your opponent, arm coils can either hyper-rotate only the shoulder joint, only the elbow joint, or both the elbow joint and shoulder joint.

Generally, arm coils hurt more than arm bars, as they attack several joints at the bone and muscle.

Obtaining an arm lock requires effective use of full-body leverage in order to initiate and secure a lock on the targeted arm, while preventing the opponent from escaping the lock.

Therefore, performing an arm lock is less problematic on the ground, from positions such as the mount, side control, or guard. Arm locks are more difficult to perform when both combatants are standing up, so female grapplers, get your opponent to the ground.

From past experience, viewing video matches of female submission wrestlers, once you trap your opponent in an arm lock, you have placed them in an extremely week position as they only have one arm to work with and simultaneously are in great pain.

If you decide to pursue learning arm locks, and we think that you should, it is always helpful to gain some insight from an expert.

We love it in book form.

Armlock Encyclopedia: 85 Armlocks for Jujitsu, Judo, Sambo & Mixed Martial Arts Paperback – September 15, 2006, photo credit

By Steve Scott

“In a follow-up to his popular Championship Sambo: Submission Holds and Groundfighting, Steve Scott teaches you 85 essential armlocks for jujitsu, judo, sambo and mixed martial arts.

The armlocks taught in the Armlock Encyclopedia apply to gi and no-gi combat sports, allowing you to use them in a wide variety of situations, including self-defense and street applications.

Steve Scott makes it easy to learn the most effective and popular armlocks of modern grappling sports by organizing them into four broad categories: the cross-body armlock, the bent armlock, the straight armlock and the armpit lock. In addition to teaching how to set-up and apply each of the locks, he shows you how to defend against common armlocks, fight from both the mount and guard, lever your opponent s arm free for an attack and vary your grip for maximum power. For those new to grappling, you’ll also learn the core skills of applying armlocks, controlling position, and training smart plus a glossary of grappling terms and a Rules of the Room guide to common sense rules on the mat.”

If you are a newer female wrestler, learning how to use a variety of arm locks can absolutely help hour game.

This book sounds like a great instructional read.

Never content for one expert point of view, we have a visiting writer who can help you learn arm locks from an additional perspective.

Understanding the Armlock in Jiu Jitsu, photo credit

By Sean Apperson  

For one of the most basic and first moves you will learn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Armlocks are far from a simple concept. There are two variations of armlocks you will learn in jiu jitsu. The straight armlock can be applied from various scenarios and is an extremely effective finishing technique. The limit of the straight armlock vs the bent armlock is the control factor. A bent armlock aka the “kimura,” can be used as a finishing technique as well as a controlling technique. Another benefit to the bent armlocks are they usually are lower risk because the attacker usually maintains good positioning if the move fails unlike the straight armlock. Due to this difference the order of attack usually begins with the bent armlock and then transitions into the straight armlock.

With that in mind let’s break down the two into some specifics. The straight armlock is classically attacked from the guard and the mount position however it is possible to hit this move from the back, turtle, cross side, and standing as well. The BJJ and Judo expert David Camarillo, who is well known for having one of the nastiest armlocks in the sport, once explained to me the armlock should be called the elbow lock. It does make much more sense to name the move the elbow lock because only the elbow is isolated in a straight armlock.

The important thing to remember in this move is where the breaking pressure comes from. The main pressure is applied using the hips so you must have SQUARE hips not tilted to one side. From the guard when the leg is passes over the face you will be leaned toward one side and you must SQUARE off first before applying any pressure. The second most important breaking pressure comes from the isolation around the elbow joint provided by the knees squeezing together. With square hips and the knees pinched together the third element is proper wrist control.


Instead use what I call the tombstone grip. If you don’t know this grip its trapping the wrist using the crook of your elbow which achieves two objectives. Firstly its much more powerful using your entire body weight to finish the move instead of just your biceps. Secondly it makes it very challenging for your opponent to defend the lock because his wrist is trapped and extended. If your opponent is fast enough to defend by stacking you up you made several mistakes. First thing armlocks from the guard have to be TIMED not just tossed out there. A well timed joint lock is much tougher to escape and combined with proper leg work is almost impossible. Remember that if something goes wrong its not the armlocks fault.

The bent armlocks are kimuras and American locks. As discussed prior the bent armlock is much more powerful than the straight armlock because of its controlling nature. The bent armlocks can come in handy when trapped on the bottom as they can be used to force an opponent to either submit or bail on position. The key to finishing these techniques is body rotation. The classic mistake with bent armlocks is trying to finish the move with the arms and not the body. To apply powerful finishing force one needs to attach their elbows in and use their entire body to finish the move. One thing to be careful of when using kimuras on bottom is the straight arm lock counter attack your opponent has, if this doesn’t make sense ask me after class and I’ll explain it further as it’s a complicated explanation. I hope this helps you guys out!! There will be more articles coming soon the move into the new academy has kept me busy.

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OPENING PHOTO, photo credit