Welcome back to my ongoing series on armbar setups and today, I'll be showing you two different methods to execute the armbar from knee on belly.
Previously, I have shown you how to do the armbar from the back mount, the closed guard in the gi and the closed guard in no gi.
Check them out if you missed them.
In this blog post, I'll be taking you through each step of the armbar from knee on belly, providing you with clear and concise instructions, and tips to help you execute the technique perfectly.
Adding the armbar from knee on belly to your submission arsenal will give you a versatile tool that can be used in both gi and no-gi BJJ.
To get started, I have included a video tutorial below to help you visualize the movements involved.
After the video, I'll provide a detailed breakdown of the technique.
Without further ado, let's dive into the two methods for executing the armbar from knee on belly.
Table of Contents
BJJ Instructional Video: Two Ways To Execute An Armbar From Knee On Belly
Understanding The Knee On Belly Position
The knee on belly is a dominant position where one knee is placed on the opponent's belly while keeping the other leg firmly on the ground.
This position is typically achieved by transitioning from side control or by passing your opponent's guard.
From the top player's perspective, the knee on belly position offers several advantages, including the ability to control your opponent's hips and movement.
This control makes it challenging for your opponent to escape or improve their position, making it a valuable tool for maintaining top control.
The top player also has several options for attacks, including strikes, submissions, and transitions to more dominant positions, such as the mount.
For the bottom player, the knee on belly position can be challenging to escape, as the top player can quickly shift their weight and maintain control.
However, the bottom player can use various techniques, such as framing and hip escapes to create space and improve their position.
How to get to knee on belly
A common transition from side control to knee on belly.
The most common setup to do a knee on belly is transitioning from side control.
After you get side control, you want to do a push up motion to get into the knee on belly position.
Check the image above for a clear reference.
Important knee on belly details
There are a couple important details that beginners often miss when they get to the knee on belly position.
First, you want the shoelace area of your foot that is on the same side of the kneeling leg to be attached to your opponent's hip.
This will prevent your opponent to get an underhook on your foot to escape.
The image below will show you what I mean.
Attach your shoelace to your opponent's hip.
Next, you want to have the knee of your planted leg to point upward and keep it far away from your opponent.
This will give you stability and also prevent your opponent from reaching your planted leg to escape.
See image below for details.
Keep your planted leg far away from your opponent with your knee pointing upward.
With your legs and knee properly placed, you want to pull your opponent's head to create pressure.
In the gi, you can do this by pulling the collar behind your opponent's neck, while in no gi, you can just pull behind the head.
The goal is to put your opponent in as much discomfort as possible to get a reaction that you can exploit to execute the armbar from knee on belly.
Near Side Armbar From Knee On Belly
The first armbar variation that is available from the knee on belly is the near side armbar.
Below is a step-by-step breakdown on how to execute the near side armbar from knee on belly.
Step #1: Grab your opponent’s wrist
If your opponent reacts by pushing, you grab the wrist.
The discomfort I put on my opponent will trigger a reaction.
In this example, my opponent tries to push me away by pushing her arms against my chest.
As she pushes my chest, her wrist becomes available for me to grab.
I use my left hand to grab her right wrist while putting my right hand on the mat for stability.
After you grab the wrist, hold it tight to your chest.
Step #2: Slide your knee and shin towards opponent’s face
Slide your knee and shin towards your opponent's face.
Next, you will slide your knee and shin towards your opponent's face.
In this example, I slide my right knee and shin towards my opponent's face to put pressure on both her head and arm.
Another important detail is placing my right foot's shoelace area precisely on my opponent's armpit to further control and isolate the arm.
Remember to keep your other hand planted on the mat to help with stability as you slide.
Step #3: Pass other leg over your opponent’s head
Pass your other leg over your opponent's head.
The next thing to do is to pass your other leg over your opponent's head.
After passing your leg over, make sure to attach your foot to the side of your opponent's head.
Put most of your weight on top of your opponent's head.
This is the final position before you can finish the armbar from knee on belly.
Step #4: Finish the armbar from knee on belly
Finishing the armbar from knee on belly.
To finish the armbar, keep everything tight and fall on your back.
In a drill, do this last sequence slowly because falling too fast can break your training partner's arm.
As you fall, grab your opponent's pants first to prevent any potential escape.
After securing everything, finish the armbar by pinching your knees together and thrusting your hip to the ceiling to hyperextend your opponent's elbow joint and get a tap.
This is the first variation of the armbar from knee on belly.
Far Side Armbar From Knee On Belly
The far side armbar variation is available when your opponent tries to push your knee away instead of your chest.
Here is the step-by-step breakdown.
Step #1: Get an underhook on your opponent’s far side arm
Get an underhook on your opponent's triceps to set up the far side armbar.
When your opponent tries to push your knee away to relieve pressure, a space between her far side arm and rib becomes available.
Use this space to get an underhook on the triceps and start isolating the far side arm.
Step #2: Attach your elbow to your opponent’s rib cage
Attaching the elbow to the rib cage.
Next, I want to isolate my opponent's far side arm even more.
To do this, I will attach my elbow, which underhooks the triceps, to my opponent's rib cage.
This turns her body on an angle, giving me the opening I need to transition to the far side of her body and submit the far side arm.
Step #3: Transition to the far side
Transitioning to the far side.
To transition to the far side, I will first push my opponent's head to the mat.
At the same time, I will step my planted leg over her head.
Step #4: Attach knee to opponent’s far side rib
Attach the knee on the opponent's far side rib cage.
I then quickly tilt and attach my knee, which is on the same side of the leg that steps over the head, on my opponent's far side rib cage.
Another important detail from this position is trying to keep your foot on the other leg hooking on your opponent's armpit.
See the image below for reference.
The final details before you can execute the far side armbar.
Now, you are ready to finish the far side armbar from knee on belly.
Step #5: Finish the far side armbar from knee on belly
The finishing move.
With everything in place, you are ready to finish the far side armbar from knee on belly.
For the finish, fall on your back, pinch your knees together and as always, thrust your hip against your opponent's elbow joint to get the tap.
To wrap it up....
The armbar from knee on belly is a versatile and effective technique in BJJ and submission grappling or even MMA.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can learn two armbar setups from the knee on belly position and execute them with precision.
Remember to always practice the technique slowly and safely with a training partner to prevent injury.
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