Arm Drag BJJ (Part 1) – Beautiful Simplicity

Arm Drag BJJ

In my training, I have noticed the prevalence of the arm drag bjj used in setting up various techniques. Rarely, though, have I received detailed instruction on the arm drag itself. I got curious about its details and did some research.

Then, I asked myself, “How, exactly, is it done, and what does it accomplish? Are there exercises to improve my arm drag bjj? What do I do after the arm drag?”

Therefore, these questions guided my research. After that, I decided to share it with you, the reader, here because I figure other people may have similar questions.


What is the Arm Drag BJJ?

First at all, The arm drag BJJ puts your opponent in a vulnerable position. This creates a wide variety of options for you to use as follow up. Besides, the arm drag is a simple technique that puts you in a strong position and neutralizes a lot of your opponent’s options for attacking you.

The Importance of an arm drag BJJ

In detail, the arm drag accomplishes three major objectives:

  • First, unbalances your opponent.
  • Second, gives you axis control.
  • Third, gives you access to your opponent’s back.

Balance is vital. If your opponent is fighting for balance, they aren’t fighting you. Power generation depends on a solid base. Without good balance, your opponent doesn’t have a solid base and can’t generate much power.

If you control your opponent’s axis, you can neutralize the effectiveness of their upper body tools. In order to strike you, your opponent must orient to you with good structure. By controlling your opponent’s axis, you prevent that orientation and, coupled with the diminished power they have from being unbalanced, the arm drag neutralizes a lot of your opponent’s tools and minimizes the risk you face.

If you get behind your opponent, you have a significant positional advantage. You have a wealth of good targets, any of which might quickly shut down your opponent.

How To Do the Basic Arm Drag BJJ

1 . Gain Control of Your Opponent’s Wrist:

Mostly, you can gain control of your opponent’s wrist either by grabbing it, or allowing your opponent to grab your wrist. Either way, it places his arm into a position from which you can perform the arm drag.

  • Pro Tip: rather than hunting your opponent’s wrist, which might put you in a vulnerable position, try extending your arm enough to tempt your opponent to grab your wrist.If your opponent has your wrist, you might still be able to move your arm. If so, your opponent may follow your motion, in which case you can achieve the armdrag without grabbing your opponent’s wrist at all.

    Often, though, you need to get control of your opponent’s wrist. From their grab, you can use a wrist roll to reverse the situation so you end up grabbing their wrist

2 . Pull Your Opponent’s Arm Down:

Pull your opponent’s wrist down to isolate their arm and unbalance them. This also straightens their arm and creates an opening through which you can reach to acquire the grip necessary to accomplish the armdrag. People often overlook this step and have problems getting their hand into position for a successful armdrag.

3 . Grab Your Opponent’s Triceps:

Triceps Brachil

Triceps Brachil

Hook your free hand behind the triceps muscle on your opponent’s isolated arm. Don’t grab the arm or use grip strength. Instead, form a hook with your hand, thumb tucked against your index finger, and place the hook behind your opponent’s triceps.

  • Pro Tip: reach deep into the armpit to secure a grip high on their triceps. This minimizes their ability to slip free. You might also strike into their armpit, which is painful and might create an even larger opening or open other opportunities.

4 . Drag Your Opponent’s Arm Across Your Body

Drag the arm down and across your body. If you’re dragging their right arm, for instance, your right hand will grip their right triceps, and you’ll pull it across your body past your right hip.

As you do this, sink your weight into your right leg so you add your mass to the pull rather than just using your arm muscles. Also, rotate your body rather than pulling your arm back. Again, this adds mass to the motion.

Pulling with your arm can also cause you to violate your own structure and unbalance yourself. This could create an opportunity for your opponent to close on you and neutralize, if not overcome, the advantage you sought through the use of the arm drag.


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