One of the most common and underappreciated submissions in MMA the armbar continues to be an effective weapon in competition. While there are many different variations of the technique today we want to focus on the basic straight armbar.

The technique itself is extremely simple. With your opponent on his back, grip his forearm with both hands with his wrist facing upwards. Then positions your legs so that your knees are bent and your opponent’s arm in between your legs; one leg should be across your opponent’s head while the other should be across your opponent’s head/neck. Next you will lean back extending your opponent’s arm out while keeping their wrist positioned up. To finish, pull their wrist towards you while applying pressure by arching your hips up.

But even though the basics of the technique are easy to learn, it is a technique that is difficult to master. Even though the technique is one of the first submissions, many grapplers learn it continues to be an effective tool because of the myriad of ways a fighter can set it up.

Just look at current UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey. Nine of her 11 career wins have come by way of armbar. Even though all of her opponents know it is coming, none have been able to stop it. Rousey’s ability to set the technique up and execute it even though her opponents are aggressively defending it is simply amazing.

Rousey has drilled the technique so many times that it is second nature to her and no matter how hard they try,no one has been able to stop it. The armbar may not be the flashiest submission technique out there, but time and time again, it gets the job done against some of the world’s best fighters.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.