Arm bar series


So many things I'd like to write about, so many things rattling around in my head, but not enough hours in the day. This morning, for instance, Prentis Glover stopped by morning glass (he had Veteran's Day off of work, it seems), and was kind enough to take us through a lovely arm bar series. I'd seen the first chunk of it, but either hadn't seen or completely forgotten the latter half.

It starts with tori holding kesa gatame (let's say on uke's right side, for the sake of example). Uke's arm gets free and we get a number of straight arm bars:

1) The first is the easiest. My left hand yolks uke's wrist and holds his arm out straight, with the elbow joint on my right thigh. Straight arm bar.

2) I can use my left (rear) leg to step over his wrist, pinching uke's wrist in the back of my knee. My knee goes toward the mat, my foot slides back towards uke's foot (his elbow still on my right thigh). Any time you get the leg involved, it's a scary deal, because a leg muscle is going to be stronger than most anyone's arm muscles. Go slow!

3) Hara gatame lives here, also, which I should've known. I just use my generous mid section as the brace on his elbow and pull back on his wrist.

4) His arm coils a little and I slip my right (front) leg over his wrist from the top. Also a bit dangerous!

Now let's say he really starts curling his arm towards himself because, well, he just doesn't want a straight arm bar. Fortunately, the human arm can do only two things, straighten and curl. Of course, I'm going to let him curl it, but I'm going to make him work at it for a second. Then, I'm going to suddenly release the tension and push his hand straight into my other hand (the one under his head). 

5) Now uke's arm is bent and next to his own head. My right hand is pinning his wrist to the mat, his hand most likely bent against the ground. My left hand can now push his elbow toward his face while. It's a strange little coil that I hadn't seen before, but it felt bad enough!

6) I can also reach through his coiled arm with my left hand, hooking on his wrist and pulling his wrist away from his head (while his elbow stays put; my left hand is not involved).

7) I can slip my right arm out from under his head, bring my elbow on the near side, by his ear (bracing his head away) and snag a basic figure four arm bar.

8) A compression arm bar, with my forearm right in his elbow joint, lives there, too. His elbow to my chest, I squeeze like his arm is a nutcracker and my forearm is the nut.

Always something to learn when Prentis stops by!

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