Arm Drag Details

One of the big holes in my game is the armdrag. I love playing butterfly guard. And in trying to close the distance, if my opponent runs, the arm drag is there. Instead, I’ll just aggressively pursue the double under butterfly or x-guard positions.

Today, I stumbled on a few good armdrag videos on the almighty YouTube and was reminded to focus on this potentially very dangerous set of techniques.

First, Draculino’s take on the armdrag. A few little details here that I think are essential:

  • You’re not pulling back, but always aggressively putting pressure forward.
  • Left hand goes on the floor after you trap the arm across.
  • Head tied to shoulder
  • Noticeable but quick side movement when switching the hips

Then there is a nice detail about where the leverage comes for getting the arm across when the opponent is posting on your ankles:

Marcelo Garcia (the master of arm drags) gives a lot of great details:

  • Initial control comes from controlling the opponent’s right wrist with your left arm (no need for the gi)
  • Dramatic side movement, with lots more space than in Draculino’s example. The control therefore comes from pinning the opponent right arm down and not the tight pressure that Draculino shows.

The following video from the Yamasaki Academy higlights the importance of moving both forward and out of the way. He also demonstrate a solo-drill to practice the proper movement which really emphasizes the forward motion. This is different than what I’ve seen in the past:

Here’s a recent video from Robson Moura of how to use the arm drag position for tight control (to a sweep or x-guard) in no-gi:

Finally, from the tight no-gi arm-drag position, Robert Drysdale shows a Brabo choke that I’ve seen shown a few times on the web. The key here seems to be to break his elbow discipline to have room for the Brabo arm to enter:

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