I have not yet run up against a situation where I put on an armbar in competition and my opponent did not tap. However, it does seem that some people don’t like to tap to armbars. An example of this happened twice in Metamoris last weekend with Xande against Dean Lister and Buchecha against Roger Gracie.
This led to the usual discussion full of absurd quirkiness between Josh and I about ineffectiveness of an armbar for breaking arms, unless… an idea was brought up on how to remedy this obvious “flaw” in our approach to jiu jitsu training…
One of the things that makes BJJ such an effective martial art is that we can train daily at close to 100% intensity. We can do everything including chokes at 100%. The only thing we can’t do is the “breaking” submissions. When I put on an armbar, the person will tap from the first feeling of pain or tension in his arm. So we never get to feel the amount of force required to actually break an arm. The solution, my friends, is obvious… It comes from two YouTube clips below of (1) Karate board breaking and (2) Jeff Glover training with a broomstick. Combining these two, the idea is to practice breaking arms by breaking broomsticks. And eventually, you might even graduate up to breaking 2-by-4′s. This could be a new exercise fad to take over Kettlebells and Bulgarians bags.
PS: Not that it needs to be said, but I’m just joking about the broomsticks. Be careful when putting on armbars in training. In competition, it’s a different story, it’s up to you how far you decide to take it when a medal is on the line.