Finishing an Armbar When Your Opponent Grabs His Lapel

A common defense to the armbar is to grab your lapel and hold on for dear life. Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin has a tip to show you a way to break this grip and finish the armbar.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
How’s it going everybody? It’s coach Ryan Fortin here with The Arena, and this would be your tip of the week. This is something that I do to help me get the arm when I’m trying to get an armbar and they’re hanging onto the lapel. So here I am, armbar position, right? My arms are in like this. I’m controlling the arm, and I’m holding onto the leg so he doesn’t bridge. And I want to get this arm right, but he’s hanging on to his lapel, which is a good defense because that allows their free arm to be able to do other stuff with it, right?


So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to let go of this pant grip here, right? And I’m going to grab the same lapel that he’s grabbing just low. And then I’m going to stick my heel and just like this, and watch my heels in it and I’m holding on this side, I’ll use my foot to push away, and then as I’m leaning back, that’s how I’ll break the grip. And then I’ll find the thumb and finish the armbar. Once again, we’re in an armbar position. The guy’s holding onto his lapel. I’m trying to find a way to break that grip, okay. I’m going to get my foot, I’m going to get it right inside that lapel. Grab beneath it, kick it to break it free, and then find the thumb. I hope that helps you get some more armbars.

Is Your Ego Preventing You from Growing in Martial Arts?

Switching things up in this Tip of the Week, MMA Coach Charles Martinez discusses something that can hold any athlete back. Your ego. Your ego can really limit your ability to step outside of your comfort zone and learn new skills, so listen up closely to what Coach Charles has to say.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey, this Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and this tip of the week slightly different than what I normally put out. I’m always really focused on technique, but today I decided to talk about how to actually make growth in the sports, right? All of these sports have a similar thing. You’re trying to learn new technique, you’re trying to add to the technique and then you have to do it under pressure.

A lot of times what prevent us from getting better really is our ego. Our ego doesn’t want someone to best you. You want to go harder and harder, and you want to make sure that you win every exchange. That’s not always the best way of being, right? You want to make sure that your technique is getting better. In order for your technique to get better, sometimes you have to do it against people that are better than you. They’re going to get the better of you, and then you have to try to analyze what’s working, what isn’t working, especially with sparring and live rolling.

People are going to get the better of you, and there’s always that, “Well, he started it. That’s why I started going so hard.” That’s the most common thing I’ve heard. I’ve heard guys in the fight team say it all the time. “Well, he started it.” Well, just cause you can do something to him doesn’t mean that you should. Right? There’s varying skill levels. You can learn from each level of someone better than you or worse than you, depending on how you take the lessons.

If you want to smash and smash and smash, that’s fine, but eventually someone will smash you and it limits your growth, right? Yes, you want to practice your technique perfectly, but you shouldn’t see someone getting the better of you as a failure. You should see as an opportunity to analyze what you’re doing, and see why they were able to get the better of you rather than seeing it as a bruise to your ego or a challenge to your manhood. It should really just be taken as a lesson. They got the better of me. Now, let me see why and let’s see what changes I can make to make my technique better so I don’t have to just use brute force or speed in order to win. That’s your tip of the week.

Options to Sweep and Take the Back from Deep De La Riva Guard

If you’re having any trouble coming up with options from the De La Riva guard, then check out what Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin likes to do from there. Here he shows some sweeping and back taking options you can try out.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
Hey guys, what’s up? Ryan Fortin here, Jiu Jitsu coach at the Arena with this week’s tip. Harry, one of our purple belts had a question. What was it Harry?



Yeah, I was looking for, once I get deep De La Riva, and someone sits down on it, what’s a good sweep from there?


Ryan Fortin:
Good way to sweep, okay. So, I’m going to show him a couple of things I like to do. Brian, could I use you. So, I’m playing De La Riva guard. I’m looking to control something. I like the sleeve, personally. I’m using this foot like you said, deep De La Riva, so not here, but all the way to the far hip. Now, let’s say he puts that far knee down. They do this a lot. Hey, what I like to do is I’m going to straighten this leg to cripple his knee. All right?


If he leaves his arm long, I’ll lasso this arm and use that to sweep him. All right, so back. If he keeps keeps his elbow tight, I’ll come around and butterfly behind the leg, looking to get pants and then for back takes. So, once we have that De La Riva, straighten that leg and cripple their knee. All right, guys. Hope that helps.

MMA Legend Enson Inoue Teaches His Favorite Way to Mount His Opponent

While teaching one of his seminars here at The Arena, Pride Fight Veteran and MMA Legend Enson Inoue shows his favorite and most effective way to mount his opponent. This technique can also be used in Jiu Jitsu or Submission Grappling.


Enson Inoue:
So I’m here and I sit for the mount. One big point I like to emphasize is you always want something connected to the hips. If it’s your hand, if your hands going to leave, I like my knee there. From here, when I like to mount, is I don’t like to commit my whole body weight. A lot of you guys might know this, but when you spar, you’re still probably doing this type of mount. So, what I mean by that is, when my knee will hit the mat first before my feet. You see how my whole body is committed to it? So what I like to emphasize is, here, when I’m going to mount, it’s just my feet.

I’m real tight, but what I want to imagine is a cockroach. And if you don’t like killing cockroaches then you imagine your ex-girlfriend or your ex-wife. So you just want to give it a little. So you want to do it as possible to the hips if you want to control the hips. So what I like to do is, I like to come here, even if I don’t slap, I hook here.

So right here, my only movement is my leg. And if he were bridged and go back and try to turn it backwards, I can easily base. If I’m here, and my whole body weight is on him, and he bridges, he’s got the momentum of my whole body weight going back. So it’s hard for me to maintain position.

So what I want you guys to do, this basic here. You come here, you’ve got to know your plan. For me, if Baret lifts, and he’s defending, he lifts up here, I know I’m not flexible enough to get that. But I know if I can get it about here, I can probably clear. So you’ve got to know your own plan, and all you need was a split second because the foot is so fast. Okay, so get a partner and let’s just try doing this, okay? Ready, one, two, three.

Jiu Jitsu Bow and Arrow Choke Defense and Escape

Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin has previously shown us how he likes to finish the bow and arrow choke, but today he shows us how he defends and escapes the lethal submission.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
Hey, what’s up guys? Ryan Fortin again, here with Enrique Marte to give you another tip of the week. So last tip I gave you was how I finish my bow and arrow chokes, and today I’m going to show you what I like to do to escape them.

So first thing that I’m worried about in a bow and arrow choke is the guy’s elbow, okay? So I’m not too worried about defending off the grip at first, right? And I don’t want to reach too soon, because then he knows what I’m going to do, and I give him the opportunity to bring his hand underneath there. Bring your hand under, to cut my head off. Okay. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to relax here, just kind of save my neck, and as he goes to fall, now his arm is moving. So now I’m going to reach and be able to sneak my head out. Okay? Sometimes that’s not enough though. So he falls and go to reach, I’m going, and this tension’s built up, okay? Now I’m going to let go. I’m going to grab that lapel he’s holding. I’m going to pop that. Now I’m free.

If I grab it too soon, there’s not enough tension, so I have to wait until the tension’s built. So I’m acting like I’m trying to escape. He goes for the choke. This tension is building on this lapel. Now I’ll reach for that and pop it out of his grip. Get to safety. All right. I hope you get to escape some more and live to fight another day. That’s the tip for the week.

Crossing Your Feet to Help Finish an Armbar

For this Tip of the Week, Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin shows some details on how and why you can cross your feet when looking to finish an armbar. You can apply this technique to both Gi and No Gi.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
What’s up guys? Ryan Fortin here. Jiu Jitsu instructor with the Arena with this week’s tip. A couple of things here from this position that I’m trying to get across for the tip of the week is how to trap this elbow in and how to set up your legs. So what I’ve learned over the years is I don’t want to cross the leg that’s over the head on top, right? For a couple of reasons.

One, if he goes to sit up, I don’t really have the ability to keep him down, right? He could sit up. And also by it being on top, it’s easier for him to, let’s say get this leg up and off his head. So if he could push that off his head, I got to start worrying about him escaping. So what I like to do is cross that one underneath. Okay, this for one, now it’s trapped. More difficult for him to push off. But also if he goes to get up, I could flare my knees out wide like this and have my hand for base. Even if not base, go ahead and sit up. And it makes it much more difficult for him to get up. So hopefully this will help you to set up and finish some armbars.

Tip on Finishing Lapel Choke from Back Control

You’ve got your opponent’s back, you’ve got control of his lapels, but he keeps defending and you can’t finish the choke. Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin has a great tip that just might solve your problem, and get you the submission.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
What’s up, guys? Coach Ryan here with The Arena, at Baret Submissions HQ with your tip of the week. The trouble I have sometimes when I’m on the back finishing these chokes, I’m opening up the lapel and passing to my hand and I want to finish this, but the guy’s grabbing that sleeve and he’ll pull that and duck his head out, right? And I lose it, the ability to choke him. So, when I learned this, it helped me out huge in keeping the position. So, as the guy pulls the arm out, I’m just going to bring this hand and pummel it back under his neck and shoot it back through. That’s going to break the grips he has on that sleeve. That just allows me to bring that hand back around and finish the choke. So, one more time. I’ve got this, he’s pulling on the sleeves so I can’t finish to duck his head. So, I’ll take this hand and I bring it under his neck, shoot it back through, and that’ll break the grip. Wrap it back around, and try to finish that choke.

Jiu Jitsu Tip to Help Finish Your Half Guard Sweep

In this video Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling Coach Ryan Fortin shows a small but important detail that can help you be more successful with your half guard sweeps.


Coach Ryan Fortin:

How’s it going everybody? Coach Ryan Fortin here with The Arena with your Tip of the Week. I’m going to show you a little detail I like to do to help make a half guard sweep a little bit more successful.


I’ve got my guy here, right? I’ve got him in the lockdown. I’ve whipped him up. I pushed him to the side. I’m holding around around him. He’s got the whizzer. Okay, and he’s spread this knee out. Yeah, okay.


So we’re looking to go for the sweep here. I’m grabbing the foot and pulling it through. The downfall that I see a lot of people is when they reached through, they just grabbed the ankle here. Okay, but the guy has got the ability to kick his leg free. Now even though there’s stuff that we can go to from that to make this a little bit more successful, right? What all I want to do is once I reach through this hole here, I’m going to slide down and cover up his toes. Notice like actually covering the toenails.


Now look, when he tries to kick his leg free, he can’t. Makes it that much easier for me to start pulling this foot through the hole, sinking his hip to the mat, coming up and finishing my sweep. So just make sure cover up those toes. Hope that helps.

Fine Tune Your Over-Under Guard Pass

If you’ve been struggling with your over-under guard pass, or been getting locked up in triangles while trying it, check out this tip with Jiu Jitsu Coach Ryan Fortin, where he breaks down some simple details to increase your chances of passing.


Coach Ryan Fortin:
Hey, what’s up, guys? Coach Ryan here with the Arena Baret Submissions HQ with your tip of the week. Today I’m going to show you a little detail that I do to help my over under pass be a little bit more successful and to make sure that I don’t get caught in a triangle. One detail I’ve got here is I don’t want to pull my leg out right away and start trying to pass because it’s easier for him to get his legs back in. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to walk his legs to the side and then get my leg out and collect his legs. The second detail here is I don’t want to let go of the top leg and start advancing forward. I see a lot of guys do this. The problem with this is they’re going to frame on your head and put you in a triangle. Yeah, this is no fun. So you’ll be a lot more successful if you pull the arm out of the legs first, control the hips, and then start moving forward.

Chris Leben Shows How to Pass the Guard Using a Toe Hold

In this Tip of the Week, UFC Veteran and MMA Coach Chris Leben shows a rolling toe hold that may get you the submission, but if not, gives you a second option to pass the guard.


Coach Chris Leben:
Hey, what’s up, I’m Chris Leben, this is Alex Trinidad, I’m one of the coaches, he’s one of our pro fighters here at The Arena, and this is your tip of the week.

Okay, so, go and guard.

Just a real easy way to possibly get a submission and also, if you don’t get the submission, you get a successful guard pass. So I’m here, just I’m going to pass, I’m going to reach little pinky to little toe, I’m going to roll. Now right here I’ve got my toe hold locked up, and I’m going to look for my tap.

One more time. Just going to use my rolling toe hold to get a submission or pass guard, whichever one works out.

I’m here, little pinky to little toe, I roll over my shoulder and stay curled and tight, I curl his toes into his butt, worst case scenario he defends by kicking that leg straight, and I sit up for my pass.

And that’s your tip of the week. 

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