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BJJGround Forum >> "Mendes Style" Armbar


3/14/13 10:47 PM
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John Frankl
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I put it in quotation marks because maybe a lot of people are already doing it, but the Mendes Bros. is the first place I have seen the arm bar deliberately and repeatedly taught with the thumb basically parallel to the mat rather than perpendicular.

At first this puzzled me because I (and I think many of us) was always taught to position the thumb toward the ceiling. But I also trust that the Bros. do everything for a good reason. So I started thinking. (Forgive me if they or someone else has already explained this, but I haven't seen it.) Is it to attack the arm from an angle at which the opponent cannot do a bicep curl?

This was the most common sensical answer I could come up with on my own. But I'd love to hear from people who have trained with them or otherwise have good explanations.
3/15/13 12:29 AM
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shen
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Edited: 03/15/13 12:43 AM
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I have no idea why THEY do it, but if we think about the angle of the shoulder with different types of straight armbars, sometimes "knuckles against the chest" makes more sense than "pinky on the chest"...

Like, for instance, if you are doing that type of straight armbar from the guard where you are basically laying on your side -perpendicular to your opponent- and he is belly-down, then "knuckles against the chest" is more secure due to the fact that he can (medially)rotate his shoulder forward more than he could if he were "belly-up" in a classic Juji-gatame armbar.

--That's just what goes through my head, but like I said, I don't know why they do it.
3/15/13 12:47 AM
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JRockwell
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From a supine position, definitely makes the "hitchhiker" escape more difficult. Phone Post
3/15/13 1:09 AM
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GrahamJ
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Seems to be 'thumb up'...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf1fp35TbHo&

I know in judo, they'll teach that if the guy turns his thumb horizontal, so you can't get it vertical (pointing to the ceiling), then you can still apply an armbar by squeezing your knees, and pushing his wrist in the opposite direction to which the thumb points (as you do in a normal armbar).
3/15/13 1:16 AM
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Team Python
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John Frankl - I put it in quotation marks because maybe a lot of people are already doing it, but the Mendes Bros. is the first place I have seen the arm bar deliberately and repeatedly taught with the thumb basically parallel to the mat rather than perpendicular.

At first this puzzled me because I (and I think many of us) was always taught to position the thumb toward the ceiling. But I also trust that the Bros. do everything for a good reason. So I started thinking. (Forgive me if they or someone else has already explained this, but I haven't seen it.) Is it to attack the arm from an angle at which the opponent cannot do a bicep curl?

This was the most common sensical answer I could come up with on my own. But I'd love to hear from people who have trained with them or otherwise have good explanations.

They pull towards the direction of the pinky so if your opponent turns his hand just pull to the direction the pinky is pointing to. Makes sense by the way better than trying to control the wrist.
3/15/13 1:18 AM
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Team Python
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Also apply the hip pressure at the same time...forgot to mention that.
3/15/13 1:26 AM
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omoplautistic
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I know for myself (I am not a Mendes, however) once I started used a Kimura grip going into the armbar I became less concerned with which direction the pinky was pointing.

Now I tend to use my inside wrist with a gable grip against their inside wrist and just apply pressure in whichever is needed. Sometimes that's the traditional pull down, but more often it's sideways into the inside of my leg.

I find my armbars are a lot more successful now because of that. Requires a bit of sensitivity but works well for me.

Hopefully that makes sense. Phone Post
3/15/13 1:27 AM
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omoplautistic
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I should also mention that most escapes don't work against this kind of grip. Phone Post
3/15/13 11:28 AM
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green_machine
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Don't think I've ever noticed this. Are you guys saying that the Mendes brothers armbar with the opponent's palm facing down or facing up (assuming it's a top position armbar)? I'm trying to picture it.
3/15/13 11:40 AM
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htownbjj
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Edited: 03/15/13 11:40 AM
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They always say to pull in the direction of the pinky. You also have to have the shoulder and elbow immobilized.

I started using this idea and increased my armbar finish rate dramatically.
3/15/13 12:41 PM
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flee76
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htownbjj - They always say to pull in the direction of the pinky. You also have to have the shoulder and elbow immobilized.

I started using this idea and increased my armbar finish rate dramatically.

Same here. I started teaching armlocks that way instead of "The Fonz" thumb up, it just seems more practical for live rolling.
3/15/13 1:33 PM
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UK
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omoplautistic -  I should also mention that most escapes don't work against this kind of grip. Phone Post

I can confirm that the control that omoplautistic taught me works really nice. I no longer try to control the thumb either.

Maybe he could post a video to show you all. :)
3/15/13 2:00 PM
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green_machine
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^^ ttt for a video
3/15/13 2:01 PM
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Team Python
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No video needed it is simple

Let’s say you are attacking his right arm….if his thumb is pointing up you then upa and pull his arm towards the center of your chest. If he turns his thumb towards his head (your left) you upa and pull his arm towards your right shoulder while keeping the arm close to your chest. If he turns his thumb towards his body (your right) then you upa and pull the arm towards your left shoulder while keeping the arm close to your chest.
3/15/13 2:15 PM
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UK
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Well that's the right arm!

What about if you are attacking the left, is that so simple?

Video for the left arm please! Phone Post
3/15/13 2:21 PM
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biggator
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my instructor taught us this when someone wanted to wear a cup and he said no. they asked How do i not smash my nuts in the armbar? he showed this teq. turn his wrist and apply pressure against your thy.

i have seen marcelos monoplata that is similar to this situation in that it is an odd angle attack.
3/15/13 2:41 PM
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omoplautistic
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UK - Well that's the right arm!

What about if you are attacking the left, is that so simple?

Video for the left arm please! Phone Post
I would have to film it on the right side and then mirror it for the video.

As far as I know you can't armbar the left arm. Phone Post
3/15/13 3:11 PM
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UK
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omoplautistic - 
UK - Well that's the right arm!

What about if you are attacking the left, is that so simple?

Video for the left arm please! Phone Post
I would have to film it on the right side and then mirror it for the video.

As far as I know you can't armbar the left arm. Phone Post

Those mirrors are such a clever invention!

So let me get this right, if there isnt a left sided armbar and I invent one do I get to name it?

I dont think I'm going to pull this off though as thats called my left-tared side for a reason!

3/15/13 4:18 PM
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delicious bass
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John Frankl is an excellent black belt who has 20 years on the mat - many of those with rickson. What he is asking is a little more sophisticated than applying pressure with your hips in the direction the thumb is pointing - it's is there a benefit to giving extra internal rotation to the hand so your opponent can't access the power of their bicep (aided by back and chest). I think the answer is yes, it can be helpful - for exactly the reason he stated, and as a secondary benefit it can better immobilize the shoulder. Phone Post
3/15/13 4:40 PM
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omoplautistic
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delicious bass - John Frankl is an excellent black belt who has 20 years on the mat - many of those with rickson. What he is asking is a little more sophisticated than applying pressure with your hips in the direction the thumb is pointing - it's is there a benefit to giving extra internal rotation to the hand so your opponent can't access the power of their bicep (aided by back and chest). I think the answer is yes, it can be helpful - for exactly the reason he stated, and as a secondary benefit it can better immobilize the shoulder. Phone Post
Sorry about my unsophisticated answer. No, seriously, I have a terrible time putting biomechanics into words.

Case in point, yes. What you said.

I'm a skinny bastard (black belt, but still a skinny bastard) and big guys would bicep curl me on a traditional armbar grip.

I find finishing armbars with more of a lateral pressure took away the opportunity to use me like a bench on a preacher curl.

I guess the grip is secondary. But again, terrible time putting tech into typing.

Thanks for the input, db. Phone Post
3/15/13 7:18 PM
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nogidavid
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OP you said you've seen the mendes bros teaching this. link?

3/15/13 9:12 PM
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GrahamJ
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I've just watched a couple of dozen clips of just them doing armbars; a few times, it looks like they did them in this different way:

http://youtu.be/NCsZ7-gOB3A

Pause the video at 12 seconds in, and you can see he has the back of his hand on his chest.

Maybe it's something they've just started doing all the time, rather than just playing with it...?
3/15/13 9:34 PM
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UK -  Well that's the right arm!

What about if you are attacking the left, is that so simple?

Video for the left arm please! Phone Post

lol

 

3/15/13 9:43 PM
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mrgoodarmbar
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It might depend upon the angle of their torsos. If There's an acute angle (your head closer to their legs), then you'd want their palm more up. If it's an oblique angle you'd want the palm a bit down to prevent hitchhiker escape. Have you seen them always do it the same way? Could even be particular that a certain transition like coming from someone's back compared to doing it from guard.

I never liked controlling at the wrist or grabbing your own lapel. I always like to grab their hand at the base of their thumb.

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