dirty armbar?

Is it generally frowned upon (in training or in a bjj tournament) if you put your hand on your opponent's face or head when going for an armbar from the mount?

No that is part of the technique.

It is generally accepted, and some schools teach it as part of the technique.

Note: doing that in a Judo tourney will get you penalized. They don't allow hands in the face at all.

"Note: doing that in a Judo tourney will get you penalized. They don't allow hands in the face at all. "

Wow I didn't know that. Why is that?

Bracing off your opponent's face with your hand is great set up for the arm bar from mount. I like to do this to create space to set up arm bars from the guard as well.

I won't complain about it but I will do the same shit to you.


I think it stems from the fact that face cranks are illegal in Judo in the first place so anything touching the face is seen in roughly the same mold.

Also, it may be an etiquette thing as well. I know the senseis at my Judo club get quite fussy (not always a bad thing by the way) over what they see as certain infringements of the rules.

Btw, I have done the face thing in randori but never been called for it, but then again, that's not the same as doing it in a tournament

It is totally allowed and doing it will probably help your chances of getting the arm.

But on a side note, this is good in comps. but when training make sure you are not hitting people in the face accidently, or doing it really rough. Cause all though i will take it, i will probably not be pleased and will give it back. SO, especially if you are new, find out what the ettique in the gym is like and also with certain people.

posting off of the head while going for an armbar is the setup that Rorion teaches in the Gracie Basics tape. It is a legit setup.

So schools teach it by posting off the chest. I did it in Judo and got chastized. It does work very well because your opponent is kind of focused on the unpleasantness of being squished.

i was going for an armbar today in class and accidently kicked this guy in the face with my shin trying to pass my leg over his head.

i of course apologized but he said its all good and to do whatever it takes to get the position.


in judo you are not allowed to push off the "mask" of the face. However there is no problem with pushing the head, side of the neck, etc with the armbar.

it's just a safety thing.. too many people getting fingers in the eyes etc..