The Catch Armbar

I was wondering why the armbar from the top is never really mentioned as a "bread and butter" hold in catch. Everyone talks about the double-wristlock, toe-holds, cranks and the TWL, but in my experience, the armbar from the mount or side-control is just as easy to get and often times more so. But beyond that, there are also many pics of old-style catch guys ending up in the juji-gatame position (or spiderweb as it's called now). I think this move needs to be added to the lexicon of essential and basic catch hooks.

When you roll, how many of you use the straight armbar regularly?

All the time.

Although Tony has shown it from the top on tape and makes it look easy. I find that variation harder to get. I think that there is more technique involved and I need more practice. It is a leverage and control issue.

He did teach me a bunch of stuff from the traditional juji position on the side that has worked well for me.

I agree to that in principle.

And Tony will say the same thing about doing the armbar to the side.

But that armbar when done correctly is a done deal.

Judoka have been doing it for a long time. There are tons of ways to make it happen.

I happen to have a BB in Jujitsu so maybe that makes it easier for me. Like anything else there are subtle mechanical issues that make it work.

It happens to be one of my favorite subs when the opponent turtles up.

Clothes make everything much easier.

It's not really "going to your back" per se: you've got your legs across his face and chest and he's the one who's flat on his back. He has to be much stronger (or better) than you to roll you back onto your shoulders in that situation, and if you grab his leg then it's never going to happen.

While Catch is very typically known for the side-double wrist lock, headlocks (neckcranks, facelocks, etc), and toe-holds (the "Bread and Butter" holds) the armbar is in catch (as is anything that will earn a pin or submission win) and there are pictures of men like Robin Reed, Ed Lewis, Toots Mondt, etc. all applying the hold.

The knee bar, on the other hand, is much harder to find in the old material...

true. I think one of the reasons for the 3 basic holds (wristlocks, toeholds, neck cranks) is because of leverage, it is also because you could get them easily from the 3 basic positions of wrestling: standing, on top, and underneath. also, it is easier to catch a bent arm or leg than a straight one.

"The knee bar, on the other hand, is much harder to find in the old material..."

Never seen one at all. I think I do remember hearing that one of George Bothner working a knee bar does exist though.

Mr. Price, I've been wondering about that lately. I figure another reason why those holds have always been so popular in Catch is because many of the variations are meant to hyper-rotate a joint, which would eventually(in theory, at least) make him willingly roll to his back and give up a pin.

Just my thoughts.

I wonder in the pin exposure would discourage an arm bar attempt, I mean why mount for an arm bar when I can pin him? Also, turning out from an arm bar attempt into a pin would be easy (just be sure to avoid the triange).

I agree ocianain.

I think the arm bar is great. I do it all the time. I think the problem is in the hips. If there is any room for your opponent to escape it will be during the transition of the hips. How many people here have been mounted, pushed away at your opponent extending your arms and as your opponent tries to lock your arm you snap your elbow to the mat and roll up into his guard?

Getting rolled while trying to armbar does happen - nothing is inescapable, including the DWL. But when you are careful to bring your leg across his face before you sit back, you greatly minimize his chance for escape, and then it's the strength of your entire body against his arm strength. Whereas the DWL I feel requires more power unless you can get his wrist twisted, which I find much more difficult to do for some reason than the TWL.