trouble finishing armbars/triangle from guard.


Fear the Menanite!!!
Aug 1, 2002
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I am now getting good at getting my legs/hips in the proper positions...but b/c of my weight (110 lbs) I have a hard time finishing the moves. Any suggestions? Am I better off trying to sweep? I roll with people who are 20-100 lbs heavier.
I feel your pain but I actually get subs quite often. Keep, a good tight guard. Try strategizing a bit. Setup an omoplata and when the bigger guys strong arm it, transition for a triangle. Most people, can defend a move if they see you doing only that move. It becomes harder when you start stringing subs together. Also, in terms of sweeps, when it vomes to bigger guys, try the kimura sweep if you know it. It's really effective and I use it a lot.
Thanks...I try to combo/chain submissions together...but its a bitch just sometimes making them enough of a threat.
A weight disadvantage like that will pretty much force you into proper technique. I hover around 160 lbs and being tapped by someone I outweigh by good amount can be very humbling. Stamina and Flexiblilty should be in your favor, just do it!!!!
Ever try protein?

One another true, but more serious point just drill the technique and basics.. Go for an arm in guard, have the guy triangle to defend and start to pass, shift your hips, catch the other arm.. If you see a triangle go for that, transition back to armbar, ect.. Just work this 'til you effortlessly can smoothly transition back and forth from sub to sub without telegraphing.. When someone outweighs you by 100 pounds it's going to be very hard for you to catch them with a single attempt, when you make them think and constantly have to defend it will be very hard for them to not eventually slip up and get caught.
If it's hard to finish you either must be doing something very wrong, or are just superhumanly weak and unable to do naturally human things abilities. When there's a will there's a way though.
armbar from guard and triangle are notoriously hard to finish - something john danaher told us a while back. i find this especially true if the guy is a lot bigger, stronger, and rolling without a gi.

john suggested sweeping from the armbar/triangle position and finishing it from the top, where you have more leverage and options to break his grip (if armbar), and sweeping from the triangle and finishing with an armbar.
1st senario: when armbar fails and he pulls his arm completely out move to omoplatta. He he plants from omoplatta with that arm then move back for triangle.

2nd scenario: If armbar fails and he puts his weight on you pull the arm across and go to his back.

practice practice practice
whenever i've had problems finishing an armbar, it is because I have not squeezed with my legs properly.

as for triangles. One you pull their head down, they're screwed. If they are just resistant to triangles, just transition to the armbar with a good squeeze with the legs, it really doesn't matter how small one is.
Maybe try pushing away at their hips or legs if they have you stacked while your trying to be offensive. I struggle at times finishing with triangles even when I think I have em sunk in. When people raise their head I like to try & scoop myself beneath them, grab a leg & try pull them down for a sweep or the choke.
I think I understand where you are coming from. Assuming you are doing it right that is.
I am 180 and fairly strong. There is a guy in our class who is about 125, very skilled guard, but even when he does get me in stuff, even tight, as long as I counter correctly it is actually fairly easy to get out, or if I'm feeling lazy, just stack and really squash him.

How could it be otherwise when I'm able to escape the submission attempts of much bigger, stronger people on a regular basis (with comparable technique of course). Unless your skill is other-worldly you will have problems with big guys.

I agree with the others who have said chaining is your friend. You are small, so you should be swifter than most your opponents, your best chance is to keep chaining and eventually you'll catch something that is so sudden and sunk that there just won't be any time to counter.

On another note, subs that are very leverage effecient are the heel hook, and armbar from the top (where you won't have to deal with their stacking pressure). I have seen little guys cause havok with these.

If you are submission grappling by the way, you might want to think about gi grappling, size isn't nearly as much a factor there-lots more skill (just a thought).