The Standing Armbar – a matter of physic (video)

Often times we look at a standing armbar as a technique – and not an act of physics and mechanics.

But, if we look a little deeper at the levers involved, we begin to see that we in actuality can do very little work if we let mechanical concepts take hold.

First, take a look at our new Youtube video on a standing arm bar lever: (



Now look at the classification of levers below.  We are utilizing a class 1 lever, because we are applying the fulcrum between the force and load.  As we know from mechanics, the further out from the load we have the force, the more it is multiplied over the length of the arm.  But, at 1:14 things change.  We apply a compound lever, applying the 1st class lever with a 2nd class lever, and we make a secondary load on the elbow, which causes stress on the elbow and the shoulder at the same time.

This is a much more effective lever usage because we create multiple stressor points on the bodies linkage system.  This can be learned in one of two ways – technique, where someone teaches you and you copy them, or looking at the levers (theory), body (movement), and then applying them with a training partner who will tell you what works and what doesn’t.

We have to remember why we are there.  As we discuss in the video, we are there to cause pain to stop the brain from creating a methodical escape.  The brain thinks two things – how do I get out of this, or how do I make it stop hurting.

These are two separate thoughts.  If we apply the standing arm bar in a ‘half-ass’ way, we allow the opponent to think of a way out and do damage to us.  But, if we apply it using the full weight of physics, we force the opponent to move to make it stop the pain, or they will move in an uncontrolled way that gives us an opening.

We are always one lever away from dominance whenever we tie up with another person.  With a knowledge of theory, sound movement, and experience bred through training – we become that much more efficient in our training day to day…and more effective when it counts.  You can learn more from our full length video ‘The Lever’ here:  For our newsletter subscribers, make sure to use your discount code!

– Matt

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