Cross-Sides Bottom: Defending Outside Arm With Arm-Fold

Working Cross-Sides Top, noticed if the bottom player places their far-side forearm under the neck prematurely, they open themselves up to elbow control demonstrated by Braulio Estima @ 10:30 and 9:41-10:09:

To prevent the above elbow underhook, experimenting with folding the forearm across belly, which shuts down the bicep access at the fold of the elbow that makes control work.

Footnote:  First heard about arm-fold posture second hand from some one who saw Rigan Machado teaching it in LA in the early 2000s.

Further, although I couldn’t find any youtube footage, Saulo Ribeiro teaches arm-fold posture extensively in his Jiu-Jitsu Revolution 1 DVDs, and in his Jiu-Jitsu University book from which I found a page and small photo of it in action:


What you can’t see is Ribeiro’s forearm tucked in at a 90 degree angle in between chest navel area.  Something I didn’t understand about this position is that arm becomes active when you bridge, with elbow pushing at opponents south shoulder/upper chest (middle pictures) to facilitate shrimping.

Is this posture the end all be all?  Certainly not.  For right now, I think the standard forearm frame against the neck is great at longer ranges, or to help create space when you’ve lost a grip battle and your training partner is intent on holding you down and crushing you.  The Arm-Fold comes in to play during moments when we’re dominated with body-weight but grips haven’t been established.

One a side note, I think we often look for the perfect posture instead of understanding window(s) where specific postures are most useful.  From here, we can us a variety of frames like Kung-Fu to stifle, shut down, create space, recover, and reverse the top player should the opportunity present itself.  They’re a doorway to being sensitive, fluid, and dynamic:

daniel fly


2 thoughts on “Cross-Sides Bottom: Defending Outside Arm With Arm-Fold

  1. Pingback: May 26, 2015 - BJJ News

  2. Pingback: Cross-Sides Escapes: 3 Framing Actions | Be Water, My Friend

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