Division and Unity
A big part of the arm bar (juji gatame) system that I teach is the DIVISION PRINCIPLE. This is the idea that you have both of your legs involved in any juji gatame attack and EACH HAS A SEPARATE FUNCTION. Knowing what the function of each leg is at every step of the arm bar is a big part of success. As you go to complete the final phases of the arm bar, your legs must become much more unified. Here you can see me approaching the last steps and my two lower legs are lined up together. Once I clamp the right leg down the unity will result in a very tight clamp around my opponent’s head and shoulders that will make extraction and defense surprisingly difficult. When performing your arm bar practice, always look for this unity of direction in your lower legs. Should the lower legs be pointing in opposing directions at this point there will be a noticeable drop in pressure around your opponent’s head and shoulders. You will need to divide the function of your legs to ENTER arm bars, but to FINISH them you need this readily observable unity.