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    I've been doing BJJ for a while now and would go so far as to say that I'm not a total noob anymore, but I have a question:

    I'm in the karate club on my college campus, mainly due to a lack of other options, and we recently had our belt test at the same time as the "advanced" class. They do a very limited selection of ground techniques (most of which are butchered), and what I'm about to describe struck me as being incorrect:

    When they demonstrated armbars from mount, no one put the leg by the head over the face of their partner. They kept it bent at the knee such that it ended up behind the head of the subject of the armbar.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the purpose of putting the leg over the face is so that you can turn their head away from you in order to make it harder for the subject to roll into you, and generally speaking achieve a greater amount of control.

    if you do not put that leg over their face, you don't have the armbar on any resisting opponent. they will escape.

    tell your karate instructor to stop teaching crappling.

    if he's open-minded, ask if you can show him "a trick" you learned in bjj. the trick being putting your leg over your opponent's face.

    you call it "a trick" because "sharing a trick" is "friendlier" and less offensive than pointing out an obvious and essential flaw in someone's technique, which if left uncorrected will make that technique entirely unworkable.


      I plan on bringing this up with him next semester when I enter the "advanced" class. I had been concerned about how to bring this up with him; he tends to be rather narrow minded and very much in favor of the "Karate is all you will ever need" mentality.

      It also occurred to me that you lose a good deal of leverage when your knee is behind their head. It elevates their torso, meaning that you have to apply more force to get the pressure you need on the elbow joint.


        That's what I fail to understand. He advovates a brand of Karate called "Chidokwan" which seems to be a selection of techniques that have been cherry picked from other styles. Basically he doesn't acknowledge where armbars come from.

        What I gather from him talking about it is that he considers the crappling that he teaches to be all the groundwork you will need to know, ergo something like BJJ is useless. This is obviously false.

        The mission statement of Chidokwan really summarizes it quite well:

        "Chidokwan Karate is a blended style of karate-do that seamlessly combines traditional and more modern training methods and techniques. Chidokwan combines aspects of Shotokan Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Boxing, American Sport Karate, and Modern Arnis."


          my advice: get out as soon as possible.


            It's hard for me to picture what you're describing. The opponent's head rests on TOP of your leg?


              Originally posted by Whorian Gracie
              Then why the fuck is he teaching armbars???
              I think the real question is why the fuck is the OP learning from this guy


                I don't see how you could even get a good pinch on the arm if you don't put your leg over the guy's head.

                Thread summary:

                Why does he teach crappling?
                Why do you train with a crappler?


                  the leg over the face is bent !!!! that is an armbar, its ok to one leg over the face and the other bent with the shin iin his rib cage ( picture it ) but no leg over the face is retarded.

                  speak to the instrutor and show him the right way if he gets all tough guy with u tell you black belt buddys


                    if the arm is deep enough, and your knees are tight enough, you can finish an armbar with feet wherever the fuck you want.

                    i'm not saying i advocate it, mind you, but i am saying don't dismiss them entirely. i can see some level of utility in practicing armbars with nontraditional foot positioning simply to help emphasize the important bits - the knees and shoulder/elbow positioning.

                    i've tapped people (and been tapped) by some weird armbars. i don't go looking for them, though...


                      I am studying Chi Do Kwan and my instructors have shown us the right way to do that technique (leg over the face). They are real sticklers for the right way to do things and they are very open to ideas and sound techniques from other martial arts styles - acknowledging the roots of our style in Shotokahn and Judo, and the association with Tae Kwon Do as well. So it's not the style that is wrong, it's your particular instructor.

                      Are there any other dojos in your surrounding area where you can get good instruction?

                      God Bless,


                        I've been taught to put my head on top of the opponents leg as part of an escape from an armbar (get the head up, back up to shift more weight through your neck/upper back onto the leg, turn into the opponent, sort of thing).


                          Wow, that sounds fantastic. Few things suck more than instructors teaching things that are very wrong. I see a lot of that in the army.

                          I take it you are Swedish, where do you live/train?


                            For reference:

                            The only time their head should (really) be on top of your leg is in yoko Juji Gatame (side Armbar). And yes I'm being facetious.

                            As "sol90m" said This is fine:

                            but not this:

                            From what I can gather, in the above picture, uke's head is deliberately free - so he can grimace at the camera. At least I hope so.

                            However, from that "leg-under-head-arm-bar" position, I have been caught in a side triangle choke before. My automatic response to the armbar attempt was to to try and sit up through the opening Tori provided, and I got caught.

                            Plus, as Pauli said, you see some weird arm bars from time to time. I've ended up in some bizarre positions during a scramble.


                              As paul said there are odd armbars you can catch sometimes; but if the instructor is demonstrating an armbar from mount he should do it the normal way.

                              I agree with the "trick" advice and also demonstrate why it should be done that way.



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