BJJ is a highly complicated and complex skill. However, this shouldn’t detract the people that are interested in learning it. The fact of the matter is that even the biggest complexities in life can be distilled into their individual parts. In this way, a person can learn anything. In the case of BJJ, there are a number of basic moves and techniques. If you learn these – and we mean learn them good – then you will have a solid BJJ base and this is more than most people ever get to have. That being said, the Americana lock is one of BJJ’s most basic moves. Below you will find more information about it.
How to perform the Americana lock
The Americana lock also goes by the name of “figure four arm lock”. This is due to the fact that the intertwining arms of you and your opponent will form the figure 4. In this sense, the Americana lock can be said to be pretty much the opposite of the Kimura lock.
So, in order to execute this move then you need to be in a dominant position. You either need to be in side-control or in mount. After you’ve gotten here, you will need to isolate one of your opponent’s arms. This is the arm that you will attack. If you and your opponent are similar in strength and size, then you will be able to use two arms to control your opponent’s one arm.
Let’s say that you’re attacking your opponent’s left arm from side-control. The first thing you need to do is use your right hand to grab your opponent’s wrist and put his arm near his head. Then you need to slide your left arm underneath your opponent’s elbow and triceps and grab the wrist of your other arm. And this is the basic setup of the Americana lock. All you need to do now is twist your opponent’s forearm while you keep his elbow stable. He will have to tap out to this. For a demonstration of this move, see the video below.
Executing the move properly
There are risk factors that you need to consider when doing the move. If you’re not careful, then you may end up losing your position. So, the old BJJ adage is “position before submission”. You will need to keep yourself stable over your opponent in the side-control example from above. If you go for the arm while not keeping your weight evenly distributed over your opponent’s plexus area – then he may topple you. The same can be said for executing the move from the mount position.
One neat trick that you can do in order to perfect the move is to keep your opponent’s elbow close to his body while you twist his forearm. This will dramatically increase the pressure of the move.
There are some pretty weird ways in which some practitioners execute this move. Some people can execute this move when their opponent has taken their back. They grab his arm and to the lock and the opponent taps out – he taps out when in the strongest possible position. This goes to show that no position is fool-proof in BJJ.
Also, there is a way to execute this move with a single hand. All you need to do is slide your arm underneath your opponent’s elbow and directly grab his wrist with the same arm. Start doing the twisting motion and there is a chance that your opponent will tap out. However, if he gets privy to this move of yours, then he may just extend his arm and block your one-arm Americana.
Dangers from the Americana
The Americana is one of the most classic BJJ moves. This means that it has been studied through and through. It’s a basic move that people learn in one of their first BJJ classes. However, this doesn’t mean that the Americana is risk-free. Opponents typically have the time to tap out before things get really bad. The incidence of pain usually starts early when the move is done.
But bad things can happen if you’re not careful as the person executing this move or as the person being submitted with this move. As the executor, you will want to be careful not to overdo the move as it may break your opponent’s arm. As the person that’s being submitted – you’ll want to tap out early and often once you realize that you have nowhere to go. This will help you reach longevity in BJJ without experiencing any dramatic injuries.
Americana Lock – Simple but Effective Submisssion
There is a reason as to why the Americana is one of the most basic moves in BJJ. It’s a very simple move that’s very effective at the same time. We recommend that you learn more about it and start implementing it in your game.
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