In a burst of serendipity, Vinny Magalhaes submitted Igor Pokrajac with a beautiful armbar achieved from a threat of a triangle at UFC 152. The "happy accident" connected with this submission is that Patrick Tenney was working behind the stages to bring us a video series on the triangle to armbar sequence and more.
Tenney, formerly known as AboveThisFire, is a long time grappler and has been working on terrific technique explanations and Judo Chops for years. He has finally moved into the digital age and has filmed several techniques he taught during his class in the DC Metro area for us here at Bloody Elbow.
Enjoy Patrick's set-up and explanation below:
The above video is a playlist of four videos Patrick filmed. They will play consecutively.
Patrick Tenney - Chaining together submissions from the guard is one of the most important facets of the ground game, whether it be in mixed martial arts or jiu-jitsu competition. Attacking your opponent with a submission means that the opponent has to defend and if you can continually attack faster and better than they can defend, you should have a route to victory open up very soon.
The following is one of the most fundamental attack chains that can be launched from the guard and I call it the triple attack.
This triple attack is comprised of three fundamental submissions: the Armbar, the Omoplata, and the Triangle. These attacks all take advantage of positional/postural mistakes either forced by you against your opponent or by your opponent failing to work properly inside of the guard.
The following details should be given priority during the execution of these techniques:
- The guard is not a relaxed position. Your core, lower body, and upper body all must be utilized in order to successfully attack. You cannot loosely lock your legs around your opponent without exerting force and expect them to just "stay".
- In the gi, the cross-collar grip is your friend. Use this grip (get it deep as you can) as a synergist to the techniques and as you become more comfortable with the chain, it is easy to add collar attacks to this chain. This addition of collar choke attacks not only opens up the other submissions, but may serve as avenues to submit your opponent by themselves. One leads into the other - but after you've gotten the chain right.
- In no gi grappling, it is important to the breaking of the opponent's posture that you control the wrists, elbows, and the back of the neck of your opponent whenever you can, while also bringing your legs in towards you to further collapse the posture. Take advantage of your opponent's mistakes: you need to be attacking if they reach too far up your body (see Jon Jones vs. Vitor Belfort and the crazy armbar attempt), if they allow their elbow to cross the center line of your body, or if they place a hand on the mat. You need to be attacking.
- All four of your limbs need to be active and serving a purpose. If you find one of your hands, arms, or legs just dangling around not doing any work, then you're doing something wrong. Each limb needs to be at work controlling your opponent or improving your predicament.
- Be prepared to fail: If your opponent is breaking out of your guard, you need to plan ahead. You should be the one who decides when and how your guard opens, so that you can execute immediately off that guard break. Do not allow your opponent to dictate the fight or the distance. Act first and don't stop.