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Sometimes instead of hiding the arm under your armpit, your opponent will keep his arms close to his chest and his hands up by his neck.
In order to get his arm where I want it, I am going to lower my chest into position behind his wrist and then push it forward with my chest by pushing my body forward with my feet. Making sure to stay tight to him, otherwise he will have the space to just bring his arm back inside between your chest and his. Once his arm comes out far enough I am going to bring my hand that was blocking his hip around and catch just under his elbow with the bend of my own elbow, cupping his shoulder.
With my other hand I am going to push his wrist down to the mat. While I am doing that, my hand cupping the shoulder is going to grab my own wrist as soon as it is low enough. Make sure you are using a no-thumb grip with both hands for the Americana.
Ideally, you want your opponents wrist glued to the mat as you slowly drag his arm down towards his feet, while slightly lifting your bottom arm at his elbow. So, you are dragging the arm back, and lifting the elbow at the same time. Most people have a misunderstanding of the Americana.
They think it is the lifting of the elbow that is causing the pain. In reality, it is really the motion of dragging the elbow towards his own feet that causes the major damage.
This is why if you watch the UFC or go to Jiu-Jitsu tournaments you will see guys with their elbows way up in the air, looking like they are really getting cranked. But, this is not the case. It looks far worse than it is.
Try it and see for yourself. Focus 80% of your efforts on dragging the elbow towards his lower body, making sure to keep the wrist glued to the ground. And focus the other 20% on the lifting of the elbow.
As you can see, this move will work as long as you are applying both of these motions correctly. But, try it as if your opponent was wearing a wristwatch and you want to scrape up the face of it by dragging it across the ground. You will feel a major difference in pressure.
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