Head Lock Escape (Arm Frame)

Using The Arm Frame Escape When Caught in a Headlock

The headlock is, without a doubt, one of the rarest submissions holds in terms of JiuJitsu. You’ll rarely see practitioners use it and it’s even rarer to see them practice maneuvers against it. And, when you think about it from a technical standpoint, the headlock definitely is not as devastating as compared to other holds.


Unfortunately, the streets are a bit less about technicality and more about the intent to hurt or kill someone. And, anyone who’s ever been in a street fight will be the first to tell you that headlocks are pretty devastating.

If you’re ever caught in a headlock in the middle of a street fight, then you’re in a lot of trouble. Your opponent could easily apply a variety of locks and chokes against you. Even if whoever is applying it to you is not an experienced fighter, let alone a technical one, the intent to hurt you is there and that alone will make a simple headlock HURT LIKE HELL.

The arm frame that you’ll soon learn below is a simple escape that works rather well against headlocks. Even better is that after escaping, you can choose whether to strike back, lock your opponent, or choke, or simply run away.

  1. With your opponent applying pressure and their heads up, their neck is up for the taking. Apply pressure to it by placing your left arm over the top of your opponent’s right shoulder and applying force on the side of their neck using your forearm.
  1. Make a frame by placing your right elbow on the ground and using your right hand to grab your left wrist. This frame is hard to break, especially given your opponent’s current position. The frame will also make it hard for them to make any serious move towards you.
  1. With your hips swing out, place your left foot behind your opponent and apply all your weight on the same foot, as well as the right shoulder. Your opponent should fall back.
  1. You should now be in a position to easily raise your left leg to trap your opponent’s head. All the while, you can also push the arm-frame to your opponent’s neck even further to cause more pain.
  1. To apply loads of pain, cross your feet and trap your opponent’s head. Make sure that your legs are straight as possible to make the choke even tighter.

To be honest, you could have just stopped at Number 3, considering that most people wouldn’t even dare think about being aggressive after you just reversed their headlock. This is even advised if you don’t think that you’re capable of doing a leg lock, or if you’re already too winded out to apply much pressure.

Either way, whether you push through and trap your opponent’s head or simply use the arm frame to hurt your opponent to give you a chance to run away, the results will remain the same.

As always, try to practice this with a partner and switch places often as well so you know the little movements that go into play as this technique is applied.

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