The Americana from Side Control is one of the first submissions you’ll learn when you start Jiu Jitsu. However, when you come to try it in sparring, the Americana can be difficult to catch. A big reason for this is because you’re trying to control your opponent’s arm with your arm. That is not mechanically efficient.
A better way to set up the Americana is by using the Kuzure Kesa Gatame. Kuzure Kesa Gatame (or Open Scarf Hold) is a powerful position, and when you attack the Americana from there, it allows you to use your body weight plus both arms against your opponent’s arm.
Episode 52 of 2 Minute Jiu Jitsu covers the set up for the Americana from Kuzure Kesa Gatame plus some important details about finishing the submission.
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