Bicep Slicer / Bicep Crush Submission

The bicep crusher or the bicep slicer is another painful submission that mimics the same principles as that of your calf slicer. But instead of focusing on the knee, you get to focus the pressure on the bicep, elbow, and the forearm.

You can say that this submission is a pain compliance submission. However, given the amount of pressure that it can generate, it is something that can get the same reaction as a calf slice. It is possible to finish the opponent quickly.

A Quick and Dangerous submission

Because of the danger posed by doing bicep crusher, it is something that is usually practiced by higher belts. Under IBJJF and UAEJJF rules, only brown and black belt practitioners can apply this move in competition. And in most gyms, this rule also follows. The logic behind this rule is quite simple. If you teach such a dangerous move to a lower belt, there is a chance that they can get injured. However, if you are going to follow ADCC or EBI rules, this is legal.

Comes from Different Positions

What makes it a good submission is the fact that you might not be able to see it coming, It can be camouflaged as a regular armbar attack before you can make the subtle switch to a bicep slicer.

But it isn’t just an armbar. There are a number of creative ways on how you can get the bicep slicer. However, it is crucial to understand the more common setups to this submission.

Top Armbar to Bicep Slicer

One of the easiest ways to hit the bicep slicer is whenever you are going for an armbar from top position. It is common to try to yank the arm only to have the opponent hold the arm to prevent it from getting hyperextended. This is an ideal position to hit the bicep crusher or the bicep slicer.

You want to be tugging your forearm right by the bend of the arm. But since you can’t break the grip, you get the legs over the arm and figure four them. And by twisting your forearm facing up, this fulcrum will provide enough compression to get the opponent to tap.

There are more efficient ways on how you can play around with this setup. For instance, when getting the bicep slice from top position, you want the leg closest to the opponent’s hip to go over the arm. On the other hand, the fulcrum will be the arm that is farther away from the body. Now, as you figure four the leg. The arm closest to the body can hook the leg or simply make a grip by the belt to add pressure and make the bicep crusher even more dangerous.

Setting Up the Bicep Crusher from Different Attacks

One of the things that makes a game dangerous is when you are able to chain submissions. With bicep crusher rarely being used by a lot of practitioners, it is something that can be used to surprise opponents.

Bicep crusher is a perfect combination during reverse kimura setup from a closed guard. Unlike the regular kimura when you control the same side wrist, you do this sequence by having a cross wrist control. Next, the other hand goes underneath the opponent’s arm to grab your own wrist. By scooting to the same side of the arm, you have the chance to torque the shoulder of your opponent. But if you feel that your opponent is defending the position well, you can swing the leg from the same side where you are scooting. Next, you simply figure four your legs and squeeze. To add pressure, you can torque the position of your wrist facing up. This way, you give more pressure on the bicep muscle using your radial bone.

A baratoplata position is also a good way to set up a bicep crusher. It’s a common scenario when you shoot for a triangle that your opponent tries to create space by using their hand. A baratoplata position looks similar to a reverse kimura with the outside arm waved underneath the opponent’s arm. Here, you can play around to attack the shoulder or to put pressure on the opponent’s bicep.

There are instances when you can also attack the bicep crusher when you are on side control. This is can be done in different ways but one of the things that you can do is to use the Americana setup. But instead of grabbing your own wrist, the arm that weaves underneath is going to cup your own shoulder. Also, remember that your radial bone or your wrist bone is going to go against the opponent’s forearm. Next, the hand that is supposed to grab the opponent’s wrist grabs your other arm’s elbow instead. And also, your arm is now trapping the wrist as well. And by squeezing everything, you can get the tap from here. 

Why Learn The Bicep Crusher?

Before you even try learning bicep crushers, understand that it is a dangerous submission. It can break someone’s forearm especially when they refused to tap.

Bicep crushers can happen in different scenarios. It is also possible to have a different wedge other than your wrist. There is even a chance that you can use it while playing lasso. Now, the reason why you need to know this is to prevent injuries in the gym both for yourself and for your partners.

During weird transitions, there is a slight chance that it could end up in a bicep crusher position. By being aware of the submission, you have the chance to tap early in case you feel off. And if you are training with someone who is less experienced, you can easily make the adjustment to prevent your opponent’s arm from getting harmed.

Should you Rely on it as Your go-to Submission?

The bicep crusher rarely happens. However, it is a good attack that you can mix in different positions. Though you can’t finish everyone with this submission, it could be a good way to make someone react. You can combine it with an armbar attack once the opponent tries to stop you from hyperextending his or her arm. A variety of attacks can open different opportunities that could lead to other finishes or points.

About the author


Richard Presley

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Richard is the owner and primary writer of Attack The back. Check out my About Me Page to learn more!