The Arm Bar of American Kenpo
by Jon E. Belcher
based on his 1999 UKS newsletter article.

The arm bar is a very popular technique in most Kenpo schools and one most Kenpo practitioners work with. The most common arm bar is found in the technique Crossing Talon. In this list, this armbar will be used as the model. 

Description: Working on your attaker's leading arm (from opposing stances) have with your lead forearm at your attacker's elbow, and your rear hand grasping your attacker's wrist (pulling to your rear hip). This pull on to the also creates a third hand situation as well.

In each of the following attacks, the arm bar you apply will be identical. The only thing that changes is the attack and the way you maneuver to apply the arm bar. These are not necessarily all within Kenpo techniques in the Ideal Phase, but the technique can be grafted on to the end of any such attack. For the sake of brevity, the individual application notes will be kept short. Refer to the individual techniques named for greater detail on how each application begins located within the Flame under Written Curriculums.

Note: The arm bar will allow you options for disarming an attacker with a weapon, and / or subduing an unarmed attacker without seriously injuring them. What if your attacker has his arm bent and you cannot straighten it? When you step into your attacker's arm at the elbow and attempt to complete the arm bar, the possibility exists that your attacker may anticipate the move and manage to keep the arm bent with the biceps flexed. If you realize you cannot complete the maneuver, simply step back with the opposite leg. By reversing your direction and using the principles of body fusion and backup mass you should now be able to straighten the arm. Then you can put your front hand on your attacker's elbow to lock it out or place the back of your attacker's hand against your mid-section while pressing on the elbow to get the third hand involved here.

And I am sure that most Kenpoists could come up with more ways to apply an arm bar. Go ahead and apply your creativity and see what you can discover.