How to perform the Bicep Slicer

The bicep slicer, a.k.a the bicep crusher or the bicep lock, is a compression lock used in MMA and submission fighting.

This technique causes intense pain by pressing the bicep into the humerus (the bone connecting the shoulder to the elbow). It can also damage the tendons and ligaments of the elbow by causing the joint to seperate.

To perform the bicep crusher you would insert your arm or leg between the opponent’s upper and lower arm at the elbow. The bone in the forearm or the shin bone should be placed directly against the bicep for the submission to work properly. The opponent’s arm is then put in a flexed positon thereby creating a fulcrum (point of support on which a lever turns when raising or moving something). Pressure can then be applied to the opponent’s flexed arm and the bicep will be pressed into the fulcrum causing pain and the submission.

Let’s take a look at a bicep slicer set up from the arm bar position…

Let’s break it down.

  1. The practitioner starts in a typical arm bar position. His legs across the opponent’s body and his right arm is wrapped around the opponent’s right arm. The bone in his right forearm is against the opponent’s bicep and his left hand is holding the right wrist of his own arm.
  2. He then places his right leg on top of the opponent’s forearm and pushes down.
  3. Next he places his left leg on top of his right, hooking his right foot behind his left knee.
  4. The practitioner now has his legs in a triangle position and can apply downward pressure on the arm with both legs.
  5. The pressure on the opponent’s arm causes the forearm of the practitioner to press into the opponent’s bicep.
  6. The pressure on the bicep causes it to compress against the bone. The opponent is forced to tap.

This set up works very well if the opponent is holding his arm close to his body to prevent the arm bar, it keeps it in the perfect position for this submission.

Now let’s see a bicep slicer from the spider guard…

Let’s break it down.

  1. The pactitioner starts from the spider guard position. Soles of the feet in the shoulder crease, hands gripping the opponent’s wrists.
  2. The left leg of the practitioner is placed over the top of the opponent’s right arm. Note: This is the place where the video you just watched actually starts.
  3. He then uses his right foot to pull himself closer, so he is in better position for the bicep crusher.
  4. He then reaches behind the opponent’s arm, grabs the tricep with both hands and leans back pulling on the tricep.
  5. The pressure pushes the opponent’s bicep against the practitioners shin bone.
  6. The bicep is compressed against the bone causing pain and the submission.

Like all submission holds, the bicep slicer can be set up and performed in many different ways. The list of setups for this compression lock could literally go on and on. With a little experimenting you will find numerous variations.

  1. TKO Warehouse October 29, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    This is an excellent guide to performing the bicep slicer. Thank you!

  2. Marks February 28, 2008 at 8:27 am

    A great technique to use. Especially when sparring or fighting in a gi. i use it mainly to break my opponents grip when he holds his sleeves or arms together. Good post!

  3. DarthMolen March 4, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Hmm. Great guide. Can this be applied effectively without a gi?

  4. Michael May 3, 2008 at 5:08 am

    “Hmm. Great guide. Can this be applied effectively without a gi?”

    Yes. Sometimes you can set it up like a trap. Because this happens and because people think sometimes that it is just paining I made this video.


  5. Brandon July 21, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Yes to anwser Michael’s question this can be applied without a gi…However if your opp is sweating alot, it is possible that he may slip out of it so make sure when you you grab the back of the arm that you try and put the pressure on as quick as possible so the opp doesnt have time to slip out or think of an escape.