A Submission Secret of Black Belts

It is said that the purple belt knows all of the techniques that a black belt knows. The difference between the purple belt and the black belt is the sharpness, timing and details in applying those same techniques.

As a student of bjj becomes more advanced, there is less of an emphasis on learning new techniques and a greater emphasis on principles. Less on the WHAT and more on the HOW of jiu-jitsu.

read also on Gracie Barra : Applying Principles To Your Jiu-jitsu

In discussing the art of submission with a number of black belts I have noticed a common principle that many have shared with me. Let me first say that defending submissions is easier than successfully finishing a submission. If you are rolling with an experienced opponent, and they identify your submission threat early, there is a high chance they can set the effective defense and deny your submission.

It also becomes increasingly difficult to come up with a “new” move that your opponent doesn’t know and will catch them by surprise.

The Secret: Let the opponent “escape”…right into your trap!

Let us use side control as an example.

You have the opponent flattened underneath your side control. They have their arms in tight and are wary of any attacks. You deliberately lighten the pressure on them and allow them to dig an under hook and turn into you.

The opponent sees daylight. The opponent has a window to escape! But you are prepared with a surprise at the other end. In the moment that the opponent turns to their knees, they leave their neck exposed.
They think that they are escaping and their mental attention forgets defending and is thinking ESCAPE!

BOOM! You have been waiting for that moment to snap on your guillotine or D’arce choke. The opponent was caught in your submission trap.

The principle: Control the opponent, allow one window through which the opponent might escape.
Give them a path to escape that leads them right into your submission trap.

After the roll the opponent says “Gosh, I ALMOST escaped from your side control 3 times, but you caught me in a choke.” The opponent doesn’t understand that you had carefully laid a trap that they had fallen into.

You can apply this escape to submission trap in many positions in your jiu-jitsu.

read also on Gracie Barra : Become A Master Of Escapes!

Credits: Mark Mullen 
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ