Anatomy of a Submission Artist

I have to admit, I have not submitted a lot of guys in my short (yet fun) Jiu-Jitsu career. Being blessed with a stocky build, I can proudly say that I can mount and take guys down, and win without going for submission. But I can submit. I am able to do it. The difference lies with the number of wins via submission. So what does a fighter have to have to be able to submit guys?


Let’s take a look. 


It’s the same technique over and over again. It’s Lousimar Palhares (again going for the leg lock). And again, he is successful. It’s Rhonda Rousey pulling off the same arm bar that we’ve seen a hundred times. So what gives? True blue submission specialists rely on a specialty. A technique that they know they are almost 100% gonna pull off. These guys have trained all their lives mastering one technique. They must have pulled off these techniques on drills more than 10,000 times. Bruce Lee once said that, “I fear not that man who can do 10,000 different kicks, but a man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.”

Sheer Aggressiveness

There are defensive and offensive fighters. It’s not a fun day when two defensive fighters are squared off one another. However, two offensive styled fighters? What happens? Fireworks. I’ll name a few. Magid Hage is an offensive fighter. His offensive game is so good, he managed to win around 70% of this fights (correct me if I am wrong) through submission alone. Braulio Estima does the same; he never plays with food. Kron Gracie is also one.


Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. However, some are physically gifted to submit using a specific technique. Anderson Silva’s spider-like limbs are just unbelievable; able to pull off the triangle chokes easy-peasy. The flexibility of Marcelo Garcia is just as awesome as his ground game.


Great submission artists are creative. The Korean Zombie’s twister was just out of this world. You will rarely see that in MMA. UFC 157’s Kenny Robertson’s Submission against Brock Jardne with a modified knee bar. Excited? It gets better. They say that it was because the leg was overstretched which caused the pain. Others say the knee was forced sideways which caused the submission. Either way, who submits guys like that?

The Can Do Attitude

So when Frank Mir busted Noguiera’s arm. The MMA world was split into two halves. Some say it there was too much force. Others say it was just right. He simply said, “I don’t want to feel like fool if I didn’t give it all.” But let’s not get excited. What I am saying is that your attitude towards the submission has be full of conviction. If you are going to commit to the move, by all means, COMMIT to it. But remember: well. Learn to read pressure points, understand breaking points. This is Jiu-Jitsu. MMA is just a reference to the point I am trying to make.

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone.