Submission Strategies

This week Gracie Barra looks at Submission Strategies  – the concepts that help you apply the moves that you have learned to submit an opponent.

When you are in a match with someone with less experience than you, it is possible to surprise your opponent with a technique they don’t know and catch the submission.

That changes significantly when your opponent has a few years of experience. They are no easy target and will not make easy mistakes that you can take advantage of.

You are going to need to step up your jiu-jitsu and employ some submission strategy!

Here are 3 proven strategies that you can apply to your submission game.

1) Attack combinations 
Many attacks in jiu-jitsu have a complementary technique that makes a perfect combination.

The concept is that when the opponent defends the A attack, they unwittingly create an opening for the B attack. And vice versa!

The classic combination of choke to arm lock from the mount is a perfect example. Your opponent must defend the choke and opens their elbow and exposes their arm for the arm lock..

The possible combinations in jiu-jitsu are limitless.

2) Pressure
Multi time World Champion Roger Gracie is famous among jiu-jitsu fans for his relatively straightforward game that is successful at the black belt level.

How is Roger able to submit world class black belts with basic techniques such as the cross choke from mount?

Pressure and superior leverage. In the mounted position Roger applies HEAVY pressure to the opponents. On top you have the advantage of gravity and by applying your bodyweight to the opponent, you can make them feel very uncomfortable and they make an unwise move to escape the pressure.

Secondly, when you are in a dominant position, your leverage is superior to the bottom person’s leverage. You can overcome correct defense by applying your superior leverage.

When your opponent feels pressure they often make sudden, risky movements to escape that can create the opportunity to submit.

3) Countering opponent’s techniques
Why so often do we see tight, conservative matches between competitors at the top levels?

Because they are aware that by attacking your opponent, you are forced to open your own defense and consequently expose yourself to counterattack.

Boxers and Olympic level judo competitors make extensive use of this strategy. They allow space for the opponent to feel confident with trying an attack. The “counter fighter” is anticipating the movement and has a surprise counter attack ready.

A boxing coach pointed out to me that most knockouts in boxing come from a counter punch.

The same principle holds true in jiu-jitsu. If you open your closed guard a little, your opponent will attempt to stack pass and create the opening to attack your triangle choke.

What is your favorite submission strategy?

See also on Gracie Barra : GB Learning : Arm Bar From The Guard


Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Instagram: @bjjmarkmullen