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Are These Top Submissions Part Of Your Game?
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Are These Top Submissions Part Of Your Game?

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According to these high level black belts, here are the submissions every black belt should know and love.

Of all of the questions I had when I started my jiu jitsu journey, “Am I working on the right thing” and “Am I where I should be in the process?”  Were the two that seemed to come up the most. The reality is there isn’t a blanket answer to those statements. There are inevitably multiple answers to the question “What should I be working on” or “What are the must know submissions for my level”.  Everyone’s jiu jitsu journey is different, and while we are all working towards the same goal, we may progress at different speeds. Remember ultimately it’s you against you. That being said, it never hurts to have a gauge to see how you stack up. Professors Craig Jones, Bernardo Faria and John Danaher put together what they feel are the 3 submissions that every black belt should know.

You probably assume as I did that these are advanced techniques that require many years of training to be able to do.  I didn’t find that to be entirely accurate when reviewing the YouTube video titled 3 Submissions Every BJJ Black Belt Should Know.  My thought is that there can’t be any harm in taking a look at these prior to becoming a black belt.  Below we will break down the video into the 3 techniques, essentially we are examining a leg lock, a choke and an upper body joint lock.

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The first submission, shown by Professor Craig Jones is the Straight Ankle Lock.

A common misconception is that you have to be flat on your back and arching up similar to an arm bar in order to finish the submission.  This is untrue.

Professor Craig Jones likes to stay more on his side, and up on his elbow rather than being flat on his back.  He then likes to secure a shallow grip, putting his thumb just under the Achilles. Once the grip is secure, he walks his elbow backwards toward Professor Faria’s other leg with a goal of using his tricep to put pressure on the toes creating a toe hold like pressure to make the straight ankle lock even more effective.  

In addition to walking the elbow backward, he is also bringing his elbow in towards his own body.  This should result in you ending with your shoulder on the mat. To finish the submission, he simply extends and looks over his shoulder.  

The second submission, shown by Professor Bernardo Faria is the North South Choke.

Professor Bernardo Faria likes to start this from side control.  The first step for him is to jump to knee on belly. This is going to cause the opponent to lift their head off the mat naturally.  Professor Faria’s goal is to now switch his base, and land in north south.

To do this he switches his base and falls to his hip, once on his hip he brings his left arm over the opponent’s shoulder and secures the choking arm over the opponents’ neck, ideally with his shoulder directly under the opponents chin.  

The next step is likely the most important, Professor Faria stretches his legs back as far as possible allowing him to get as low as possible.  While doing this he also uses his right hand to block the opponents’ arm on the same side.

At this point it comes to simply finishing the choke.  A last detail that Professor Faria points out is that your shoulder should be over the opponents’ neck.  In this example he did not need the second hand to finish the choke, however if you do need the second hand, ensure that your choking arm is palm up when you secure your grip.

The final submission is shown by Professor John Danaher is the Arm Bar aka Juji Gatame

Step one is to get a collar tie and start reaching your second hand, pinky knuckle up between the arm and body.  As you pull on the collar tie you should be able to punch your hand through and swim up to cup the shoulder.

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Next, we want to fall to our hip keeping our opponent attached to us.  At this point your bottom knee should be on their far shoulder and under their face.  The second knee should be pinching the other shoulder with your shin running along the side of the opponents back.  “Avoid the temptation of throwing your leg over”.

At his point you can slide your arm that was cupping the shoulder up to an elbow to elbow control over the opponents’ arm.  Do not grip hands in this position as it will create unnecessary space and allow the opponent to easily escape. In this position your elbows should be horizontal (parallel to the mats) if your elbow starts to point us it will allow your opponent the space they need to begin escaping.

To finish the submission the head must come in towards the opponents’ head, while the hips are moving away from the opponent. This will create extreme pressure and likely produce a tap, or break.

As you can see, there isn’t anything preventing any of us from getting a jump start on learning what these three high level black belts feel are the three most important submissions for “every BJJ Black belt”.  Did you know these submissions? Did you pick up any new details? Where these part of your game? Now the only thing left to do is get on the mats and drill.

Join John Danaher with the latest installment of his systematic approach to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Check Out "Enter The System: Arm Bar" and get to work on improving your armbar game! BJJ Fanatics has it here!

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