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Craig Jones, Bernardo Faria, and John Danaher with Some Advice For Black Belts
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Craig Jones, Bernardo Faria, and John Danaher with Some Advice For Black Belts

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A black belt has a tremendous responsibility to Jiu-jitsu. By the time we reach this level, we should be seasoned in good practices, honor, and giving back to the community that fostered our growth. In BJJ, black belts are looked to for guidance and treated as north stars of the academy. The black belt should be able to direct us, help us grow, and assist us in understanding the difficulties we’ll face throughout our journeys.

A black belt should also possess one hell of a skillset. Years of sharpening the tools and adding layers and layers of armor their game, should make them one of the most dangerous and knowledgeable players on the mat. Every practitioner develops their own game over the years and they all gravitate toward different ideas and concepts. The inside of a BJJ black belts brain is a network of all things past and present but with a solid understanding of what works best for them. With this all being said, there are things every black belt should know, specifically when it comes to submissions. What do you deem most important when it comes to submissions? What works best for you is the obvious answer but we should have a database of important techniques in our black belt brains that we can have available to us at any time.

So, what submissions do three of the most iconic BJJ figures in the game think you should know as a black belt? In this video Craig Jones, Bernardo Faria, and John Danaher drop some friendly knowledge that all black belts need to hear. Have a look at this video and make sure you’re all set! Check it out! 

 

Craig Jones is up first. If you’re not familiar with Jones, he’s one of the fastest rising stars the BJJ community has ever seen. Craig made a big entrance into the no gi scene and almost overnight we began hearing his name constantly. He’s had some incredibly exciting matches with some of the biggest name in the sport and he’s amassed some very important wins over many of these titans. 

Update your Leg Lock Game with Craig Jones!

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Jones was first revered for his incredibly dangerous leg lock game and his lower body attacks still remain as one of his most feared attributes. His first instructional Leglocks Downunder was sought after by the leg lock community and shone a light on his uniquely devastating skillset. 

Jones recently claimed silver at ADCC 2019 where he was able to ride an incredible wave of victories to the final round where he was only stopped by none other than Matheus Diniz. Jones’s performance again showcased his high level of proficiency and there’s no doubt that this young aussie is just getting started. 

The inner workings of a straight ankle lock are a must for any high level BJJ player. From the straight ankle leg attack scenario an entire world of possibilities is at your fingertips. Understanding how a straight ankle lock works, what make sit dangerous, and where your efforts can lead to is an important part of your training. This platform is connected to so many other concepts and ideas that deal with the lower half of the body and its not one to be ignored. 

Jones begins here in an ashi garami configuration of the legs. He addresses a very common misconception first. Jones discusses how he used to lay flat and try to arch in tot eh foot, which brought him little success. He now much prefers to create a bend in the foot, similar to a toehold to achieve a submission. 

To do this, Jones wraps the foot in a fairly standard fashion and places his thumb just below the Achilles tendon rather than a deep hold on the foot that some may be used to. Plating his hand on his ribcage and propping himself up with his elbow, Jones begins the action of collapsing on to his partners foot, while simultaneously moving his body away from his partner. As he gets lower and lower to the ground, the pressure placed on the foot becomes greater and greater. When he reaches a full extension, Jones simply looks over his shoulder and extends his hips a bit to achieve a devastatingly tight submission. Mind you this was all performed with only one hand. 

Next up we have Bernardo Faria. Faria is a multiple time world champion who now spends his days bringing you the very best instruction that the BJJ community has to offer. Faria’s contributions to the art are many and he is a joy to be around and learn from. Faria’s instruction is simple and direct. I find this approach lends itself incredibly well to learning and progress. Faria’s most recent instructional, The Mount Attack Encyclopedia, is a gem and a much-needed blueprint for mount acquisition, maintenance, and finishing. 

So, what’s one of the most important submissions Mr. Faria thinks you should understand as a black belt? None other than the North / South choke, which he has put to work in his BJJ endeavors quite successfully for years. 

Check out The Mount Attack Encyclopedia today! Click Learn More!

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I have to admit, I struggle a great deal with this submission, so I was excited to get a look at how its applied by one of the best in the game. 

As Faria transitions to the knee on belly position a very important reaction takes place. In response to the pressure from the knee, his partner lifts his head off of the floor. This creates the perfect opportunity to begin attacking the NS south. As his partner reacts, Faria begins to travel. He wraps the head and settles on to his right hip. Here, Faria begins to elongate his body, getting as low and tight to the mat as possible. When he’s reached a pint where he can get now lower, Faria then clears his partner’s arm to make room for his head. He then connects to his partners deltoid area with his ear, closing the circle around his partner’s neck. Here he looks to connect his hands with his top hand facing palm down (don’t skip this detail as the opposite configuration of the hands will provide a gap in the constriction). By applying a light squeeze the tap becomes imminent. This method of the NS choke is so effective, its possible for Faria to perform it with only one arm. 

You may be familiar with the name John Danaher. Unless you live under a rock, you know that Danaher is credited with the creation of one of the most successful competition teams in the history of the sport. He’s helped to produce some of todays top level BJJ athletes and continues to spread his knowledge through his incredible instructional library with BJJ Fanatics. Danaher is a mad scientist of sorts, but one of the things he does best, is improve upon some of the most common themes in BJJ. Every time I experience his instruction, I’m presented with something I “thought” I knew. Danaher ads incredible details to technique that bring an unimaginable amount of value to many things we may already be doing. He’s been in the game a long time and just simply understands what works best. 

In Danaher’s segment he reminds us that submissions are not only used as a means of finishing a match, but also to present our opponents with a threat that gets them moving. Many times, the subsequent reactions to these threats can yield big results during a match. 

Working to achieve inside space, Danaher begins in a butterfly guard scenario. As he achieves a collar tie, he snaps his partner down a bit and corkscrews his other hand into the under-hook space, achieving good position and control over the head and shoulder.  Keeping control of the head until he travels all the way back down tot eh mat, Danaher then looks to keep his far knee in front of his partners shoulder and his top knee pinching down on the other, at the end of his descent. 

Now trapped between the two knees, the top man will find it hard to move backward or forward. Danaher then transfers his partner’s arm up on to his shoulder, trapping it between his shoulder and jaw. Its critical here that Danaher keeps control over his partners body using the pressure from that top knee, so that he doesn’t give any posture back to the passer. He then slides his elbow to meet his partners and begins turning his body toward the mat, pointing his elbow at his partners ear. He reinforces the lock by gripping his own elbow.

To finish the submission, as his head moves toward his partner and his hips move away a tremendous amount of pressure is applied to the elbow forcing his partner to tap. 

So, there you have it. Three solid techniques from three of the best in the world. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!

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