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How the Rules Effect Your Game Part 3 - Submission Only

How the Rules Effect Your Game Part 3 - Submission Only


As we talked about in Part 1 and 2, rules play a big role in how your game develops and what it eventually grows in to.

Now on to Part 3 to look at the Pros and Cons of Submission Only Grappling as it relates to the 3 primary types of student groups. Recreational, Self Defense, and Competitive.



As proven by the multitude of 10th Planet Gyms that have opened in recent years, Submission Only Grappling is amazing for Recreational Grapplers. With very little restrictions, it's become a true game of human chess where everyone can work from whatever their best position is. Focused solely on working towards control and then submission from any position.

Because of the lack of restrictions, many people also choose to start from the ground, and have almost completely eliminated any sort of Wrestling. As a result, a large portion of what would be physical size, strength and athleticism advantages, have been dramatically lessened.

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Many have argued that due to the lack of restrictions the style is more injury prone. Especially when it comes to the leg lock game. Grappling from the Reap position and Heel Hooks in particular, can put a large strain on the knees. But many have shown that the large amount of injuries when the style began to arise where due to a lack of awareness rather than it being any more dangerous than other positions. That's been supported by less injuries in competition as the style becomes more popular and people are more aware of when they are in danger.

Self Defense


Anyone who trains in a Combat Sport that regularly goes at 100% is going to have an advantage over normal people. Just being aware of what it takes to physically control someone who doesn’t want to be controlled is a huge advantage. And in terms of Self Defense, being able to attack submissions from disadvantageous positions is a definite benefit. You never know when or how a situation like that could arise. You could easily be blindsided and before you even know what’s going on, you’re already on your back with an attacker on top of you.


Being able to attack submissions from disadvantageous positions is good, but it would be better to not get into that position in the first place. The clear lack of wrestling that usually comes with practicing this style is not good for Self Defense. It means that in order for the altercation to get to the ground you would have had to either pulled guard or been knocked to the ground. Either situation leaves you vulnerable to a ground and pound style attack, which is obviously not ideal.



The competition scene is becoming much larger. There are now a number of large events where grapplers can make good money. There's also a lot of sponsors out there now to even further your financial potential. And at the rate that it seems to be growing, Submission Only seems to definitely be the way to go if you want to make a professional career out of grappling.


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While the pro level scene continues to grow, the amateur scene not so much. Majority of the local tournaments are point tournaments, which makes it difficult to gain the experience needed to get into the pro events. Hopefully this begins to change as Pro events continue to grow.

If you go to a gym simply for the convenience of its location then you're kind of stuck with whatever you got...... But, if you're one of the lucky few that does have the option to choose between multiple gyms, look into what style they teach and choose the one that best supports your goals. After all, if you’re not on the road to accomplishing the reason you’re doing whatever it is that you’re doing, why do it.

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