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How to Trick Your Opponent With Submission Attacks
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How to Trick Your Opponent With Submission Attacks

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The primary element of Jiu Jitsu that attracted me to start training is the mental complexity of the sport. Watching a high level match is both like watching a high level wrestling matching and a game of Texas Holdem’ at the same time.

One of the most common analogies employed regarding Jiu Jitsu is how it is like a game of chess. While that is definitely true, it’s probably harder than chess due to the physical element a significant risk of loss.

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A major difficulty that arises as you begin going against more skilled opponent’s is getting them to open up for submissions. White belts are notorious for exposing themselves but going up against a blackbelt can be extremely frustrating in that regard.

Furthermore, it is more difficult to sweep them or take them down, adding even greater complexity to your game plan. One of my favorite ways of getting grapplers to open up for attacks, be it submissions or sweeps, is by attacking a submission.

One of the best examples of this concept is the employment of the Americana to transition to better submissions. We are all aware that the Americana can be a nightmare to finish, that does not mean, however, that it can’t be used.

When attacking the Americana, the defender is forced to one of two defenses, or else they will have to tap. The first is to defend by sliding their elbow above the shoulder line and raising their hand as if they are asking a question. This is great opportunity to switch to a head and arm choke.

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The other reaction, which is more common, is rolling and clasping the hands together. This one is my personal favorites and I use it frequently when I am in mount. After they roll, I usually like the set up a gift wrap and take the back. If it’s in the gi, I usually transition to a bow and arrow choke.

The Americana transitions only represent a very tiny fraction of all the possible transitions you can use in Jiu Jitsu. The real secret to getting good at these is finding the simplest ones and practicing them to perfection. Furthermore, if you are a highly ranked grappler, you should be coming up with some of these transitions on your own to develop your personal style.


John Danher is one of the few people to have athletes be successful at the highest levels in both Professional Grappling as well as MMA. He has systemized his approach to teaching,learning,and APPLYING his Jiu-Jitsu. Enter the System with John Danaher!

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