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How to use Submissions to Create Openings
Set Up Your Setups For Greater Success!
One of the coolest things about watching a high-level Jiu Jitsu match is that it is an extremely sophisticated battle of trickery and manipulation rather than a display of brute strength and mindless attacks new grapplers engage in. Although it is difficult to see this at times, it is a necessary element of Jiu Jitsu that high level grapplers must engage in to be successful.
We often hear about how Jiu Jitsu is a physical game of chess. Personally, I think it is much more complicated than chess due to the countless possibilities and paths a grappler can partake in. It is also more complicated because new moves are being developed all the time, which does not happen in chess.
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One of way of manipulating our partner’s moves and game plan is to open them up and change their plan using submission attacks. These types of submission attacks are not used to actually finish those submissions but to get our opponents to open up so that we can transition to more effective attacks.
Let’s look at one of the simplest versions of this idea. The americana is one of the more difficult submissions to finish against a high level opponent but attacking it can land us in submissions that are much more effective.
There are two common defensive reactions people will have when their arm is pinned in a manner that appears as if their opponent if attacking an americana. The first reaction is that they will begin raising their elbow above the shoulder line, eliminating the ability to finish the submission. This movement, however, makes it easy to transition to head and arm choke, a submission that is a lot easier to finish.
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The other reaction they have is that they will roll to their side and use their other hand to grab the arm being attacked. This is one of my favorites because it will allow the attacker to transition to an armbar or to the back. The armbar and back are much more superior than the Americana.
There are endless options an attacker can use to create openings. The Ezekiel choke is another excellent example because even though the submission is difficult to finish, opponents react to the attack very strongly and create many openings. One tip is to attack the set-up submission as if you actually are going to finish or your opponent will be wary of what you are doing and not give you what you want.