JIU JITSU SUBMISSIONS
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an extremely diverse Martial Art with an extensive range of transitional movements. Even though the art has a formidable grinding pressure from a top game player, dynamic takedown maneuvers, and a slick transitional component to the sweeping mechanisms, what makes the art so thrilling is the technical composition of the submission game.
What this article covers:
- Chokes from Back Control
- Submissions from the Guard
- Mount Chokes
- Submissions from Side Control
- Leg Locks
- Other Positional Submissions
There are a multitude of different submissions that athletes can choose from, with each move also sporting many different variations. An athlete's ability to hunt submissions in an intensive flow system, is exhilarating to watch, and is seen on many mainstream media platforms like FLOGRAPPLING,YouTube and BJJFanatics.com.
What makes the submission game so great is that athletes can learn basic jiu jitsu submissions, or they can delve into more advanced submissions like the heel hook, or the bjj banana split. There is an infinite amount of submissions that athletes can master, and due to the innovation of many world class black belts, more submission maneuvers are created all the time. The leg entanglement game is one aspect that has gained significant popularity with many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes. This style of trapping an opponent into a leg lock scenario can be one of the most deadliest ways to submit an opponent.
CHOKES FROM BACK CONTROL
Securing back control is one of the most important positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It can also be one of the hardest positions to escape from. There are multiple ways to take the back like following an under hook, using an arm drag, or something more intricate like a berimbolo. Once an athlete has taken the back control position it can set up one of the highest percentage submissions in bjj, the rear naked choke. This choke is the number one choke utilised by world class black belts during professional competition. There are different versions of the actual choke mechanic, but the rear naked involves securing an arm underneath the throat, with their hand clasping onto their other bicep, as their other hand secures a grip behind their opponent's head. This is basically a figure four grip, and is one of the most formidable chokes in the BJJ arsenal.
Another high percentage choke from the back control position is the bow and arrow choke. This choke uses Gi grips, as a way to tighten underneath an opponent's throat, while applying torque to the body in the opposite direction to the choke. To secure this choke hold an athlete will start from a traditional back control position, as they look to thread their left arm underneath the throat of their opponent. The difference from the rear naked choke is that the athlete will take a collar grip by inserting one thumb inside the collar, and using their other four fingers to secure a tight grip. From here the athlete will switch their right leg, placing it over the belly of their opponent, as they use their right hand to secure a grip on their pants. To finish this choke the athlete will pull on the collar, while they twist the knee grip in the opposite direction. The athlete can also use their knee behind their opponent's back, instead of over the belly if they require further torque.
SUBMISSIONS FROM THE GUARD
One of the most iconic submissions in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu repertoire is the arm bar. This maneuver can be accessed from a number of different positions, and is one of the most dangerous bjj submission holds of all. The most notable place to secure an arm bar from is the guard. This submission can be easy to set up, and starts with an athlete securing an opponent's right wrist grip with their left hand. The athlete will use their right hand to secure the tricep, as they tuck their elbows into their body to keep a tight control. Opening the guard, the athlete will place their left leg in the hip, as they use their right leg to cut to a forty five degree angle over the back of their opponent's shoulder. Now the athlete can switch their left leg from out of the hip, and thread it in front of their opponent's face, as they activate their calf, and hamstring muscles. To finish this move the athlete will simply lift their hips, while they pull down on the wrist, creating a hyperextension in the elbow.
Another extremely effective submission from the guard is the triangle choke. This submission can also be secured from a number of different positions like the mount, side control, and many more. One way to set up the triangle from the guard position is for the athlete to secure two wrist grips. From here the athlete will push the right wrist into the abdomen of an opponent, as they hold the left wrist towards the centre of their chest. Now the athlete can open their guard, as they place their left leg on the hip. This is how the athlete can launch their right leg over the shoulder of the opponent, by pushing off of their opponent's hip with their left leg. Once the athlete has trapped their opponent into the mix, they will readjust into the triangle by holding their right shin with their left arm, as they use their left leg to lock on the triangle mechanism. The athlete can get more angle by positioning their body forty five degrees to the side of their opponent, as they use the squeezing power of their thighs to submit their opponent.
One of the most popular choke holds from the guard is the guillotine choke. This choke has been synonymous with not only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but Mixed Martial Arts too. Not only is this choke one of the most brutal, but it can also be utilised from the standing position. The guillotine choke is a way to attack the trachea in an extremely brutal fashion. To secure the guillotine choke from the guard, the athlete will basically reach up over their opponent's shoulder, and scoop over the head into a front headlock type of position. Once the arm is over the back of the neck, the forearm is inserted underneath the neck, while the hands are connected together. From here the athlete will pull the elbow tight against the side of the neck, trapping the top of the head with their chest. To finish the choke the athlete will raise the forearm up into the trachea, causing the opponent to submit. An important tip that will help an athlete to secure the guillotine choke, is once they have scooped over the head into the front headlock, they should scoot their butt backwards before applying the forearm up underneath the neck. This will give the athlete more space in order to apply the locking mechanism.
Another high percentage submission that has become exceedingly popular in recent years is the omoplata. This submission was rarely used by the traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners, as it was deemed more of a low percentage movement. It wasn't until the submission move was used as a sweep, that the position became more highly explored. The omoplata has now become an extremely versatile submission move with a multitude of different entries. To secure an omoplata, the athlete will try to offset their opponent's balance by pushing them to the side, as they shoot their leg up underneath the armpit bringing their shin in front of their opponent's face. From here they will escape their other leg, switching themself out into a seated position, where they can lock a triangle over the shoulder of their opponent. An important tip to remember is to try and break the opponent down by getting them off of their knees, and onto their belly. From here it is as simple as lifting an athlete's hips, which in turn will create a kimura like submission on the opponent.
Securing bjj submissions from mount can be a little harder then some other positions, and this is due to the high efficiency of mount escapes. One of the best submissions to attempt from the mount is the arm triangle, or otherwise known as the head and arm choke. The problem with going for mount chokes is that as soon as an athlete uses one of their arms to attempt a choke, they take away their ability to post off of the mat. Generally most mount attacks start with an athlete trying to push an opponent's elbow up high, trapping the arm up next to their opponent's head. From here they will use their opposite arm to wrap around the neck, as they use their head to trap behind their opponent's tricep. As the athlete connects their hands together, they will transition out of the mount, and into side control. The athlete will lower themself toward the mat, as they apply a significant squeezing pressure causing the opponent to hit the submit button.
The kimura is another iconic submission that was first made famous by Masahiko Kimura after he broke Helio Gracie's arm with a bent arm lock. This move was then named the kimura in honour of the Japanese Martial Artist's braisen maneuver. Nowadays the kimura has become one of the arts most valuable submission moves. To secure this submission from the mount the athlete can choose a number of different ways, but one of the easiest starts by pinning one of their opponent’s wrists on the ground with two hands on one grip. From here they can slide their shin over their opponent's arm, trapping it to the mat, as they ground their knee keeping it heavy. The next step is to use their opposite leg to step up close to their opponent's head, as this will expose the opponent’s arm. The athlete will use one hand to control the elbow, as the other hand controls the wrist. To finish the athlete will simply bend the arm up behind their opponent's back, and because of the tight controls with their legs, there is not much avenue to escape.
One of the most iconic chokes from the mount is the cross collar choke. This submission move is an extremely brutal one, and involves an athlete to secure a cross collar grip with four fingers in, and one thumb out. The second hand will then reach across to the other side of the opponent's neck, and take a grip on the collar, or the shoulder. From here the athlete will use a scissoring motion with their hands, as they drop both of their elbows toward the mat creating a cross collar choke. This choke has many different variations like the brabo choke from the knee ride, and the baseball bat choke, which can be secured from the mount, or even from underneath a side control position. Using the cross collar variations are great ways to trap opponents, as they will often be unaware that the choke is tightening.
SUBMISSIONS FROM SIDE CONTROL
The side control position is one of the most versatile positions in the game. There are an infinite amount of submissions that can be secured from the side control position. Setting up the gift wrap is a great way to have a series of attacks that include the cobra choke, the arm triangle choke, the kimura, the arm bar, or a back take transition. The gift wrap is secured by forcing an opponent onto their side, but facing away from the athlete. From here they will feed their top arm across their own throat, and pass the wrist underneath their neck, as their opposite hand secures the grip tight. This will open up an opportunity to thread their arms into a figure four grip, and attempt submissions like the kimura, or the cobra choke.
Another prime target from the side control position is the darce choke, and this extremely brutal submission can be achieved from all positions in grappling. There are two main ways to secure the darce choke from side control, one is to bait the opponent so they turn onto their side facing the athlete, as they reach in for an under hook. The athlete will use their opponent's under hook to thread underneath their neck, clasping the bicep of their other arm that threads over the top of the neck. The trick is to get the athlete's chest trapping behind their opponent's tricep, as they squeeze the darce choke. The other way to secure this choke is to take a tight side control, trapping the near side arm in between the athlete's knee and their crossface. From here they will carefully, and quickly remove their crossface threading it over the head into what looks like a north south choke position. Now all the athlete has to do is circle their body around to the other side, as this will force the opponent into a turtle position, where the athlete can dive their arm deep into a darce choke entry.
The leg entanglement game has become one of the most popular positions in professional grappling. The modern day athlete is well versed in many of the ashi garami positions, and how to access high level leg locks. The standard ashi garami position can be utilised for heel hooks, knee bars, or for the traditional straight foot lock. The ashi garami position is a highly intricate like entanglement that has a different series flow transitions, which can trap an opponent into an inside or an outside heel hook, toe holds, knee bars, and ankle locks. These positions are set up from the outside ashi garami, the cross ashi garami, the inside sankaku, and the standard ashi garami position. There are also other positions like the lockdown, the truck position, and the electric chair position that were made famous by Eddie Bravo. These positions are highly functional, as they can trap an opponent comprehensively into other submissions like the groin stretch, and the calf slicer.
The rise of international No Gi grappling has seen professional athletes like Gordon Ryan, Craig Jones, Lachlan Giles, and Kaynan Duarte become highly effective with their leg entanglement games. The seductive transition of a z guard, or a k guard entry into positions like the inside, or outside heel hook have become extremely deadly. The success of leg locks in recent history has begun to change the game on a new innovative level. Athletes like Dean Lister, Masakazu Imanari, and John Danaher have revolutionised the pathways of the leg lock game. Now there is a multitude of the new up and coming athletes that are using inversion techniques to enhance their ability to access leg locks. The art of entanglements is here to stay, as the development of these positions are only just beginning.
OTHER POSITIONAL SUBMISSIONS
There are many other submissions that can be achieved from other positions like the knee ride, the kesa gatame position, the turtle position, and the standing position. Utilising different submissions like the ezekiel choke, the guillotine choke, the clock choke, and the americana with an athlete's legs are all extremely high percentage submissions that can be achieved easily. Submission moves in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are worth their weight in gold, as these days most competitors are extremely experienced in defending, and escaping from most submission moves. Executing a north south choke, or a rolling crucifix choke can be extremely rewarding, but may not always be high percentage. Utilising more traditional submission set ups like an arm triangle from the kesa gatame, a rear naked choke from the turtle, and a far side arm bar from the knee ride can be more achievable.
There is also the lapel game, which is a highly intricate way to achieve sweeps, or submissions by wrapping the lapel around parts of an opponent's body. This highly functional weaving game can create a number of different ways to choke an opponent, or trap arms and legs into joint locks. Keenan Cornelius is one of the pioneers behind the lapel game, as his intricate guard systems like the gubber guard, the worm guard, the reverse worm guard, and the de la worm guard have all become ways to entrap an opponent into a series of high level attacks. Using lapels will help an athlete secure submissions like loop chokes, clock chokes, brabo chokes, and deep lapel chokes.
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