MOST DANGEROUS BJJ SUBMISSION
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly effective form of combat sports. The art has an extremely functional, and systematic series of high calibre movements that include high impact takedowns, dynamic transitions, control positions that neutralise opponents, and devastating submission maneuvers like choke holds, and joint locks. The art in itself can be extremely dangerous due to the high velocity, and intense nature of the sport. All athletes that train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are extremely well conditioned from years of grappling, and are highly experienced with knowledge, and technical proficiency, which helps to keep them safe from injury.
What this article covers:
- Which Control Position Is More Effective
- Submissions that Can Cause Injuries
- Training to Avoid Dangerous Positions
- The Top 5 Most Dangerous Submissions
There are many different kinds of jiu jitsu submissions that are extremely dangerous, as they can put significant pressure into the neck, the shoulder, or the knee joint. Sometimes an athlete can be reckless in how they apply submissions on their opponents, and this is usually seen when an opponent suffers from a neck crank submission.
There is also the competitive edge, which is where an athlete has a hunger to succeed on the world stage of grappling, and although this may be embedded into many athletes in the sport, this can also become troublesome in terms of injuring athletes. A competitor that has a win at all costs attitude may apply submissions, and recklessly reef the submission until something breaks. This may be the nature of the sport, as it does have a dangerous aspect attached, but there still has to be a general duty of care towards an opponent, or a training partner.
WHICH CONTROL POSITION IS MORE EFFECTIVE
There has always been a heavy debate amongst the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community about which control position is more effective than the other. Even though the back control seems to be the most effective control position, and the hardest to escape from, it really does come down to personal preference, and how an athlete can adapt to their individual game styles. Statistics have shown that the highest percentage submissions in bjj is the rear naked choke, the arm bar, and the triangle, with the rear naked choke sitting comfortably in the number one position. This will give validity to the fact that the back control may well and truly be the most effective control position.
There is however a significant argument that places the mount, The guard, and the side control positions firmly in the sights as well. The mount is an extremely stifling position that is designed to neutralise, and suck the energy out of an opponent. Securing bjj submissions from mount can be extremely effective, with some of them even bordering into the most dangerous submissions of all. The side control position is another extremely diverse, and effective control position that an athlete can attack from. The side control position however is a lot easier to escape from, but is also extremely diverse with the amount of submissions that an athlete can attack for. The guard position is one of the most formidable control positions in the game, as sometimes trying to break open a guard can be extremely hard to do. What makes the guard so iconic is that there are a multitude of different attacks to utilise, like an abundance of sweep maneuvers, and an extensive range of submission attacks.
There are other control positions that can be just as important as the big four. The kesa gatame is a highly effective position where an athlete can access a number of different submissions. What makes the kesa gatame really functional is the way an athlete can really isolate their opponent's arm, as arm cutters, arm bars, americanas, and wrist locks are all highly achievable from this position. The knee on belly, or the knee ride is an excellent position to springboard into many different chokes like the brabo choke, the clock choke, the cross collar choke, the darce choke and many more. There is also a wide range of joint locks like the near side, and the far side arm bars, kimuras, and a variety of different leg locks. The knee ride is also a great transitional position to move into more dominant control positions. The versatility of the knee on belly position has become extremely popular, and highly effective in the modern era.
The turtle position is also a great attacking position, as an athlete can utilise a series of high calibre submissions like the crucifix, the omoplata, the darce choke, the guillotine choke, and the anaconda choke. From the turtle position, an athlete can also transition into a back take, which is the most dominant control position in the game. The north south position is probably not the most dangerous control position, but it is the stepping stone between the side control, and moving around to their opponent's other side control. This can be an effective weapon, as the unpredictability of how an athlete will move can be hard to deal with. There is also the north south choke, which can prove extremely tricky to escape from. Even though this position may not top the list of the most effective control position, it does however give the athlete an opportunity to access a greater range of high level movements.
SUBMISSIONS THAT CAN CAUSE INJURIES
There is an extensive range of submission maneuvers in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The range of submissions will start at basic jiu jitsu submissions, and move up into the more advanced versions. Quite often a beginner of the art will recklessly apply a submission, which can cause extensive injuries to their opponent. These submissions can be a basic triangle, or a guillotine choke, where the beginner puts too much lateral hyperflexion into the choke, causing their opponent to suffer from a neck crank. This can be extremely dangerous, especially in training, this is why beginners of the art are only allowed to utilise certain submission maneuvers. It is not until they are more experienced that they will begin to understand the mechanics of different Jiu Jitsu choke holds.
As a practitioner begins to advance through the belt ranking system, they become more intune with how the flow of Jiu Jitsu goes. This may help an athlete to train safer, or even compete without being reckless or endangering their opponents, but it does mean that they will intend to use more highly advanced submission maneuvers. The higher level the athlete is, the more submissions they are allowed to use, and even though they are safer at executing these moves, the fact that they are allowed to use dangerous submissions can be daunting to an opponent. The leg entanglement game is a considerably dangerous one, as it does not take much pressure to destroy the knee. There are many ligaments inside of the knee that can be ruptured, and legs can also suffer from extensive breaks due to strong competitors executing leg locks. These dangerous maneuvers will hyperextend the knee, or will use dangerous lateral movement to separate the knee, and its ligaments from its normal structure.
TRAINING TO AVOID DANGEROUS POSITIONS
There are many dangerous positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that sometimes cannot be avoided. An opponent who attempts to pass the guard, may often wind up stacking an athlete onto their neck. This can be extremely common in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but most opponents will not apply too much pressure onto the neck of an athlete. In some cases pressure onto the neck cannot be avoided, and this is where athletes need to train so they can avoid injuries from these types of positions. Getting comfortable in the stacked position is extremely important for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. One of the best ways to train this movement is by attempting the inversion game. Using a granby roll, and practising how to use core strength in this position, will go a long way into helping the athlete avoid injury. All it takes to avoid the stack pressure is to turn an athlete's head marginally to either side, as this will help them simply roll over their shoulder and avoid injury.
The leg lock game has become an extremely important part of the No Gi structure in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Athletes that compete in high level No Gi tournaments will have to go up against athletes that are well versed in leg lock maneuvers. This can be extremely dangerous, and a daunting prospect for an athlete heading into their competition. When the athlete is training inside of their academy they need to work extensively on leg lock attack, and defense. Learning how to attack all positions, and understanding all positions will ultimately help them in defending these positions. The leg lock game is a dangerous position, but athletes need to get comfortable at being stuck in leg locks, and knowing they do not have to panic to defend them, and escape these positions. Learning how to be calm during a leg entanglement, and knowing their technical escapes is crucial, so they do not have to suffer from any kind of extensive injury.
THE TOP 5 MOST DANGEROUS SUBMISSIONS
There are many different kinds of dangerous submissions involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When trying to judge the most dangerous of all, there are a few factors that come into play like other submissions being utilised by beginners of the art, because these practitioners are notoriously reckless. Another factor is whether the athlete is competing in the Gi divisions, or the No Gi divisions, because each division has its own different set of allowable submissions. No Gi will allow many different kinds of leg locks like heel hooks, knee bars, calf slicers, and groin stretches like the bjj banana split or the crotch ripper. The Gi division uses the lapel as a way of choking an opponent, which can be extremely dangerous due to the rope like structure of the lapel.
Coming in at number five on the list is the darce choke, which has become more famous in recent years due to athletes like Joe D'arce, Mark Leyman, Jeff Glover, and the Ruotolo brothers. Even though the darce choke may not seem like such a dangerous maneuver, if the choke is not applied correctly it can turn into a severe neck crank. The problem that most athletes face when attempting the darce choke is that they will struggle to utilise the length of their arms to the right spot on the neck to correctly, and safely apply the choke. Sometimes the wrist bone will be applied a little bit higher than the carotid artery, which can cause the vertebrae in the neck to be damaged. This is why the darce choke has made the list of the most dangerous submissions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Number four on the list is the crucifix neck crank, and this submission can be devastating to the neck of an opponent. The sheer velocity of an opponent's weight coming down on an athlete's neck, while both of their arms are restrained, can be debilitating to an athlete. This is why this submission is illegal in most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions. When an athlete subdues both of their opponent's arms in a crucifix, and then rolls their opponent over onto their cervical spine, this is a recipe for disaster, as the opponent will often crack their vertebrae, rupture discs, or suffer from even more debilitating injuries. This is why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does have a rule set so that an organisation can prevent an athlete from suffering from life threatening, or career ending injuries. Even though Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly formidable combat sport, the safety of the athlete must be the top priority.
Number three on the most dangerous submission list is the twister. This submission was made famous by Eddie Bravo from the 10th planet Jiu Jitsu academy. Eddie's innovations led to his intricate rubber guard, twister side control, lockdown, and truck systems. The twister has often been thought of as a spinal crank, which is executed as an option from the truck position. In fact even though the twisting nature of the submission looks like it does affect the spine mostly, there is actually more torque on the cervical spine because of the lateral hyperflexion on the neck. This means that the twister in actual fact is a neck crank, and is an extremely dangerous one to use. This is why the IBJJF have made this move illegal, due to the force that it can put on the neck, the knee, and the spine of an opponent. This submission may look cool, and has extremely detailed intricacies in how it works, but it is notoriously dangerous, and which is why only high level athletes can execute this submission at events like the ADCC, and the Eddie Bravo Invitational.
Coming in at number two on the list is the inside heel hook, and this is because of the damage that can happen to an opponent's knee joints. The heel hook has become the most feared submission on the No Gi professional circuit. Superstar athletes like Gordon Ryan, Craig Jones, Nicky Rodriguez, and Lachlan Giles have all showcased their extraordinary ability to manipulate an opponent's leg to secure an inside heel hook. The mechanic of the submission transfers torque from the twisting motion of the heel, which puts a significant amount of pressure into the knee joint. Athletes that do not tap to this submission can end up with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and other serious injuries to the knee, and the surrounding muscles, and bones. The rapid rise in popularity of this submission has driven its development into epic proportions, as world class athletes are showcasing the ferocity of the heel hook.
The number one dangerous submission is the one handed mounted guillotine. This submission can be extremely villainous, as the brutal mechanics of this choke steer it toward neck crank territory. It is bad enough that a mounted guillotine can be disastrous to the neck of an opponent, but the fact that a one handed guillotine uses an athlete's hand bracing off the mat will help to apply extra torque into the crank. The action of a mounted guillotine is exactly like a can opener, and anytime an opponent's head is pulled up, the vertebrae, and the discs in the cervical spine can receive extensive damage. This submission is illegal in most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments, but is legal inside the MMA cage. In particular Luke Rockhold executed this brutal submission against Michael Bisping at Fight Night 55 in Sydney Australia. After Bisping tapped out to this brutal submission, Luke received a lot of notoriety, and now the maneuver is revered as one of the most deadliest ways to finish an opponent.
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