Position to Submission

BJJ, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Jiu Jitsu, Martial Arts, Submissions -

Position to Submission

Often times in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we can get hyper focused on one goal at hand and it can detour us from the main goal of a roll, the submission.  What we mean by this is that we may just be thinking of sweeping our opponents, it can even be such a specified train of thought such as thinking of only one specific sweep.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but again, it is always wise to have the end goal in mind.  The end goal being the submission. 

What do we mean by this?  It means that in every aspect of your grappling you should have a game plan that ends with a submission, you want to be three steps ahead of your opponent meaning that if you are thinking of sweeping, think of the pass you are going to connect and the submission.  This is much easier said than done and it can be next to impossible to adapt this mentality.  You have to be able to think quickly and have a game plan that leads you to the submission. 

So how can you develop a game plan like this?  Find a way to connect the dots, find a way to chain your attacks.  This is one of the best characteristics that you can adapt to your game.  You want to be three steps ahead of your opponent just like we stated above.  We can look to some of the greatest grapplers in the world to see how they accomplished this.  Lets look at Marcelo Garcia, Marcelo was infamous for his rapid pace and his submission oriented bjj.  Marcelo was always doing moves but had the submission in mind.  For example, if he was trying to butterfly sweep, he would connect a knee slice and then hunt the arm bar.  If the butterfly sweep failed and his opponent pressured back in, he would hunt the neck, he knew that in that transition his opponent’s neck would open and he would be able to capitalize on the moment.

You can learn to do this through repetition and drilling.  You have to learn patterns and be able to recognize them.  This will allow you to be able to capitalize on submissions.  So, you can learn to do this from guard, while you’re passing, and even once you have passed.  You can create movement and attack the submissions. 

Position to Submission from Guard

When you are playing guard there are so many possibilities of techniques that you can do, there are so many submissions that you can also attack.  So how do you develop a game plan that always ends in submission/  Well that is not easy to do, you can however start to develop a game that is based around certain moves and submissions.  For example, you want to adapt the philosophy of doing the same moves over and over, like Bruce Lee’s quote, “I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 1000 times more than the man who has practiced 1000 kicks once. “

This is how you should look at your training, work on the same sequence of moves every day and recognize knew patterns.  Pattern recognition is vital to progression in bjj.  So lets discuss a hypothetical situation.  Let’s say you are really good at the butterfly sweep, and everytime you utilize this move you have the under hook or the collar once you have swept your opponent, now that you have swept them you follow through with a knee slice.  Since you have the under hook you are able to attack a far side arm bar immediately after your pass.  So you initially developed a good butterfly sweep, followed by a knee slice and now a far side arm bar. Your train of thought ends with submission.  You are thinking to yourself, I will execute this sweep, this pass, and ultimately this submission.  If you try this all the time you will develop pattern recognition, if your sweep fails, you will be able to attack other submissions, if your pass fails, you will see other submissions.  This is how you will develop a game that ultimately ends with submissions.  Check out this video below with Marcelo Garcia Black Belt, Matheus Diniz where he shows a sweep to a submission.  Matheus always has the submission on his mind. 

Position to Submission from Passing

This mentality that we discussed above where you practice the same sequence of movements over and over again with the goal ultimately being the submission can also be adapted for your passing game.  You can work passes that will lead you to submissions and you can do these over and over again by drilling them and learn the patterns. 

For example, maybe your favorite pass is the X pass, you do it every day, if you do it all the time you will see different reactions.  Now that you have done the X pass so much you have learned that it is easier to land knee on belly as opposed to side control.  Now that you have started landing knee on belly you notice that when you pass your opponent posts on your chest so you can attack a near side arm lock.  Now you are doing the X pass with the goal of getting an arm lock.  It goes beyond this, maybe you notice if they do not post on your chest they post on your knee and when they do their neck opens up exposing them to baseball bat chokes or cross chokes.  Now you are doing the X pass to get a near side and if you don’t get it, you can get a choke.  Your goal is always the submission.   Check out this sequence of moves again from Marcelo Garcia black belt, Matheus Diniz, he shows a pass immediately to his favorite submission, the arm triangle.

Notice in the video above that Matheus always has the submission in mind.  This is the type of mentality that many high level practitioners adapt, even if you don’t get the submission every time, you will start to recognize patterns and you will be able to develop a game that is based around submissions and not position.  It should always be position to submission.

If you want to expand on this philosophy and training method or if you want to learn specific techniques that all connect to submissions, check out Marcelo Garcia Black Belt, World class Competitor, and Metamoris veteran, Matheus Diniz DVD Set “Position to Submission.” Matheus Diniz was the last person to submit one of the greatest submission grapplers in the planet, Garry Tonon.  He caught him with a wrist lock and it was because he always had the submission on his mind.  Matheus always says that he does every move with the ultimate goal being the submission.  The submission is always his train of thought.  He attributes this mentality to his professor, Marcelo Garcia.  5x World Champion, Bernardo Faria has said that Matheus is one of the best grapplers he has ever rolled and that he will win the Black belt Worlds one day!  Matheus is no joke and he is also an excellent instructor.  Some people who are black belts in bjj and competition, but they are white belts at teaching, that is NOT the case for Matheus.  Matheus is one of the best instructors that there is and he makes it easy for people to learn!


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