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Quick Way to Develop a Powerful Submission Game

Quick Way to Develop a Powerful Submission Game


Developing a submission game is very important for your progression in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Submissions are one of the biggest parts of bjj.  You need to develop a good guard, good passing, and good submissions to be well-rounded.  We recently wrote an article “The Fastest way to Progress in BJJ” if you’d like to check out some training strategies give it a read.

Today, we discuss how to improve your submissions at a faster rate.  The quickest way to improve your submissions is to find a few submissions you like and work those.  Try to implement the Bruce Lee quote “I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times more than the man who practiced ten thousand kicks one time.” Practice one submission ten thousand times rather than all submissions only a handful of times.

Finding Submissions that Work for you

Finding submissions that work for you can be a difficult task because there are so many of them. When you’re first starting, try to pick versatile submissions that you can implement from several guards, passing positions, and in gi and nogi. 

For instance, it is important to develop a good arm bar because the arm bar is an extremely versatile submission.  It works well in gi, nogi, MMA, and from numerous positions.  If you want to enhance your submission game maybe just work arm bars from everywhere.  If you take someone’s back look for an arm bar, from closed guard try to arm bar, from side control arm bar.  Speaking of arm bars, check out the video below of Demian Maia showing a cool set up for an arm bar.

Seeing Submissions from Several Positions

When you first start to develop your submission game it may be difficult.  You may only know how to look for an arm bar from closed guard because that’s the only set up your professor has shown.  Take some time to study the submission you choose to work on and look for set ups from other positions.

For instance, if you want to work foot locks, tell your professor, “I’m trying to get good at foot locks, can you show me some entries.”  OR ask an upper belt for advice.  Only working one specific submission for a month at a time will help you to find the submission from a multitude of positions and learn the mechanics well so you can finish it.  Check out this foot lock from Luiz Panza below.

Learning how to Connect Submissions

The next step after you start working one or two submissions for a month or two will be learning how to connect submissions.  You will start to develop a chain of attacks.  This is crucial to implementing submissions at a high level.

For example, if you have been working triangles and arm bars, you will learn how to switch from the arm bar to the triangle and vice-versa. You can start to chain up to four or five submissions together.  Some high level black belts have one submission that they love doing and will use three other submissions just to catch their favorite one.  For example, they may set up an arm bar to get to a triangle and go from the triangle to an omoplata and finish with a kimura.  Complicated, right?  It’s all a working progress.  Check out this video of a kimura below just as a bonus.

If you want to get a handle on submissions and learn some new ones to see what works for you and your bjj, check out 5x World Champion, Bernardo Faria’s 4 DVD set “High Percentage Submissions.”  Also, if you want to check out some more submissions, check out our article “Three of the Most Versatile Submissions.”


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