Submissions In Transition
When hunting for submissions, we often times think of gaining position first, hence the widely known “position before submission” mantra. However, we may be able to increase the likelihood of finding a submission, while looking for it in transition.
When we practice our escapes, we mainly drill them from bad positions. On the other end of the spectrum, we drill many of our attacks from these dominant spots. But what about the in between? If most of our opponents are versed in escaping this way, then it would make sense to submission hunt these areas of transition.
For example, we’re looking to take our opponents back. We’ve secured side control, and we’re beginning to apply pressure. Our opponent seems to be turning away from us, rather than trying to retain his guard. As we set up for the back take, we think about a few things: achieving our seatbelt grip, getting our hooks in, etc. We play our cards right, and now we have the back. Cue your opponent’s knowledge of back escapes. They’ve been here 1000 times; they’ve drilled from this unfavorable position tirelessly.
There’s a good chance your opponent is thinking about the same things you are during your transition to the back: don’t let them connect their hands for the seat belt, don’t let them get hooks in, etc. This is the perfect time to mount an attack. While they’re focused on not allowing you to gain position, you pass a lapel, or wrap the neck with your forearm. Worst case scenario, you end up on the back. Best case you land in the back position with 90% of a submission already locked up.
JT Torres displayed his incredible ability to take the back at ADCC this year. The back takes were dynamic, unorthodox, and just plain impressive. Here’s an excellent video that documents a few of JT’s gorgeous transitions to the back.
Can you spot him hunting any submissions in transition?
When your looking to secure the back mount position, there’s a lot for your opponent to think about. Next time, give them something more to fear by trying to catch your submission in transition!
For more from JT Torres, check out his amazing instructional from BJJ Fanatics that will give you a complete gameplan. Covering all of the toughest spots, passing the guard, taking the back and finishing the fight is what "Passing the Guard, Backtakes and Submissions" is all about!