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Top 5 Submissions For ALL Levels Of BJJ!

Top 5 Submissions For ALL Levels Of BJJ!


Whether you are new to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or a seasoned veteran to the sport this video is for you. Today we have 5 of the most sought after instructors showing their favorite submissions. Whether it be for BJJ or MMA these techniques (besides the collar choke for MMA) are powerful options. 

To start we have Judo Olympian Travis Stevens (instructor of video seriers Understanding Collar Chokes) showing a collar choke followed by a straight arm lock taught by multiple time ADCC Champion Andre Galvao (1:25). Third we have a kimura shoulder lock by the always brutal Neil Melanson (5:00). Number 4, we have the highest percentage submission in combat sports, the RNC or rear naked choke taught by the physical embodiment of technique over size and strength, Lachlan Giles (7:55). Lastly, we have the arm bar taught by the Wizard, John Danaher (11:37).

 Top 5 Submissions!


Travis Stevens Cross Choke/Baseball Bat Choke

To start our list we have a cross choke being demonstrated by Travis Stevens. From a cross side position, Travis will start with his knees pulled tight to his partner, Left knee by the head and his right knee by his partners belt so he has a wide base. The grips Travis starts with is a left cross and a right underhook. Travis will then switch his ride. This means his left hand (the cross face arm) will remove itself from under the opponent's head and be placed on the other side of his head while his right hand (the under hook arm) will remove itself from under the opponent’s armpit and swings it to the other side of the opponent’s hip, blocking the hips from following him with his hand. Once Travis successfully switches his ride he will then look with switch sides by walking his feet at a 45° angle. As he is traveling to the other side of his opponent’s body Travis must also switch the side his head is on, he does not want his head and body on the same side. 

travis stevens teaches the baseball bat choke


Once Travis Steven has made it to the other side of his opponent he must then look to pummel his right hand around the inside of the opponent's arm. Once Travis pummels his hand free he will scoop under the opponent’s arm between the shoulder and elbow so he can control the position. When ready, Travis will use his right hand to catch a 4 finger in grip inside the back of the opponent’s gi collar. Once Coach Stevens has his 4 finger grip he can look to go back to the original side he started on. When traveling back to the original side, Travis makes sure to pay extra to how his head and left arm are blocking the opponent's hand from defending. Demonstrating that if he simply lifts his head and arm to catch the next grip the opponent can easily start defending with his hand. Instead Travis will keep his hand on the mat and pops his head through the hole that makes. Making his transition this way prevents the opponent from finding space to use his hand. 

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Once back to the original side Travis Stevens started on he will put the pinky side blade of his forearm on the opponent’s neck with his 4 finger grip hand. Now he can catch his second grip with his free hand. Travis will put his left hand thumb into the opponent’s collar under their head. Now that Coach Stevens has both off his grips he can make his final transition to finish his choke. Coach Steven will look to travel again back to the other side of the opponent, stopping when he has one leg on each side of the opponent's head in a north/ south position. While Travis Steven is traveling to the north/ south position he will put his head on the other side of the opponent's hip and drop his weight to finish the choke. 

Andre Galvao's Americana

Andre Galvao isolates the arm


Our second technique to study and breakdown is the straight arm lock from mount, demonstrated by Andre Galvao. From mount, Andre Galvao attacks a classic americana shoulder lock by putting his right hand on the opponent’s cross side arm’s wrist and his left hand on the same side arm’s elbow. This two on one grip assisted by gravity allows Andre to pin the opponent’s arm to the mat. Andre then drops his right elbow to the floor right next to the opponent’s head while his left hand snakes under the elbow and grabs his right wrist to secure a figure-4 grip on the opponent’s arm, effectively isolating it away from the opponent’s body. A common defense to the americana lock is for the defending opponent to stretch their hand out, making it difficult for you to finish your shoulder lock. If you are much stronger than your opponent you may be able to bend their arm back into position but that can be very difficult, instead Galvao will slightly adjust his grip to instead attack a straight arm lock, targeting the elbow joint instead of the shoulder.

The first adjustment Andre Galvao makes to his opponent’s stretched out arm is to turn the opponent’s thumb up. If the opponent’s hand is facing palm up it can be difficult to apply enough pressure to actually damage the joint. Once the hand is turned thumb up, Coach Galvao will continue applying pressure down, trying to keep his opponent’s little finger on the floor. To finish his attack, Andre must position his left forearm under the opponent’s elbow. Once Coach Andre finds the elbow with his forearm he will grab his own arm again. To apply pressure Andre simply lifts his left forearm through the opponent’s elbow joint while the right hand continues to pin the hand thumb up to the mat.

The next piece of info Andre Galvao shares is that he must cover the opponent’s other arm to pin the shoulder to the mat, otherwise the opponent can roll towards the arm lock and defend. Rolling towards the elbow lock helps the opponent bury their arm, making it very difficult for Andre to maintain control and assert breaking pressure. The first option Coach Andre has is when he is proactive and puts his shin on the opponents bicep early enough to prevent them from rolling all the way over. This is good, but sometimes you are late he explains. When late to pinning the bicep, Coach Galvao will look to staple the opponent’s neck to the mat instead. To do this, Andre slices his knee across the opponent’s chest at an angle until his shin is on the neck and his knee to the floor and his foot hooking the opponent’s arm pit. 

Neil Melanson's Kimura Variation

Melanson secures a unique Kimura.


Halfway through now. We have the kimura shoulder lock from cross side control with Neil Melanson. This kimura Coach Melanson is demonstrating is so powerful because of the way he is locking his grip. It is not a typical figure-4 style grip. This grip Neil shows can be more powerful when done correctly. Skipping a set up, Neil Melanson wants to get right into the proper way to grip this powerful kimura and how to finish the break. Instead of keeping his opponent’s wrist with his right hand like it is traditionally taught, Neil will look to trap the opponent’s wrist/ lower forearm with the crook of his elbow. Like the traditional grip, Neil still reaches his left hand under the opponent’s elbow but instead of grabbing his wrist he instead grabs his own tricep while his right hand cups his left elbow. Already this grip should offer tons of control over your opponent. Neil adds that a common mistake people make when utilizing this grip is that they leave a pocket of space. To remedy this, Coach Melanson makes sure to keep his chest tight and his arms pulled in tight to cinch the kimura as tightly as possible to prevent wiggle room.

To finish the kimura, Coach Neil must change the position of hips. His goal is to smash the opponent’s face with his right hip so they are forced to look at the lock. An alternative position that works fine as well Coach Neil says is to position your hip onto the far side shoulder but he says you should still be able to finish it without having to travel that far. Once Neil drops his hip on the opponent’s face, his finish will come on quickly. All he does is he keeps the opponent’s hand to the floor with his right elbow and lifts his left elbow to break the shoulder. 

Lachlan Giles Teaches The RNC

Lachlan Giles secures the back


The fourth technique is the rear naked choke. Starting off, Coach Lachlan Giles says that everyone must know this submission. The starting controls are pretty typical. Lachlan has both hooks in, biting his heels into the inside of the opponent’s thighs to control the hips along with his arms securing a tight seat belt grill going across the opponent's chest. Lachlan’s right hand is the over hook (meaning his arm goes over the right shoulder)  and his left hand is the under hook (meaning his arm goes under the left armpit). Lachlan will then lay to the under hook side for this technique. Lachlan explains that because he had short arms it is difficult for him to finish the choke by going over the opponent's face, instead his positioning must be perfect, right under the chin. To get this position Lachlan must first be sure that the opponent cannot rotate his shoulder blades to the floor. Coach Giles stresses the importance of keeping your left elbow tight to your ribs so it fills the space needed for your opponent to successfully rotate their upper body. Another detail that will prevent your opponent’s rotation is the position of your head. Notice Lachlan has his head glued ear to ear under his partner like a pillow, not allowing them to reach the back of their head to the floor. 

Now to get the arm around the neck. To get under the chin Lachlan Giles first pulls his over hook side arm back and uses his thumb knuckle to dig from the outside of the chin, snaking his arm all the way around his partners neck. Lachlan says you will almost never just wrap the opponent's neck, if you try to just wrap it and your arms are not long enough they can defend your attack and get grips on your arm or simply just tuck their chin making it very difficult to finish. While Coach Giles slides his hand through, make special notice of his head. His head is pressuring into his partners to help assist his choking arm, making it easier to get his arm all the way around the neck.  Once the arm is around the neck Lachlan looks to keep it tight by putting his hand as far behind the opponents neck as possible, almost grabbing their spine with his hand. Lachlan stays so tight with his grip and head that at this point he can remove the under hook and they should not be able to rotate their head to the floor. At the same time Lachlan will cover his choking hand with his chin so the opponent cannot dig his hand out to break the grip around his neck. 

To finish his rear naked choke, Lachlan Giles must free his under hook hand. Lachlan shows how he used to do it, simply swimming his hand out and trying to lock it up. The problem with the way he used to do it though is that the opponent was easily able to block and grip the second hand when he tries to lock up the choke. Instead, Coach Giles will look to pull his under hook out and base on his elbow, working his way up to his hand. Once to his hand and in a seated position, Lachlan can easily sneak that arm in, behind his opponent without them being able to block it. To finish locking the choke, Lachlan puts his left fist to his partners neck, then drives it behind their neck to his opposite shoulder. Finally, Lachlan puts his left elbow over the opponent’s shoulder creating space for his right hand to pop through and grabs his left bicep with his right hand. To finish his squeeze on the neck, Coach Lachlan Giles pulls his elbows back while puffing his chest out to eliminate all space, constricting the opponents carotid arteries. 

John Danaher Teaches An Effecient Armbar

Danaher shares the finer details of the armbar.


The final technique is the arm bar from mount, taught by John Danaher. John starts by explaining that when against an experienced opponent, simply separating their arms and pulling their elbow across their centerline to enter your arm bar is not easy and probably not possible. The number one method to accomplish this Coach Danaher explains is what is called the ratchet method. What John will first do is he will cross face the opponent with his left arm, using his shoulder to pressure their chin into looking in that direction while his right wrist will hook under the opponents elbow. John will then use his fingers to crawl their elbow out until he meets resistance, when he meets that resistance John will position his head over the opponent’s head and straighten his own arm. He will then crawl his fingers some more and make that ratchet movement with his head and by straightening his arm as many times as he needs too. Doing this will steal space from the opponent, exposing their elbow. John Danaher will continue doing this until the opponent’s elbow meets his center line. Once the elbow is to the centerline John will place his head on the other side of their elbow so the opponent can no longer pull that arm back down. 

Now John Danaher is in position to slide his right knee up past the opponent’s shoulder and flips his left leg to create an S mount position. John will then wrap his right arm around his partner’s arm elbow deep, locking them together. From here John will wrap his partners near side leg with his left arm and look to place his left ear on his opponent’s thigh. Placing his ear on his partner’s thigh relieves the weight from his right leg, making it easy to swing over the opponent’s head.  Once his leg is over the head, John will sit to his butt, successfully entering into his arm bar position. 

From the arm bar position John is still elbow to elbow deep with his right arm and his left hand is based on the floor for stability. To break his opponent’s gable grip, John will switch control of the arm, putting his right wrist to the opponent’s wrist. If he tries to break the grip now the opponent can easily hitchhiker escape. To prevent this escape John must maintain control of the elbow by hooking it with his left hand and keeping it glued to his left hip. Because John has the elbow controlled, the opponent cannot complete their escape because they can only turn their body so far without their elbow coming with them. To finish the break, John gets a two on one grip on the opponent's wrist. His left hand pulls down on the, dropping his left elbow, while his right hand pushes the wrist, lifting his right elbow, breaking the elbow over his left hip. Should your opponent be really flexible or strong and you need some extra force to complete your break, Coach John Danaher will use his right hand to place the opponent’s wrist under his left arm pit. John will then grab his left thigh with his left hand and his left shin with his right hand, this allows John to put a tremendous amount of pressure into the opponent’s elbow.

You might be interested in The Banana Guard Submissions System by Roberto Tozi.

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