Learning submissions can be one of the best parts of bjj. So many people believe that submissions are the core of Jiu Jitsu and that the submission is the most important element of bjj. Whether that is true or not is very subjective, one thing is certain though, submissions are the goal. You start a roll in hopes of getting a submission, it is always the end goal. Even in a tournament you can get points for the takedown, sweep, pass, and all the other things but even if you are down by 50 points and manage to get the submission you will win the match. This shows that the submission outweighs every other element of bjj.
Learning submissions can be difficult when you are fist starting off bjj. There are so many submissions that you can learn, and it is hard to devote your time to just getting good at a couple because you’re not sure which one will suit your game best. One of the tricks to progressing in bjj fast is to practice a couple of moves and become the best at them. When learning submissions, you want to learn submissions that work from everywhere.
When we say work from everywhere, what exactly do we mean? Well, you want to learn submissions that work from several different guards, from top and from bottom. You also want to learn submissions that are good in gi and no gi. Assuming that most people will practice both in gi and no gi. Some great submissions that work from everywhere are the arm bar, the triangle, and in the gi, the cross choke.
The Arm Bar
The arm bar is one of the first submissions that many bjj practitioners are exposed to. Many mainstream MMA fans are probably familiar with the arm bar. It is constantly used in UFC fights and it has long been one of the most tried and true submissions. The arm bar is an excellent submission to learn for various reasons. You can do the arm bar in gi, no gi, MMA, and self-defense. You can also attack the arm bar from bottom or top.
The arm bar is taught traditionally from mount and from the closed guard. This is the arm bar that many people are exposed to first. The thing with the arm bar is that you want to learn the mechanics of the finish because once you are able to complete an arm bar well, you can now use it from many places. For example, let’s look at where we can implement the arm bar from bottom.
You can use the arm bar from De La Riva guard, Reverse De La Riva, Spider Guard, X Guard, Lasso Guard, Closed Guard, and pretty much any guard. Let’s assume you have an amazing arm bar, now if you just look for that from all of these guards than you have an amazing weapon in your arsenal.
The arm bar is also a powerful weapon from side control, mount, back control, knee on belly and in transition. You will find that as you pass the guard many people will expose their arms to frame on you and in this moment, you will be able to attack the arm bar.
The Triangle Choke
‘The triangle choke is great just like the arm bar for many of the same reasons. The efficiency, and effectiveness is second to none. You can use the triangle from so many positions and you can use it no gi, MMA and self-defense. Some people who are infamous for a good triangle like UFC fighter and world class black belt, Ryan Hall become feared from everywhere. You never know when they will snap it on.
The triangle works great from all of the same guards as the arm bar, it is a particularly powerful weapon from De La Riva, and spider guard. It is also one of the most common submissions to get in transition. Your opponent may be pushing the pace and trying everything to pass and a triangle may often present itself. Sometimes your opponent will just fall into it.
Contrary to popular belief, the triangle choke is also an excellent move to do from the top. The mounted triangle is a popular position but many people forget that you can do the triangle from side control, back mount and knee on belly.
The Cross Choke
Last but not least, we had to include one submission that is available only in the gi. One of the best chokes in the world is the cross choke. The cross choke is one of the first gi chokes that you learn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Many people say that “it is the first choke you learn and the last one that you master.” Bjj has a multitude of different gi chokes, but the cross choke is one of, if not, the most powerful and versatile choke.
The cross choke has several benefits; one of the biggest of them, is the fact that it can be applied from a variety of different positions. Some of those include full mount, side control, knee on belly, bottom half guard, top half guard, and when someone is in your closed guard.
It is much like the arm bar and the triangle. Once you develop a good cross choke you will have a choke that is devastating from everywhere. The cross choke can be such a powerful weapon, from mount, if you have a good cross choke, that is all you need. Roger Gracie, arguably the best competitor to ever do it has the nastiest cross choke from the mount.
When Roger mounts his opponent, he is able to hold them with the cross collar grip and slowly set this choke up. He is patient and he is a killer. The cross choke from the closed guard is also one of the best weapons that is often overlooked. This is because it is hard to do if you cannot break down your opponent’s posture. Many people can easily achieve the cross collar grip but will fail to break the posture and render the cross choke as useless when in reality it is devastating.
There you have it, some of the best submissions that you can learn. If you want to get better at these positions with one of the best in the world. Check out a true OG of BJJ, Kurt Osiander, who is a Ralph Gracie black belt and who is the head instructor at the Ralph Gracie Academy in San Francisco. The outspoken Kurt Osiander is one of the most well-known instructors in the world and certainly has a tough old school BJJ game. Kurt recently released his first instructional series for BJJ Fanatics entitled Fundamentals of a Jiu Jitsu Renegade where he teaches his no BS and hard nosed approach to BJJ. Now grab yourself a copy of Fundamentals of a Jiu Jitsu Renegade and be sure to add code ‘WATCHBJJ’ to get 10% off!