Submission only tournaments, IBJJF tournaments, rolling, drilling, training technique. the one thing they all have in common is that submissions are the sweet reward in the BJJ pinata. Getting a submission right in any one of these aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the nirvana all grapplers chase. However, just like with the spiritual nirvana, submissions prove to be a very fleeting and hard thing to accomplish. So, how doe it seem so easy for all those black belts we regularly see on the big scene? Yeah, ok, they train and have been training for long. I know, you also train a lot. However, even if you spend a couple of decades in BJJ, you won’t become good at submissions without one key quality. You need the mindset of a submission hunter!
Let’s not kid ourselves, we’re all in BJJ because of the submissions. yes it’s therapy, yes it changes and saves lives, but it does so in a very specific way. Jiu=Jitsu allows us to ent everything and anything by playing make-believe murder or mauling. Yes, BJJ is as real as possible and you could truly injure or kill someone. However, normal social behavior and common sense dictate otherwise. Besides, getting a tap is so much more rewarding than putting someone to sleep. Yes, you’ve figuratively killed them, but they fought back. Getting the tap is a much better ego booster for all of us since it symbolizes that you got a person so powerless, they had to give up, hoping you’ll spare them. It is the high a submission hunter is always chasing.
Unfortunately, submissions are not at all easy to get. They require every other part of BJJ to be flawless. It is much like baking a cake. there’s no point in making the frosting if you can’t make the batter, or even know how to work the oven, for that matter. The submission is the end, not the beginning and certainly not the path. However, getting a submission is also much more complex than baking, and, luckily, a lot more fun. A submission hunter understands this, as well as everything that comes before an after a submission. Now it is time for you to learn this too.
In order to get the low down on how exactly you should use positions in order to turn into a formidable submission hunter. Marcelo Garica’s standout student and black belt, Matheus Diniz has the blueprint to unlock your submission skill in his “Position To Submission’ DVD set! All the details on techniques available in the instructional HERE.
The Mindset Of A Submission Hunter
Back in my early blue belt days I never really got plenty of submissions. I was very good at sweeping and attaining control, even the odd ass or two. However, my finishing rate was abysmal, mostly due to the fear of relinquishing control in order to hunt for submissions. It made me feel like I was stagnating and not progressing at a rate I had hoped for. So, in a true Danaher-like fashion (who I never even knew existed back then) I said to myself fuck it, go for a submission. And I did. I abandoned all caution and stated looking only for submissions. But no, that’s not the path to becoming a submission hunter. It is only the first step across the threshold.
For a submission hunter, it is not about technical knowledge or strategy. Of course, this things matter, but it is the mindset that defines true submission hunters. It is not something you can learn in an instant. It is something that an article, a training partner or an instructor can only point you to. You’ll need to discover your own way of getting into the hunting zone. It is the hardest part of the puzzle, but there are certain pointers that can help you find your path.
For starters, that same-old saying “position before submission” is a two-edged sword. Yes, you need to know how to attack a submission, or you’ll end up on the run before you know it. However, at the same time, you must not focus so much on a position that you shut your own submission game down. Form a technical aspect, this is the most important thing you can consciously work on in your submission hunting quest.
Principles Of Submission Hunting
The perfect positional dilemma aside, there are a few principles that seem to be common for most submission hunters out there. These are also things that you can work on specifically and look to implement them in your game. Along with finding positional balance, these are all going to help you immensely in finding your own submission hunting zone.
The first thing to remember as a perspective submission hunter is to attack. An opponent can’t attack you or work if you’re constantly attacking. However, for a successful submission game, you can’t just be throwing submissions at them. The moment you run out the tables will turn. Instead, turn to pressure as your submission hunting friend. Top or bottom, always look to put pressure on your opponent and only then try to look for submissions.
The whole point of putting pressure and getting into a great position is attention. If you’re smothering, crushing and restricting an opponent’s breathing, you’re making them focus on that. Pain and discomfort are the best tools in a submission hunters toolbox. Take your opponent’s soul before you take the submission by putting them in a position where they’ll give up a limb or their neck just to get you off them.
Creating whole systems of submissions that work together is the mark of a truly knowledgeable grappler. However, most people, especially those who lack experience, build their chains too short. The submission chain of a true submission hunter never really ends. This is an important thing to consider because it plays right into the hunting mindset. There’s absolutely no way for you to keep throwing different submission attempts without running out. What submission hunters do is they create a circle instead of a chain.
For example, if you attack a choke from the back, then a straight armbar, then a Kimura an Omoplata, there’s no need to look for a leg lock first. The circle can bring you into back control once again, and this time you might finish.
A final trait to look for in submission hunting is the power of deception. This works closely with the concept of pain and discomfort. Putting your opponent under pressure can mask your true submission intentions. However, you can also use submissions to mask other submissions. A clear example is using an American to get a straight armbar or an Ezekiel choke.