Watching submission only tournaments can be a real treat! You get guys and girls hunting for submissions of all varieties and types. It makes you want to run off to the mats and start subbing people right away as well. However, we all know that submitting others in grappling martial arts is not quite so easy. It takes years of practice to figure out the submissions that fit you and then get good at them. The people you see on your screen catching the same submission over and over again are what’s known as submission specialists. It takes great dedication and effort to become a submission specialist in BJJ. Still being one has it’s drawbacks and requires certain sacrifices.
What is the submission you’re known for in your academy? Are you well versed in a few or just the one that nobody can get out of? How did you figure out that this is exactly the ultimate submission for you? Moreover, how do you know that as you evolve and progress through Jiu-Jitsu, a different submission isn’t a better fit? These questions, as well as a host of others, should always go through your mind when you start favoring a move too much. Because, as you’ll see, becoming a submission specialist has crucial drawbacks that might have a huge influence on your game. Not only on your game but on your BJJ progress as a whole.
It is undoubtedly fun to be good at something. It is rewarding to know that you have a move that makes even the most experienced people in your gym approach with caution. Being dangerous is a positive in grappling. However, it is not the only aspect of it, even if you’re a full-time competitor. Even submission only competitors need to be careful when they go on the path of a submission specialist. And yes, this includes black belts as well. Being effective with a submission as Eddie Cummign is with an inside heel hook does not come without a price.
The Traits Of A Submission Specialist
What exactly is a submission specialist? It is a grappler that is so good in a particular submission that they’re able from a host of different positions. But this is not the complete definition of a submission specialist. A submission specialist is also somebody who can submit (usually with one or two moves) from a very specific position at a very high rate.
The traits of a submission specialist lie in two major aspects – experience and knowledge. As far as knowledge is concerned, it is all about technique. Submission specialists spend huge amounts of time attacking from their favorite position. However, they also spend countless hours perfecting technical details and doing drills. All of this results in near-perfect technical knowledge of the mechanics of a certain submission, along with the best positions to get it from.
Experience, on the other hand, is all about how and when specialists get their move. It is certain that they’ll get it, even against opponents that know what’s coming. Experience allows specialists to know precisely when to go for a move and how to get in a position that opens it up. It also helps them get into position without being detected. Experience also allows them to have a ‘vision” of how to get the move after a few steps. People that can also anticipate it and manage to fend their attacks off are very rare. And even then, they’ get caught later on. it is simply inevitable.
Drawbacks Of Focusing On Only One Submission
So, with all of the above, why should anyone shy away from becoming a submission specialist? In BJJ things are never so easy as they seem. Have you ever wondered why not everyone is a submission specialist? Well, there are some very apparent drawbacks to playing such a game. And they change and evolve as you do, making things even more complicated.
The first thing to consider is level. If you’re a competitor that thrive at every level, it is normal to have favorite moves. However, truly specializing in something is a great way of halting your constant progress. Let’s say you’re a fierce back taker with inescapable chokes from the back. As a blue belt, this gets you through each roll land match with ease. At purple, it works, but you start hitting a few snags. So yo go deeper into it and decide to look for the same move despite everything. Going forward, at brown and black belt level, you’ll suddenly find yourself lacking some integral BJJ skills. parts of the game are certainly going to pass you by.
While you’re still going to be good choking from the back, you’ll have less and less success with it and no other viable options to fall back to. Instead, looking to retain your skills while widening them up at every level is a great way to stay aa constant threat and evolve fast at the same time. However, this is the submission hunting approach, as opposed to specializing in a move. So, in order to avoid getting tunnel vision, make sure you specialize in submissions rather than a submission.
You do not need to spend so much time specializing in heel hooks now. All you need is to get all of the Wolverine’s knowledge in a digested and consolidated way. You’re in luck because “The Ashi Garami Seminar” DVD by Cummings is all you need to include brutal heel hooks in your submission game.