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Knowing the Mechanics of Submissions


Understanding how something works will go a long way in it's successful utilization and application. In BJJ, the same can be said with chokes and other submissions. At AXT Jiu-Jitsu, learning about the mechanics of submissions is paramount during the white belt period of training, more so than the actual submissions themselves.

Looking at Choke mechanics, first we must acknowledge that a choke is basically creating a triangle shape around an opponent’s neck. This triangle ultimately affects an occlusion (or closing) of a blood vessel or hollow organ (i.e. trachea). Reducing the size of the triangle essentially creates the choking pressure or the strangulation.

An important detail that is often missed is the victim’s spine helping to create a “backstop” from where we can increase forward pressure. Utilizing this concept with all chokes helps to improve their efficiency and chances of a faster tap, or nap.


Now when it comes to Joint Lock mechanics, there are essentially three methods of attacking a joint:

· Extension

· Compression

· Rotation


Using the arm as an example:

1. Armbar = extension

2. Biceps slicer = compression

3. Kimura = rotation


By combining these mechanics, say extension with rotation, you can add power to a joint lock (i.e. straight ankle lock using a downward twist). Remember this principle because it will pay dividends.


Also, adding a controlling element to an extension based lock will increase the lock’s success rate as it inhibits your opponent’s chances of escaping. An example is when you apply a Cross-body Armbar. Pulling your heels into the opponent’s body, with one leg over the face and the other over the torso, and squeezing your knees together. Doing this applies three separate controlling elements, and enhances the submissions successful application. Think about this the next time you apply a submission and your opponent escapes it. What didn’t you do to apply a controlling element?


Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!

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