Right, so the first thing we’re hoping is that you didn’t come charging into this post just to tell us there is no such thing as the “best” submission in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). We’re well aware of the subjectivity of such a topic, as well as the countless reasons people could have for liking one submission over another.
Maybe, you a particular submission because it can be executed from any number of guard or offensive positions. Or maybe, you like it because it makes a cool shape when you’ve got it locked in, there are too many to even scratch the surface.
If you want to take a more statistical approach and find out which BJJ submissions account for the most tap-outs in professional UFC fights, then you can take a look at this list of the most effective submissions in mixed martial arts. It crunches the numbers and doesn’t leave anything open to chance. It’s worth noting that in the world of UFC there is a lot more aggression, punches to the head and lack of clothing, meaning what works there – amongst professional athletes – may not work as well in a dojo or more amateur environment.
With all of that covered, here’s a collection of submission from BJJ that are flexible, effective and will result in a tap-out if you manage to get it locked down – and your opponent isn’t afflicted with a rare condition that means they can’t feel pain of course.
1. Triangle Choke From Guard
This is the big daddy of submissions, but it gets that title for a number of reasons. First, it’s fairly complicated when you’re first learning it, and after that you realise that you have to set things up just right to lock this one down.
BUT, if you manage to coax your opponent in to the right position and prevent his counters, this submissions is almost guaranteed to work. Using the legs means there is a lot of pressure going into this move, and very little that can be done when it’s air tight.
2. Armbar From Mount
The armbar itself is prolific in nature, making it’s way into most movies that involve a fight scene that makes it on to the ground. Maybe it’s because it’s a pretty smooth move and looks good when executed properly, or maybe it’s because it looks like it hurts when extended properly – forcing even the toughest of folks to wince a little.
Either way, as the video title suggests, it’s actually a bit of a beginner move. Don’t let that make you think it’s not worth of your attention, sometimes the best moves are the most basic. Here’s how to put this submission on from a mount position.
3. Kimura From Guard
The kimura is another versatile move, having a number of different ways it can be applied. But when it comes to effectiveness, there’s no denying it’s a powerful move that you’ll want burned into your brain.
If this was ever used outside a competition situation, be aware that you could quite easily break someone’s shoulder with it, a fact not to be taken lightly.
Here’s a video from Gracie Academy demonstrating the move, affectionately referred to as the “rider”.
4. Rear Naked Choke From Rear-Mount
Here’s another move that a lot of people try to imitate in day to day situations when joking around with their buddies. Most of them probably aren’t applying the right kind of pressure, or apply too much and end up knocking their friends out cold.
Instead of showing you a straight tutorial video, there’s one that showcases three of the most common errors when trying to apply a rear naked choke. Pay particular attention to arm positioning, something that can make the difference between a really effective submission and a weird kind of head hug that will just end in awkwardness.
5. Arm Triangle From Side-Mount
The arm triangle is another great arm lock to throw in the mix as it doesn’t involve a lot of complexity. This ones comes from the side-mount position and means getting up close and personal with someone’s armpit. If you aren’t comfortable with that concept yet, you will be if you have any serious plans to continue learning a martial art that involves submissions and grappling.
6. Americana Armlock From Side-Mount
Another simple arm lock to go with the one of the above, just make sure you’re getting the arm to the ground instead of trying to twist it in the air. Apart from that, there’s not a lot to say about this one, tried, tested and approved.
7. North-South Choke From North-South
The North-South isn’t a position that many BJJ practitioners stay in for long, mainly because options are limited. Or as limited as can be in a martial art that has a submission and/or counter for nearly every position imaginable.
As desribed in the video, one of the guys has been working on this move for four or five years and still hasn’t quite got it down properly. As you may have started to realise, we like to throw in a pot of gold for each post, something to keep your striving for the next level.
The North-South is that move, so have a look and get practising.
8. Footlocks From Various Positions
This is the one and only foot lock that’s been included in this list. We’re not saying that foot locks aren’t effective, just that the opportunity to use them doesn’t come up as often. Plus, part of our selection criteria was effectiveness, of which there are a lot more moves that rank higher than the foot lock.
Here’s one just to give you a taster, and if you were interested in a list about foot locks, knee bars or other more nuanced submissions. Let us know in the comments, there’s a good chance we could do something about it!
That about does it, 8 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submissions for forcing a tap-out. It would be great to get some input, find out which of these have been most effective when you use them in competitions or even when you’re practicing on the mats. We’re pretty confident these are along the right lines, but even we could be wrong, so get involved with a comment.
Featured Image Credit: ironsidemma