September 1st Update: More Submissions!

It’s the first of the month — and this month ceremoniously began with a jiu-jitsu session in the afternoon. After the typical short warm up, today’s focus was to be submission work — so I got to learning submissions. Additionally, I showed my training partner what I’d picked up from Keenan’s guard the other day — I wasn’t able to utilize all of it in the actual sparring match, but I did manage to constantly keep an open or half guard, and in the very least, I had my knee shield up against those all-so-threatening side mounts.

He, on the other hand, taught me to apply my current arsenal of submissions in various positions. Submissions are an important part of submission wrestling, as the name would imply. A submission occurs when you get your opponent in a legal joint lock that forces him to admit defeat. A technical KO can also occur if your opponent doesn’t tap out, and you break a bone or tear a ligament. Alongside the game of guarding and passing the guard, forcing submissions and escaping/preventing attempted positions are basically half of the whole newaza spectrum.

Today’s Submissions

As a quick reminder, my current arsenal of submissions looks a little bit like this:

Armbar – This describes a lock wherein you pin your opponent perpendicularly from you with your legs while locking his arm out straight and pressuring the elbow (hyperextending the arm).

Armlock – This is done by wrenching your opponent’s arm behind their back and, bent at the elbow, forcing the hand upwards to pressure both the elbow and shoulder. Also called a kimura, after a certain judoka who used this technique to beat Helio Gracie.

Americana – An alternative armlock that basically reverses the original armlock, with the palm facing in front of the opponent rather than his back.

Triangle Choke – This involves locking your opponent’s arm and head in a figure-4 with your legs, choking them with their bicep and your hamstring.

Arm Triangle – The same as a regular triangle, but with the arms. I can currently only utilize this from a wrestling clinch, to punish a shoot/single-leg takedown by locking the opponent’s head and back and dropping down to flip them onto their backside.

Guillotine – Performed with the lapel in this case, a guillotine basically involves using the blade of your wrist to pressure your opponent’s windpipe while clenching their head under your armpit and pressing with the bicep. To force a tap out and discourage escape, you can twist the opponent’s head in opposite directions by using your other hand on his nape.

What I learned.

From full mount, I learned to apply the armbar, both arm locks, and the triangle. From a closed guard, I learned to apply every single technique save for the arm triangle. And from side control, I learned to apply an armbar, armlock and Americana.

At the moment, I’m finding it easiest to begin going for armlocks, although the armbar is also great to watch out for, especially because of its quick execution from a full mount. From a closed guard, the triangle is great so long as you protect your neck from chokes. I’m a beginner working with more advanced beginners, though, so the options we have are limited — but even so, I get to learn an incredible amount of new stuff on a weekly basis, which is all I can ask for. Until next time, then!

Currently listening to: Phenomenal — Eminem