Control, Position, Submission

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a dynamic art that is designed to allow a smaller, weaker opponent overcome a larger, stronger and more aggressive attacker through the use of leverage, technique and timing. At Jiu Jitsu Kingdom , skill and technique are what we aim to develop on the mat every day. And while we may roll hard, always looking for the “Submission“, technical skill in applying the “Submission” as well as correct application of strategy and tactics is at the core of our game. Now this may seem obvious but I often see people focus so much on “winning” the round of training or trying to hit their favourite “Submission” all the time. While doing so they often neglect some of the subtleties of setting traps for your opponent and gently guiding them towards their demise. I like to think of letting my opponent “Choose his poison” whatever mistake he makes will be the end of him. 🙂 

There are a lot of elements to  keep in mind while training, so that you maximise your chances of playing your game and getting the “Submission“, even against an explosive and aggressive opponent. The use of strategy and tactics will often allow you to surprise your opponent and cause confusion which in turn will allow you to capitalise on his mistake and get the finish, sweep, pass or escape.

Three basic ideas that I encourage all my students to keep in mind while training are “Control“, “Position” and “Submission“. They are sequential and are meant to be thought of in that particular order. A simple example of hitting an Armbar from Guard would involve the following concepts. Firstly establishing “Control“, “Control”  of the opponent’s base and posture, as well as their arm that is being attacked. “Control” of direction and momentum of the fight is also something to keep in mind. Get your opponent playing your game and you greatly increase your chance at success! Secondly “Position“, in order to apply any technique you need to be in the right “Position” to begin with. In this case the Guard (preferably closed) as a secure and stable launching platform for your attack. While utilising “Control” of your opponent’s arm you need to get in “Position” to execute the armbar (actual mechanics and technical details of the armbar). Finally we have “Submission“… The ultimate goal! In order to apply a “Submission” in this case the Armbar from Guard, we have to “Control” our opponent at the very least their arm, get into correct “Position” and finish the “Submission“.

On a deeper level, even when applying the “Submission” there is a lot more going on under the surface, that is not always visible or apparent to the casual observer. It’s kind of like the mass of the iceberg that goes unseen and is the reason why great Jiu Jitsu players are much more effective with their technique even though their game and techniques may appear simple. Higher level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players often internalize these concepts so well that when they attack they are fusing the three concepts into one. For example when Roger Gracie hits the Cross Choke from Mount not only is his “Position” from which he launches the attack perfect but his technical application of the “Position” (or technique) is also flawless. By having almost perfect “Position” he is able to really “Control” his opponent, beyond just applying that particular technique. His body combining the principles as one, also “Controls” his opponent in such a way that his timing, base and “Position” nullify his opponent’s ability to escape the “Submission“. In effect he has closed off all possible escape routes while applying his technique and is in complete “Control” of both the direction of the fight and the actual technique being employed. This level of skill is achieved through his perfect “Position” and total “Control” of his opponent making his “Submission” look both effortless and unstoppable. The same can be said of Marcelo Garcia’s Back Attacks and Mata Leon.

I hope you have found this article useful and that you are able to apply these concepts in your game!

Good Luck With Your Training And Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu Jitsu Kingdom


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