Hunting for the Submission

I’ve been doing a lot of live training lately. Sometimes I just allow myself to be lost in the flow of it, but this week I started a new thing (that I’ll describe in detail later) where I set a few goals for each training session. Goals have to do with submissions, sweeps, and taking the back, etc.

It’s kind of depressing looking at the number of submissions I’ve gotten versus the number of times I swept, passed, took someone’s back, etc. Many of the guys I train with will hunt the submission from every position and I mean every position. As a result, the two things I’m getting better and better at are: (1) scoring sport jiu jitsu points and (2) not getting submitted.

Going for submissions often requires that I risk losing position, and because I’ve been so focused on the latter, the former almost never comes to mind.

I guess I need a major shift in strategy during training. I’ve taken the back from closed guard 17 times this week so far (yes part of the new approach is me noting down such things). How many times did I get a submission from closed guard (e.g. triangle, armbar, omoplata)? Zero. How many times did I go for it? Zero.

I guess this post is an acknowledgement that I have a problem. That’s always step 1 of any solution.

0 thoughts on “Hunting for the Submission

  1. Jimmy Cerra

    Why not focus on a game every week? If you are taking the back 17x, why not focus on submitting from there as well, since they flow organically from each other. The next week, when they counter the back take, set up a different sweep or submission off of that. Build a game by exploring the paths at each fork?

    1. Lex Post author

      Thanks Jimmy, that’s the idea. Not to force anything, just respond to what they do, but the problem is I’m not seeing the openings for submissions from most positions with good people. That all takes time I guess.

  2. Chris Round

    You have the right idea.

    I do have a thing though regarding the submission thing. You have to at some point make a decision, do I wish to be a finisher or a grinder. Both require alot of skill, however the grinder has the advantage in that learning to control first, allows for them to learn how to finish later.

    Position over submission dude.

    Though if your thinking judo performance, its the opposite. You gotta be able to land those triangles etc fast. I’ll be honest, when I’m at Judo practices and I shoot a triangle, if I lose position from it I’m not nearly as frustrated as I would be if I’m passed without ever getting the opportunity to.

    1. Lex Post author

      I guess balance is key as in all things. I’m with you on that fact that position is best for long term success. Or rather… perfect fundamentals: base, posture, pressure, grips, etc.

      But I think going for submissions, while reckless at first, is a way to learn where the openings are. So for example when I get to someone’s back and settle, it’s much harder to get the submission from that point, but if I pick up the submission on the way to the back, in the transition, it’s theoretically easier…


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