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10 Most Effective BJJ Submissions For Self-Defense

10 Most Effective BJJ Submissions For Self-Defense

1. BJJ Submissions

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, submission is a technique that is used to gain full control over your opponent by completely seizing the moment until he taps out. These submission techniques aim at different body parts of the opponent. It forces your opponent to tap out of the match or it will harm him/her.

2. Most Effective BJJ Submissions for Self-Defense

It is essential for a fighter to have complete knowledge of the legal submissions in BJJ. The application and effectiveness of submissions depend on the rules made by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation. For Example, IBJJF had ruled out the Heel Hook but now it is allowed for brown and black belts in No-Gi competitions.

Submissions are very effective but difficult to apply because your opponent is also well-versed in defending every submission attempt. Submissions guarantee success in a very less time that is why they are considered brave moves because both fighters are vulnerable and things can go south any second.

2.1. Rear Naked Choke

It is one of BJJ's signature submission techniques. It is a killer submission move. It is applied from the back mount position due to which the opponent is unable to see the fighter. It demands less strength. That is why it is very effective for a small-sized fighter even when the competition is with a larger-sized opponent.

Once this choke is effectively locked, an opponent has to tap out or he will become unconscious. It is also called a blood choke as it stops the blood flow to the brain. The compression of the top arm against the jugular vein in the neck hinders blood flow.

  • To apply Rear Naked Choke, the fighter has to secure the back mount position where the opponent can not see him.
  • The fighter uses one hand and places it on the opponent's shoulder across the opponent's neck.
  • The fighter uses his other hand to grab his own bicep to secure both hands.
  • The fighter then places that hand behind the opponent's neck where the opponent can not grab his hand.
  • The fighter then applies pressure on his hands resulting in choking the opponent.


2.2. Bow and Arrow Choke

Bow and Arrow choke is one of the strongest chokes in BJJ. It also has the highest submission rates in IBJJF tournaments. The opponent’s own collar is used to choke him.

  • It is applied when the fighter is in the mount position. This position helps in applying full pressure on the opponent.
  • As the opponent starts to shift on one side, it exposes the side of his back.
  • The fighter pushes one hand over the opponent and drops his chest to his shoulder.
  • The fighter sneaks his one hand inside and grabs the lapel of the opponent’s Gi
  • The fighter brings his other hand forward from the back of the opponent's neck and then grabs the lapel of the opponent's Gi.
  • Using the other hand, the fighter drops the Gi and grabs the opponent’s knee to hook it.
  • After having a full grip on the opponent, the fighter rolls him while choking his opponent.
  • Eventually, the opponent taps out or becomes unconscious.


2.3. Armbar

It can aid you in overcoming your opponent. It is a highly successful and recommended submission. Its main purpose is to dislocate the opponent's joints, especially elbow joints. It does not aim to seriously harm the opponent.

  • It is applied in the mounted position when the fighter is on top of the opponent.
  • The fighter keeps the opponent’s elbow inside the line of his own hips because only in this position can the fighter turn to the opponent's side.
  • As the opponent’s elbow is tied to his chest, the fighter uses force and brings the opponent’s elbow out and away from his body.
  • The fighter brings the opponent’s elbow above the line of his shoulder. It then becomes easier for the fighter to bring the elbow toward the center line.
  • The fighter can also bring his hand under the opponent’s elbow to grab his shoulder from the back in a way that the opponent's head rests on the fighter's arm.
  • The fighter uses his other hand to trap the opponent’s elbow in such a way that the fighter’s chest is on his elbow and the fighter’s arm is on the opponent’s head.
  • The fighter brings his one leg under the opponent’s shoulder and brings the other thigh to put pressure on the side of his head.
  • The key point is that the fighter's knee controls the movement of the opponent's head.
  • The fighter then switches his both arms and locks them.
  • After that, the fighter brings his both legs to the chest of the opponent in such a way that his arms are trapped in the lock and the opponent can not move his head as the fighter has cross-faced his leg on the opponent.


2.4. Triangle Choke

Triangle Choke is a very powerful BJJ choke. It is a very effective submission applied from the bottom position mostly from the guard. It is achieved when the fighter wraps his legs around the opponent's neck in the shape of a triangle. It causes the opponent to suffer strangulation. The pressure of the leg around the neck disrupts blood flow and respiration. Hence, the opponent taps out or passes out.

  • Mostly, the opponent is in the closed guard position when the fighter applies a triangle choke.
  • As the fighter is on the ground, he locks his legs around the opponent's waist.
  • The fighter then places his feet on the opponent’s thigh and shoves his one hand down in between his own legs.
  • The fighter then uses his own knee to apply pressure on the opponent’s collarbone.
  • The fighter then straightens his leg and traps the opponent’s head in a triangle structure made with his own legs.
  • The fighter applies pressure on the opponent’s neck and chokes him.


2.5. Kimura

It is also called the double wristlock. It is applied in BJJ and MMA. It is the most diverse submission technique. You can apply to Kimura for many positions. It allows you to hit sweeps and apply takedowns.

This submission technique damage the shoulder joint, humerus, and elbow joint of your opponent. So to avoid any massive injury, fighters are always advised by the coaches to avoid getting caught in Kimura but somehow strangled in Kimura, tap out.

  • To apply Kimura, the fighter is mostly on the ground. The opponent is in a mounted position.
  • The fighter grabs the opponent’s elbows and pulls him toward the ground.
  • The fighter turns to his left side with his knees in the upward position.
  • The fighter grabs the opponent's hand from the inside and secures it by holding his own wrist.
  • The fighter keeps his right foot and knee on the mat so that the opponent does not hop over it.
  • The fighter then brings the opponent's elbow to his chest, by turning it over.
  • The fighter turns his body to the opponent's far shoulder. Thus, exerting pressure over the opponent's wrist as well on the shoulder.


2.6. Cross Choke

Cross Choke is also an effective submission technique of BJJ in which you can use your opponent’s BJJ Gi against them. The fighter applies pressure to the side of the opponent's neck which restricts his blood flow. It is mostly applied from the mount or guard position. That is why it is safe to use because even if the fighter is unable to complete it, he will still be in a safe position.

This choke is relatively easy to learn but takes years of practice to master.

  • The fighter is in the closed guard position.
  • The fighter grips the opponent’s collar with one hand.
  • On the other hand, the fighter holds down the opponent’s second hand.
  • The fighter uses his one hand to grab the back of the opponent’s collar in such a way that the fighter’s hand is all the way behind the opponent's head.
  • Even in this position, the opponent feels pressure on his artery.
  • The fighter then uses his forearm to lift the opponent's chin, reach underneath his own arm, and grabs the side of the opponent's collar.
  • In this position, the fighter chokes his opponent.


2.7. Heel Hook

For a significant amount of time, IBJJF ruled out the heel hook because of the increased chances of injury. Now, IBJJF has allowed this technique for brown and black belt levels. It is a grappling submission technique applied in BJJ to gain victory over an opponent. It twists the opponent's foot using the heel, forcing him to tap out. Among all the leg locks of BJJ, the heel hook is the most dangerous one.

It puts great pressure on the opponent's ankle, causing damage to his knee and feet.

This technique immobilizes your opponent immediately as it targets the weakest part of the body.

  • The fighter is in the closed guard position.
  • As the fighter has locked his legs around the opponent's waist, the opponent tries to stand up.
  • The fighter controls one of the opponent's heels, breaks the lock around the opponent's waist, and uses his one leg to wrap around the opponent's targeted leg.
  • The fighter lifts his butt to imbalance his opponent so that he falls to the ground.
  • The fighter traps the opponent’s foot with the lock of his own hands by creating a triangle of his own legs.
  • The fighter then tucks the opponent’s foot under his armpit and twists it until he gets the submission


2.8. Guillotine Choke

It is also called the Jason Von Flue choke. It is not a blood choke in reality but depending on how a fighter executes, it can become a blood choke.

  • At first, the fighter pulls the opponent’s head down under his own armpit.
  • Then the fighter wraps his left arm around the opponent’s waist.
  • The fighter moves his right arm below the opponent’s arm. The fighter then holds his own left wrist tightly.
  • The fighter squeezes his elbow thus applying pressure on the opponent's neck.
  • The fighter pulls his opponent to the ground.
  • The fighter locks his leg around the opponent's waist thus, applying a closed guard.
  • The fighter puts immense pressure on the opponent's head through his elbow, applying the Guillotine choke.


2.9. Arm Triangle Choke

The Arm Triangle Choke also known as “Kata Gatame” is a very famous BJJ submission technique. It is almost similar to a triangle choke, except that the fighter utilizes his arms instead of his legs. It disrupts the blood flow of your opponent. This is one of the few chokes of BJJ which can be executed by one hand.

  • To apply this choke from the mount, the fighter creates a hook by placing his arm under the opponent's neck.
  • The free hand of the fighter is under the opponent’s arm.
  • The fighter slides his hand in such a way that a triangle is formed which comprises the opponent's arm on the fighter's shoulder. It forms an arm triangle grip.
  • The fighter grips his both hands tightly.
  • The fighter's weight must be on the back so that the opponent cannot turn him over.
  • The fighter then slides to one side to balance his position.
  • The fighter rotates to disrupt the opponent's blood flow, eventually, the opponent taps out.


2.10. Americana Shoulder Lock

It is also called “Americana Lock”. In this submission technique, the fighter grabs control of his opponent's arm and puts it in a very painful L shape. This makes the opponent's elbow and shoulder joints highly vulnerable and can be helpful in self-defense situations.

  • The fighter is in a mounted position.
  • To escape from the fighter's attack, the opponent crosses his arms on his chest.
  • To break the opponent’s crossed hands, the fighter applies his whole body weight on his arms to push the opponent’s arm to the ground.
  • The fighter then swiftly sneaks his hand beneath the opponent's arm which is on the ground and then hooks it.
  • The fighter grips his own hand to secure the hook.
  • The fighter slides the opponent's hand backward, inducing pain and leading the opponent to tap out./li>


3. Importance of BJJ Submissions

Submissions are very important in BJJ because they force an opponent to give up by utilizing moves that can harm him. They result in immediate victory over your opponent. To apply for a BJJ submission, a fighter has to master it. It is a prerequisite to master the defense against each submission. Once these submissions are mastered, a fighter can gain victory even over a stout opponent. These submissions develop confidence in fighters because it increases the number of wins of a fighter. The submission provides a number of chokes that are applied to submit an opponent very quickly. Submissions also provide a greater chance of self-defense.

4. FAQs

4.1. What is the most effective submission in BJJ for self-defense?

Rear Naked Choke is the most effective among all submission techniques. It targets the opponent's neck and seizes blood flow to the brain, making it hard for him to stay conscious.

4.2. What is the most effective submission in BJJ for self-defense?

On a scale of 10, Kimura comes at almost 8th position for being the hardest to apply and most effective to get the submission. It is the hardest submission for a fighter to apply but secures victory.

4.3. What is the most effective submission in BJJ for self-defense?

Armbar is the easiest submission to apply. It is taught to beginners because of its effectiveness.

5. Conclusion

Submissions are an integral part of BJJ. They help in achieving instant success over your opponent. Above mentioned submissions are the most effective ones. Almost all of them either disrupt the opponent’s blood flow or cause problems in the opponent's breathing. They provide full control over your opponent. Although these submissions are highly dangerous when used in a controlled environment they only result in tapping out by the opponent. Rear Naked Choke is considered the deadliest among all because it restricts the blood flow to the brain and makes the opponent unconscious.

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