The task of controlling and submitting a resisting person can be quite challenging, especially when the other person is bigger, stronger or more skilled. After all, they are doing all they can to defend themselves, while simultaneously mounting an attack against you.
On a technical level, the ultimate goal of Jiu Jitsu is to submit your opponent. In order to achieve this goal, it can be helpful to have an awareness of the sequence of events that typically precede a submission victory. This will enable us to break our task down to more manageable components. By winning the smaller battles, we can win the larger one.
Here are 4 key elements that can increase our Jiu Jitsu success.
1. Establish an Advantageous Grip on your Opponent.
Nothing much happens until you establish grips, but do not just settle for any grip. Fight for a superior grip while denying your opponent the grips that they want. Grips can quickly manifest as control. When you sense that you are being controlled – break the grips that control you.
A significant amount of your success will depend on your ability to get the grips that you want. Establishing a superior grip will increase your chances of a successful attack.
2. Off Balance your Opponent.
Once you have your grip, look to off balance your opponent. “Off-balancing” can have many manifestations. It can refer to anything that upsets the opponent’s physical balance, or mentally confuses them.
Create reactions in your opponent that you can exploit. Motion will create opportunity. Draw him in, distract him, use fakes and combinations as set-ups so that the real attack can take place.
No matter your particular style of Jiu Jitsu, “off balancing” your opponent will take them out of their comfort zone and compromise their defenses – thus opening the door to positional dominance and opportunities for submissions.
3. Achieve Positional Dominance.
Jiu Jitsu theory clearly outlines a hierarchy of positions that two opposing people can fall into. Successful Jiu Jitsu practitioners seek out dominant position.
Establishing positional dominance translates to having greater control over your opponent than they have over you. The greater the Positional Dominance, the more a person can maximize their potential for generating effective attacks, while minimizing their vulnerability to being attacked.
Once a dominant position is established, look to attack with finishing holds or submissions.
4. Be Submission Minded.
Submissions are the ultimate success in a Jiu Jitsu contest. They are a reflection of the capacity to control and incapacitate a resisting person.
To be successful in Jiu Jitsu you should be submission-minded. Constantly seek submissions and apply them in combination. As Braulio Estima once told me, “do not go to war with just one bullet.” Have combinations of attacks.
Theory Over Tactics. An awareness of the core principles that underlie Jiu Jitsu strategy can be more important than the specific techniques we use to carry out our goal. The specific tactics will vary depending on our physical attributes and individual style. But these “4 Keys” remain the same.
Conclusion. They are not written in stone, but these 4 keys are present in a high percentage of submission victories. Keeping these 4 elements in mind will enable you to put the odds of a favorable outcome on your side.
Success is Built on Failures. Along the way you can expect to be frustrated. But do not allow your self to get too frustrated – remember, success is built on “failures.”