Submissions Drying Up? Here’s Why

An experienced blue belt and I were chatting following the end of rolling. He had a problem that was arising. His submissions were drying up! There is a nucleus of blue belts in the academy who train together regularly and they are finding it increasingly difficult to submit each other. It really shouldn’t be a great surprise though. After a few months of training together a couple of things are happening at the same time:

1) You are learning your training partner’s games. You know who has a sneaky Ezekiel choke, so you stop giving your neck. You know who has a dangerous triangle choke and change your passing strategy to standing passing to avoid their triangle.

2) You are all attending the same classes with the same instructor and learning the same moves and counters. There are fewer and fewer surprises anymore. They were at the same class where you learned the tricky omoplata setup and they understand exactly what you are up to!

There comes a point where there aren’t any more new moves to learn to catch your training partners by surprise. That strategy of catching the opponent with a move that they don’t know has a limited lifespan.

So now what? The answer is not another new, secret move that you saw on YouTube.
It is more effectively applying what you already know. Competitor Ryan Hall said in a podcast interview “Jiu-jitsu is not a bunch of moves. It is HOW TO MOVE.”

What does that mean? It means using setups, action and reaction, combinations. Flowing from one attack to another seamlessly, feeling where your opponent is going and anticipating the transition.

You most likely have a best and favorite submission. Until now, you probably have been attacking it directly with a single, straightforward attack. If your opponent knows the defense, you are going to have to attack SUPER fast to catch them.

An alternative strategy is to set it up and/or use a combination attack. In boxing, there are classic combinations – the jab/cross for example. Just the same, there are classic combinations in BJJ – Triangle/omoplata. Hip bump sweep/Kimura.

Start thinking ahead and experiment with attacking 1st with your “B” attack and then hit your “A” attack when they are defending and distracted. Change your submission strategy.

Here is a Triple Attack combination that is tried and true from the legendary Carlson Gracie.

You Won’t Find This Secret Carlson Gracie Triple Attack Anywhere Else


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