Photo by: BjjPix

  • In this article we are going to talk about THREE different types of PRESSURE.
  • Some common misconceptions on PRESSURE.
  • How to induce panic using 50% submission threats. At the end of this article, I will give you insight to finishing your advanced partners.

The THREE Types of Pressure

  1. Weight distribution pressure.
  2. Pain compliance pressure.
  3. Panic pressure. (THE ULTIMATE)

Being able to create “PRESSURE” is something all Jiu-Jitsu practitioners search for. It is the one thing that you always hear about when someone trains with a HIGH LEVEL Jiu-Jitsu artist. But what is it that they are actually doing? Sometimes the idea of “pressure” gets lumped into one category that equates to only a piece of “pressure.”

Close your eyes…

Try and picture “pressure”…what do you envision? I guarantee most of you pictured WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION pressure or being crushed. This type of pressure is massively important and quite common, but I do not believe it to be the main factor in the pressure equation. Defining all pressures and being unable to describe their meanings will bring a lot of students to a plateau.

Big guys distribute their weight technically, but sometimes lack angles to really demonstrate technical efficacy.

Small guys will eventually figure out how to distribute their weight, but, they may be too small to make that weight extremely worrisome to the bigger, high-ranking individuals. So they must add other elements.

Weight Distribution Pressure

Weight distribution is arguably one of the most important concepts or elements of Jiu-Jitsu. Speed will go away with age, strength will go away with age, but your ability to use your weight will not. Using your body weight correctly will allow you to use less energy while your opponent exerts more. It will force lower belts to fatigue very quickly and force higher belts to become frustrated faster. Against higher belts, using your weight will sometimes take longer to achieve the desired result, but the odds are in your favor!

Death Below Side Mount Check out this example of WEIGHT!

If you are going to become effective with your weight, you must understand the following…

  1. Weight on Top : Guard Passing, Side Control, Mount, Back Mount, etc.
  2. Weight While on Bottom :Closed Guard – Using the weight of your legs consistently on the opponents back with angles to assist. Use your legs more.
  3. Shifting Weight : Rotating, dropping hips, lifting hips.
  4. Angling Weight : Understanding that sometimes it is an angle to your opponent or space that allows you to either be heavier or scarier due to the consistent discomfort.

Proper Weight Distribution = Less squeezing & holding.

Proper Weight Distribution = Less energy by you & More energy used by them.

To develop the effective ability to utilize your weight, you must focusless on moving and more on using gravity to feel like your opponent is drowning in cement or under a thousand pound wet blanket.

When you begin experimenting with addin more weight to positions and movements, you will get swept and tipped due to an over commitment of weight. This will subside through practice. As it subsides, your training partners will begin to HATE YOU because of the weighted pressure they are under. Frustration causes faster failure. Being stuck under body weight for lengths of time will sap your adversaries will power and make them feel like they were being crushed by a truck.

***To deal with defending the weight, try the following ***

  • Focus on breathing. Most of the crushing pressure will come when you are on your back.
  •  In open guard, make more distance to keep weight off and prevent stacks.
  • When the monster is landing in side or knee to belly, pick your head up to contract your abdomen and protect your ribs/sternum from injuries and make sure to draw your limbs in close to avoid shoulder/wrist/elbow injuries.
  • Try to keep your knees below your waist line for better postural alignment and if the knee is above your waist, be on your hip, so the weight doesn’t crush a rib or rotate your leg inward, allowing ligament injuries on the knee.

Pain Compliance Pressure

You see this type of pressure quite often in Catch Wrestling and random spots in regular grappling and Jiu-Jitsu practice. They will utilize Pain Compliance to force quick reactions and openings for the”Catch” or submission.

Catch Legend || Pain Master Check out this video!

This type of pressure elicits quick and sharp responses from the receiving opponent. They will feel the pain and flinch/jump/freak out in response, is usually giving you what you want. It is not as effective when applied against higher ranks because they have developed the “comfort in discomfort”concept by the time they are advanced.

  1. Sawing : Using the elbow into pressure points, predominantly the jaw or front deltoid.
  2. Shoulder Pressure : From side control, people will use this to crush the jaw or sometimes choke. It will usually cause a quick reaction.
  3. Knee to Belly/Knee to Neck : This could fall in the weight category, but I usually see people react sharply from discomfort of the knee on stomach or neck.
  4. Muffler : Although this involves airway restriction, it falls into this category because of the reaction it solicits.

I will say this…If you use “Sawing, Knee to Neck, or Muffler” you will be having fun doing BJJ by yourself. Nobody will feel like rolling with you while having elbows dug in, filthy hands covering mouths, and bony kneecaps digging into the neck.

However; these tactics can be useful and you should prepare for them and learn to use them for tournaments, fights, or to lay down the law!

The Ultimate Pressure = PANIC

In the beginning stage of Jiu-Jitsu you feel panicked in bad positions constantly. You don’t breathe properly, you don’t think straight, you think you are always on the brink of submission…

Suddenly, after hours of practice and knowledge acquisition, things become a lot more clear and less stressful for you offensively and defensively . It is easy for a higher level BJJ practitioner against a lower belt to induce PANIC. Finding your way into a dominant position will award you the response you are looking for.

The hard part begins when your techniques that worked when theyDIDN’T KNOW stop working when THEY KNOW.

Let’s look at ways to get people to open up and give you submissions even when they are ready to defend. This is the ultimate level. Instead of firing the gun and hoping it hits its target…Aim it, control it, get point-blank and BOOM!

  1. Position Control : It starts with positional dominance and control.
  2. Kill Their Escape : If your submissions aren’t immediately available and the person has a full gas tank, kill their escapes. Focus only on countering their escapes. They will become frustrated once they feel that they have nowhere to go.
  3. Sub. Attempts : Once position is controlled, start to threaten their arm/neck/leg, they MUST respond.

In steps ONE and TWO, you are inducing panic by making them feel as if there is no escape. You are backing them into a corner and they feel like they have no other choice. They must do something desperate to get out. The dominance of position can create submission opening through anxiousness.

Step THREE is the almighty. It is the ONE pressure that creates the submission finish nearly every time or at the very least will lead you into a more dominant position. When the threat of a potential submission is happening, they HAVE TO respond. The effective way to attack a submission against someone who isn’t giving one is to..

  1. Dominate position and counter escapes.
  2. Start to attack a submission at 50%. Let’s use the arm as an example.
  3. When they block the arm, go for the neck. Only at 50%.
  4. Finish the neck or go back to the arm at 80%, the finish should be there.

If the submission progression strategy doesn’t work, a different positional opportunity will surely open up!

 || Dominating Position || Always Finishing Check out this example!

Pressure in BJJ is like pressure in life. By inducing panic on your opponents the pressure will cause them to crack. Just like in life, the best and most experienced, are much better at dealing with pressure. But luckily in BJJ, you can choke their neck and make them submit to the pressure:)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here