While the sporting aspects of martial arts are fun, it is essential to note that Brazilian Jiu Jutsu is a technique of protecting yourself in case of a self-defense situation. Also, it is vital to recognize the difference in how one should grapple with sporting and real-life situations. To differentiate between the two, we have detailed a list of effective BJJ Submissions for Self-Defense you can use when you need to defend yourself.
BJJ Submissions for Self-Defense
The Americana shoulder lock
Most martial arts practitioners know the Americana shoulder lock as the bent armlock, top wristlock, key lock, or figure four armlock. It is a standard grappling submission in Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu.
While the age-old jiu-jitsu adage of “position before submission” is accurate in pure grappling competition, it is also effective for self-defense. In the course of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, you will learn how to defend yourself properly. However, that does not mean you should be connivance in being there. Do everything in your power to obtain a dominant position such as side control or mount and maintain that position, especially if you are defending yourself. That is why we include the American shoulder lock on our must-know list of submissions for self-defense.
There is a wide range of suitable submission options, like the side control position or the mount. Those that do not force one to sacrifice their dominant position in pursuit of the hold like the Americana are the best. You can implement the Americana move by pinning the attacker’s wrist to the ground and thread your other hand behind the assailant’s bicep while grabbing your wrist. After that, apply torque on their shoulder, forcing the attacker to submit.
The Americana shoulder lock submission does not require one to dismount or abandon the top position. If the submission attempt goes wrong, you are still in the coveted dominant position that gives you a chance to throw strikes, hold the assailant down as you wait for help, or try another submission.
The Guillotine choke
Most fights, whether on the street or in a cage, eventually end up on the ground. Also, most engagements start on the feet. That is where our submission comes in.
The Guillotine choke submission is named after the medieval torture device. lt has existed since from the historic days of the (BJJ) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Although it is among the first submissions, trainees learn, it is beneficial and common at the highest level of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
However, most MMA practitioners have the perspective that the guillotine choke is a muscular guy move. Since an inexperienced grappler can use the move, it does not mean an expert should ignore it. The submission move is a dominant stranglehold that practitioners use in martial arts, self-defense situations, and in Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu. Its success is not because of the size of a practitioner but the understanding of the holds mechanic.
Due to the rising popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it is likely during an attack on the street; there are prime chances that the attacker is familiar with the aspects of MMA. Prepare yourself for the worst because the assailant may mean to take you down. That is why the Guillotine Choke move is essential. If the assailant attempts to attack you with a single leg takedown or shoddy double, you are in an excellent position to initiate the Guillotine Choke move and end the fight fast. It is essential to note that the Guillotine move does not require one to fall back into their guard. You can initiate the move while standing, maintaining the fight on the feet and off your back. The move seems useful when applied by a more energetic individual, but it can be equally effective when a smaller individual uses it correctly.
The Armbar submission is one of the fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu. There are several variations of the armbar submission, and multiple ways to achieve it. However, the most common positions are mount and the closed guard. The automatic mismatch that the armbar creates is what makes it a powerful submission.
In a self-defense situation, the armbar is the most versatile submission. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there is a tendency to disregard basic moves that are valuable to a trainee. The armbar is exceptionally prevalent in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA competitions. It has practical applications that go beyond sporting and in the scope of self-defense.
You can apply armbar in two situations. One is when defending yourself while on top in mount position, or when on your back in the guard. You have to practice vigorously to apply the armbar from both positions since they are mechanically different.
While on the mount position, apply the armbar when the attacker extends both their arms to bench press you off. The armbar aims to straighten and hyperextend the attacker’s arm. Note that in such a case, do not pursue the armbar immediately. If the attacker has both weight and power advantage, it is essential to maintain the mount position as you apply punishing ground. Aim to wear the attacker out before you use the submission hold.
Another case where the armbar would be necessary and useful is when the assailant is on top of you while you are on your back, and they raise their arms, trying to reach your head. Several nefarious reasons would lead an assailant to this including, trying to wrap their hands around your neck to strangle you, try gauging your eyes, or land you strikes. As mentioned earlier, once the attacker extends their arm, you can initiate the armbar attack. In such a case, the attacker is trying to strangle you or inflict damage. Therefore, it is essential to act fast and counterattack with an armbar to shield yourself.
It is scary to think of a real self-defense situation. The sport aspect of Jiu-Jitsu is fun; however, it is vital to note that martial arts, in the first place, exist as a technique of defending yourself. Learning and perfecting the above submissions will equip you for the worst-case scenario in a real-world confrontation with an assailant.