Some people might not be the greatest grapplers but are still notoriously hard to submit.
For example I remember rolling with a fighter from Pride FC (the biggest and best MMA organization of its day) in BJJ sparring, both with and without the gi. I was a little bigger than him and he was really laid back while wrestling, so I was able to dominate him positionally.
But the second I came close to a submission – choke, armlock or leglock – he’d turn into the Tasmanian Devil of Defense. He’d squirm, wriggle, shrimp, and bridge like a man possessed. So even though I would have beat him in points by about a gazillion to one I never did manage to actually tap him out.
His mastery of submission defense rock solid and really inspiring!
In my own study of defense it was Erik Paulson, the famous MMA and submission grappling trainer, who really helped with the conceptual framework for escaping submissions.
Erik explained that you should learn three types of escape techniques,
- Techniques you use BEFORE the submission is set up (i.e. your opponent is beginning the technique)
- Techniques you use DURING the submission being set up (i.e. your opponent now has everything in place)
- Techniques you use AFTER the submission has been set up (i.e. your opponent is now applying the submission)
Obviously the earlier in the process that you intervene and use your defensive technique the easier it is. It’s FAR easier to stop an your arm from being put into an armlock in the first place than it is to escape it once it’s been fully applied.
For every submission you know you should also learn some defensive techniques. If you learn them with the before-during-after concept in mind then you’ll be able to use those techniques at the right time.
If you work your way through these videos you’ll see the before-during-after submission defense concept in action again and again. Plus, even if you don’t like the concept, you’ll still learn some of my highest percentage defenses for some very difficult to escape positions.
How to download the Submission Defense app to your phone or tablet
If you have an Android or Apple phone (or tablet) then we’ve got this app your format!