It’ s not easy to tap out a high level grappler with a joint lock.
First of all their submission prevention is tight. They do everything they can to stop you from getting the submission in the first place.
Next, their defense and escape techniques are also top notch. If you give them even an inch of slack they’ll use that space to wiggle out of the submission.
Finally elite grapplers are just plain tough. Which means that the submission will need to be on tight before they’ll even consider tapping. And in competition it’s even worse – many world class grapplers will eat a fair bit of pain, even letting the joint get damaged, before they give up.
Let’s look at a super-effective concept from The Submission Formula (along with a very substantial 17 1/2 minute video) that will help you finish a LOT more submissions…
Table of Contents
Taking the Slack Out of a Joint Lock
So if you want to apply joint locks so that they work at an elite level you have to make sure that every single bit of slack is taken out of the system.
Here’s a cutting edge video about taking the slack out of joint locks by Rob Biernacki and I from The Submission Formula with some very concrete examples of tightening the joint lock.
Check out this video – I guarantee it’ll be the best thing you watch today!
If you apply a sloppy submission to your opponent’s arm then he has room… His wrist can wiggle a little bit, his elbow has a bit of give, his shoulder can move around, etc.
Every bit of slack he has available to him increases the chance that he might escape, so you want that submission as tight as humanly possible.
Note that this is actually a safer way of training. A ‘tight’ submission is very different from a ‘dynamically applied’ submission. If you make a joint lock tight then you can actually apply it very slowly and with total control, minimising his ability to thrash around and injure himself.
Here are 3 keys to taking all the slack out of a limb you’re attacking…
To explain how you can actually use this idea let’s first go back a step…
Normal Jointlocks with Only One Mechanism of Action
Most people only use one of those three previously mentioned mechanisms to apply any given jointlock.
For example they’ll apply a Kimura using only rotation of the arm relative to the shoulder, an armbar using only extension of the elbow, and a biceps slicer using only compression.
- Kimura: primary mechanism = rotation
- Armbar: primary mechanism = extension
- Biceps slicer: primary mechanism = compression
Those single-element submissions can definitely work, but we can do (much) better…
Maximized Jointlocks with Three Mechanism of Action
Your finishing rate will go through the roof if in addition to the main mechanism of action you add the other two elements to it.
In the case of the three submissions we’ve been talking about, this is what that looks like:
- Kimura: primary mechanism = rotation, but add extension and compression for maximum effectiveness
- Armbar: primary mechanism = extension, but add rotation and compression for maximum effectiveness
- Biceps slicer: primary mechanism = compression, but add extension and rotation for maximum effectiveness
The reason your life becomes better when you’re using all 3 mechanisms in the same submission is because by doing so you’re wringing out every last bit of slack from the joints.
This means that you’ll tap out your opponent even if he’s super flexible, very strong, or willing to eat a fair bit of pain before tapping out.
Once again, the best way to see what this means in practise with actual submissions is to check out the embedded video above.
A Start to Finish Example of a Triple Mechanism Armbar
There’s nothing like repetition to help drive home an important message. So if you’re interested in submitting more people I want to give you one more video to watch.
The following video is about a super-tight, methodical way to attack with the armbar from mount. And as he shows the move Rob calls out the elements of the armlock that create the rotation, extension and compression.
It’s really cool and applying the steps shown will definitely improve your armbar attack percentage!
Does This Work for Chokes?
Applying extension, rotation and compression to your opponent’s neck as you choke him has a HUGELY beneficial effect on the choke.
The neck is basically a series of joints with a breathing tube glued to the front and some blood vessels attached to the side of it.
If you can take his neck out of a strong position then any choke immediately becomes MUCH more effective.
In the Submission Formula we give lots of examples of how to apply extension, rotation, and compression for both gi and no gi chokes.
More Tricks to Up Your Submission Rate
This idea of ‘taking the slack out of the joint’ is just one small part of Rob Biernacki’s six step submission formula.
And there’s actually quite a bit more where that came from!
To maximise your submissions you also need to be able to use wedges correctly, destroy your opponent’s alignment, make the adjustments that maximise the psi of your submissions, align your body to generate maximum force in the correct direction, etc.
All this and more is covered in great detail in The Submission Formula featuring Rob Biernacki and Stephan Kesting (that’s me!) at grapplearts.com/submissionformula (which comes with an unconditional 365 day moneyback guarantee).
Check it out!