The Art of Submissions


Mike Chiapetta via FOX Sports

The founder of Brazilian jiu-jitsu Carlos Gracie may have seen the future coming. In his later years, when he was mentoring some of the sport's future masters, he would occasionally offer up advice based upon his own experiences.

"Always look for chokes rather than locks," he would say. "The Japanese, they won't tap."
That counsel appears downright sage in the UFC of 2014, where locks are nearly a thing of the past, and not just against Japanese fighters, but everyone. Through 211 fights since the start of the year, only two fights have been finished due to submissions involving locks, and one of them was a kimura combined with an inverted triangle that had its victim Tim Boetsch so checkmated that it was either tap or total shoulder destruction. 

In 211 fights, there has been one armbar.

No straight kimuras. No kneebars or achilles locks. No keylocks or heel hooks. Indeed, it seems as though the fight world has become immune to joint locks. When it comes to submissions these days, it's an art. And in 2014, the art of submissions has mostly become the art of chokes.

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Recent Comments »

anklelockcity site profile image  

6/13/14 5:10 PM by anklelockcity

Reading comprehension isn't for you is it?The point I'm making is guys who were " grapplers" in the 90's - early 00's were mostly black belts for years and for years , masters if you will who got into MMA for $ or because it was "new"Now you have this younger generation of guys who want to be MmA fighters first who do BJJ secondary o be able to compete? Understand what I'm saying ? So yeah the ufc is filled average grapplers.You probably don't understand because you started watching mm a in 2009 and you're like 23 probably

MickColins site profile image  

6/13/14 1:39 PM by MickColins

Judging probably plays a role, too. Judges are so bad you'd probably be afraid of going for a limb sub, missing to and then having the Dumbfuck judges think the guy escaped and got up/better position by their own skill.

tiger07 site profile image  

6/13/14 12:31 PM by tiger07


mkou site profile image  

6/13/14 7:27 AM by mkou

Edit. Sorry, Cole was a "dude with a purple belt fighting pro MMA on TV" not a blue belt!

mkou site profile image  

6/13/14 7:24 AM by mkou

Yeah, the grappling is way worse nowadays.Fortunately we have world class BJJ guys like Wagnney Fabiano and Leonardo Issa getting choked out by Benavidez, a proud representative of JOE JITSU and Russell Doane, whom I couldn't find anything about training in a gi.Or Cole Miller, back then a proud blue belt choking out Gurgel..The level of grappling nowadays is miles higher than it has ever been.

anklelockcity site profile image  

6/13/14 6:30 AM by anklelockcity

peoples knowledge of defense is better , but the grappling is worse. In past years "grapplers" tended to be top notch grapplers that made their way into mma, now theres tons of dudes with purple belts fighting pro MMA on TV.Jacks of all trades, masters of none.

rkm456 site profile image  

6/13/14 3:36 AM by rkm456

The decorated sambists Khabib, Khabilov, Bagauntinov and Fedor Emelianenko have a combined 0 leg lock finishes.. 17 arm lock finishes though. All grappling arts are awesome, and they all have their merits, strengths and weaknesses. Please save your pro-Sambo, bjj slander. It's both unwarranted and inaccurate.I personally LOVE leg locks, but they require giving up position. The reason there are fewer joint locks is mostly just because wrestlers/ strikers are starting to fill up the roster and they're more likely to give up their back and offer up an RNC. So when there is a submission, it's more likely to be a choke. I'd say it also plays a factor that joint locks are just more difficult to land in general than chokes are. Ultimately this stat is more telling of the effect that strong wrestling backgrounds are having on the evolution of the sport than anything else.

Jody site profile image  

6/12/14 9:27 PM by Jody

There are joint locks in Bellator. Granted, Marcin Held did catch one guy with a triangle, but he usually goes for the legs.That being said, chokes are more popular, because if the other guy doesn't tap, then he goes to sleep.I'll go out on a limb and say that Rousey will beat Davis by the same old arm bar that she always uses.

AssAssassin site profile image  

6/12/14 8:26 PM by AssAssassin


DanTheWolfman site profile image  

6/12/14 8:11 PM by DanTheWolfman

Maybe it is also because it is known the Pres of the org everyone aims to appreciates Stand and Wang more than the beautiful art of submissions and if you lay on the guy for more than thirty seconds you are boring (and now Refs are doing 15 sec standups sometimes), and the influx of lower tier talent to handle all the overseas cards/fight nights/pass cards etc....and big power arm swings become the norm with muscular tension/flexing and no loose movement with non-telegraphing or high level punching skill. Just Bungaloos. It has been ruining MMA to an extent in Japan where Stand and Wang TDD as well, and now also UFC. I don't appreciate Garcia Air punching like others do I guess. If Dana wasn't a boxing guy to begin with, and or had kept doing grappling seriously, than the way decisions and things are said would be different. Like if Dana was like Rogan, and would tell a fighter "Damn dude when you switched from that Kimura to the Hip Bump and then tried a Darce while passing that was sweet"Not saying it is the only thing but to believe that hasn't had an effect as well would be naive.