The Art of Submissions
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.