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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 316
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Submission only hampers BJJ Reply with quote

Man you guys are slacking.... there have been no discussions for a long time. Let me start a fire and grab some gas....

So virtually all tournies nowadays are submission only with no emphasis on points. A decade or two ago you used to hear people say things like "I fight for the sub, not for points." That's perfectly well and fine within the sport, but leaves a gaping hole for your practical applications (ie fighting).

No one in jiu jitsu knows how to pass a guard anymore, mostly because there is no incentive when you can just drop on a foot. IMO most lightweight black belts have the passing level of a purple belt, they merely have good experience doing it.

The problem I see is that sometimes position IS a submission when you're talking about practical applications. Submission is not the end all be all of grappling and fighting- its merely one way of winning. The other way is cracking your opponents skull.

This strategy that grapplers are developing now isn't helping them because it essentially is the complete opposite of positional emphasis. What we're seeing now is "fighters" who have no takedowns, no guard passes, and no good pressure. They're really good in one particular niche of the game, but nothing else. Compare this to say wrestlers where the strategy is the opposite- there are no submissions but dominant position is paramount. I'd suppose that's the reason why wrestlers tend to adapt better to MMA than your modern jiu jitsu guys....

Argue please...
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: Submission only hampers BJJ Reply with quote

TJ-Jitsu wrote:
Man you guys are slacking.... there have been no discussions for a long time. Let me start a fire and grab some gas....

So virtually all tournies nowadays are submission only with no emphasis on points. A decade or two ago you used to hear people say things like "I fight for the sub, not for points." That's perfectly well and fine within the sport, but leaves a gaping hole for your practical applications (ie fighting).

No one in jiu jitsu knows how to pass a guard anymore, mostly because there is no incentive when you can just drop on a foot. IMO most lightweight black belts have the passing level of a purple belt, they merely have good experience doing it.

The problem I see is that sometimes position IS a submission when you're talking about practical applications. Submission is not the end all be all of grappling and fighting- its merely one way of winning. The other way is cracking your opponents skull.

This strategy that grapplers are developing now isn't helping them because it essentially is the complete opposite of positional emphasis. What we're seeing now is "fighters" who have no takedowns, no guard passes, and no good pressure. They're really good in one particular niche of the game, but nothing else. Compare this to say wrestlers where the strategy is the opposite- there are no submissions but dominant position is paramount. I'd suppose that's the reason why wrestlers tend to adapt better to MMA than your modern jiu jitsu guys....

Argue please...


Submissions take too long. To quote one of my instructors: "Just punch him in the face."


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Spartacus Maximus
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1714

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole concept of submission is made for competition. What is happenening to many grappling schools is the same thing that has happened and is still going on with many martial arts: certain aspects are being emphasized over others for the purpose of competition or sport.

The goal of BJJ or an other martial art in a ring is to win. The other person is an opponent who has to be clearly “beaten”, “submitted” or “dominated”. It may be called a fight or described as such, but it isn’t a fight. The other is not an enemy and there are timed rounds.

A fight has no clock and no referee, and the first priority is to finish it as fast as possible with the least damage as possible to oneself. There are no points or trophies to prove how that one is better than the other person. No time to waste trying to “dominate” or “submit” the attacker to show-off how tough one is and roll around on the ground until potentially unfriendly spectators show up.

Much like karate for sport and karate for self-defense, grappling should and must be different depending on the purpose for which it is trained. And the same way, the two types cannot and should not be confused for one another.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rage of the page is what's happening. If submissions are the rage of the page, then that's what's happening, for the moment. If points are the rage of the page, then that's what's happening, for the moment.

Pick one...can't always have one's cake and eat it too.

The venue for THAT moment is the rage of the page that's happening. Don't want to compete in what THAT venue is promoting, then buy a ticket, or not, and be a spectator, or not.



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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this should go back to how the instructors run their schools and teach their students. This kind of thing has happened with TKD, especially with the Olympic styles. If Olympic sparring is the focus of the school, then it tends to attract those athletic students that are looking to compete, and they focus on that, and not so much on self-defense, because the success of the school and the instructor are built on their tournament success. I think its important as an instructor to not fall into this temptation to focus the school this way, because that's what we end up with.
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LLLEARNER
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Joined: 10 Feb 2016
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Location: Central Maine

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't this a thing in Judo? Europeans fighting for points and Japanese fighting for the clean Ippon.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: Submission only hampers BJJ Reply with quote

TJ-Jitsu wrote:
... some true stuff...

Argue please...


Fair enough. Since you asked.

Let me start by turning the question another way.
What do you think has happened to Judo since the ban on leg grabs?

You would THINK it would have devastated the sport, and lowered it's effectiveness, but, what has happened instead is that people adapt and become even better at a smaller subset of movements.
Judo is now closer to greco than to freestyle.

Sub only is fun for people because it feels more like free rolling. You are just out there rolling with the other guy and whoever catches one wins.

Now as to whether or not the strategies are helping. I am not sure, but I can tell you what happened to my professor. He has trained a lot of sub-only, went to the IBJJF no-gi worlds and lost. He went for a leg-lock, gave up position, and his opponent was able to use his position to set-up and finish an armbar.
We have had this discussion before though.
I still think what you are really complaining about is the addition of leg-locks as a strategy.
If the positional rules/hierarchy respected leg-lock positions more, then I would be willing to say that sub only is just for people who can't really compete.
But, as long as the "rules" don't account for things like someone caught in 411... I thing that the sub-only guys may have a point.
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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
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Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 316
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Submission only hampers BJJ Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
TJ-Jitsu wrote:
... some true stuff...

Argue please...


Fair enough. Since you asked.

Let me start by turning the question another way.
What do you think has happened to Judo since the ban on leg grabs?

You would THINK it would have devastated the sport, and lowered it's effectiveness, but, what has happened instead is that people adapt and become even better at a smaller subset of movements.
Judo is now closer to greco than to freestyle.

Sub only is fun for people because it feels more like free rolling. You are just out there rolling with the other guy and whoever catches one wins.


I see your point in Judo, but the assumption is that the separate rules changes are equivalent and they are not. One the most identifying marks of BJJ is its practitioners (once) ability to achieve a dominant position. Sub only assumed these practitioners would continue to play the game the same but merely submit- they were mistaken.

Tempest wrote:

Now as to whether or not the strategies are helping. I am not sure, but I can tell you what happened to my professor. He has trained a lot of sub-only, went to the IBJJF no-gi worlds and lost. He went for a leg-lock, gave up position, and his opponent was able to use his position to set-up and finish an armbar.
We have had this discussion before though.
I still think what you are really complaining about is the addition of leg-locks as a strategy.
If the positional rules/hierarchy respected leg-lock positions more, then I would be willing to say that sub only is just for people who can't really compete.
But, as long as the "rules" don't account for things like someone caught in 411... I thing that the sub-only guys may have a point.


Your professors experience exemplifies what I mean. Yes I am complaining about the addition of leg locks as strategy because its a strategy that's less effective for what bjj was made for- fighting.

So the reason the positional rules don't account for leg lock positions (i.e. scoring when you get to them) is because leg lock positions are NOT dominant positions.

EVERY leg lock position gives up the top position and therefore moves backwards in the positional hierarchy. This is the double edged sword as it applies to them- they require no positional dominance and therefore can be thrown from anywhere. The con is you cant get positional dominance by attempting to attack the legs either.

Why do I say this is detrimental? Position matters so much more in a fight than it does in a grappling tournament. Consider what the "opposite" of submission only (catch wrestling) is- folkstyle. Its the style that puts absolutely emphasis on position (being on top at all costs) and completely disallowing submissions. Sub only is the reverse- top position doesn't matter at all, so much so that people dive on a foot even when on top because if it fails you just jump on the other foot when you're on your back- hence the lack of quality takedowns from modern players (not that classic players had good takedowns either...).

All of this is merely history repeating itself. What made BJJ what it was is its scoring system and emphasis not just on position dominance but positional hierarchy. Prior to going global, grappling was still very popular in Japan and the like with shooto. Same premise though with catch style rules- no one really passed the guard- as soon as fights hit the ground there was the attempt for the leg lock. The fact you couldn't hit with a closed fist only encouraged this.

Then came along the Gracies, in particular Rickson. Heres a guy that can get positional dominance on top, and also pass and mount- and hes doing it with punches to the face after the fact. With so little training in guard retention or anything other than a leg lock, the best stars in japan were smashed quite quickly.

The introduction of the leg lock game wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. I'm of the opinion people need to wait to throw legl locks until they get to brown and black- they need that time to learn how to pass a guard effectively. Its very very difficult to teach a leglock'er how to pass a guard because theyre so quick to jump on a leg when they run into difficulties. As I said, color me surprised that those with good leglocks are often severely lacking in pressure and passing skills in general.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 420
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TJ wrote:
I see your point in Judo, but the assumption is that the separate rules changes are equivalent and they are not. One the most identifying marks of BJJ is its practitioners (once) ability to achieve a dominant position. Sub only assumed these practitioners would continue to play the game the same but merely submit- they were mistaken.


I don't think they were. I know you address this later in your post, but I believe my professors experience clearly shows that while some people ARE doing sub-only without regards to position, this is a self correcting problem as he almost got his arm broken over it.

As to some of your other points... I have not met a "pure" BJJ guy that could do a takedown to save his life. We all crosstrain that aspect of our game.

As for guard passing, guys like Keenan Cornelius and the Miyao brothers have shown that to be a losing strategy, at least in BJJ competition.
Pull guard and sweep or submit. That is the strategy.
One good counter to that strategy is leg-locks. While they do cause you to give give up position, so does a failed guard pass if the person on bottom has any sweep game at all. And the payoff is much larger with the ability to get the tap right away.

With guys like Dean Lister out there promoting these techniques, you aren't going to win with the idea that this is somehow a "less effective" strategy for the game that the people doing it are playing.

Now, if you think it would not translate well to MMA, or a self defense situation, where all kinds of striking on the ground was allowed... you're right.
BUT, I would make the argument that even someone as old school and great as Marcelo Garcia has a rather terrible MMA record. Translating from grappling to fighting requires training specifically for that context. Now, in the early days of BJJ, they did that, all the time, but the sport has grown, changed, and evolved since then.

If you want to have a sport, it's got to have rules. If you have rules they will be gamed by people seeking to win within the rules. The only REAL way to avoid this is what we do in HEMA. Constant rules confusion. No standard rules, each tournament can run it how they want, and players just have to read the rules as they are published for that event.

BUT, I will tell you that makes running high level competitions a LOT harder.
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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 316
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
.
TJ wrote:
I see your point in Judo, but the assumption is that the separate rules changes are equivalent and they are not. One the most identifying marks of BJJ is its practitioners (once) ability to achieve a dominant position. Sub only assumed these practitioners would continue to play the game the same but merely submit- they were mistaken.


I don't think they were. I know you address this later in your post, but I believe my professors experience clearly shows that while some people ARE doing sub-only without regards to position, this is a self correcting problem as he almost got his arm broken over it.


So if I may offer a potential criticism, just because your instructor got armbarred doesn’t mean his opponent was good at it, as your coach could have been bad at defending it, bad from bottom, etc.

Not attempting to insult but I do see people who make that fallacy at it pertains to Jiu Jitsu. It usually occurs when I listen to people talk about how important the “basics” are. I’m often quick to point out that just because you emphasize it, just because you talk about it- indeed just because you practice it a lot DOES NOT imply that you’re any good at it.

So again I’m not saying your coach isn’t good (I don’t even know who he is) but I am postulating that there is the entire opposite spectrum you’re not taking into account:
-is your coach knowledgeable at that skill set?
-was his opponent?
-was his opponent the exception of the norm as it pertains to that level?

Tempest wrote:

As to some of your other points... I have not met a "pure" BJJ guy that could do a takedown to save his life. We all crosstrain that aspect of our game.


Oh yes- no argument there

Tempest wrote:

Agame.s for guard passing, guys like Keenan Cornelius and the Miyao brothers have shown that to be a losing strategy, at least in BJJ competition.
Pull guard and sweep or submit. That is the strategy.game.


Actually that kind proves my point. Leverage favors the top position. The only reason being on bottom is desirable has to do with the ignorance of the people on top- their lack of knowledge of how to pass and take space away.

The less knowledgeable one is about passing the more likely they are to stand up to pass. Virtually everyone stands up to pass and surprise Keenan’s work guard is configured around stopping the standing pass. The more you stand the more it works. Not surprisingly it works very often for him...

Tempest wrote:

One good counter to that strategy is leg-locks. While they do cause you to give give up position, so does a failed guard pass if the person on bottom has any sweep game at all. And the payoff is much larger with the ability to get the tap right away.

With guys like Dean Lister out there promoting these techniques, you aren't going to win with the idea that this is somehow a "less effective" strategy for the game that the people doing it are playing.


Well I happen to agree with lister in the sense that for the rule set it IS the better strategy. Here’s a whole skill set you get to ignore (getting dominant position). This again becomes a severe problem when people aren’t forced to play your game by the ruleset (mma for example).

Tempest wrote:

Now, if you think it would not translate well to MMA, or a self defense situation, where all kinds of striking on the ground was allowed... you're right.
BUT, I would make the argument that even someone as old school and great as Marcelo Garcia has a rather terrible MMA record. Translating from grappling to fighting requires training specifically for that context. Now, in the early days of BJJ, they did that, all the time, but the sport has grown, changed, and evolved since then.

If you want to have a sport, it's got to have rules. If you have rules they will be gamed by people seeking to win within the rules. The only REAL way to avoid this is what we do in HEMA. Constant rules confusion. No standard rules, each tournament can run it how they want, and players just have to read the rules as they are published for that event.

BUT, I will tell you that makes running high level competitions a LOT harder.


I posit that Marcella lost his fights because he didn’t understand that difference between the sport and the fight. He obviously has the skill set, just applied it the wrong way.

Ultimately I don’t fault bjj guys necessarily for being less successful in mma as much as I credit their opponents. People know to posture and defend inside guard. The old days people didn’t know this is didn’t know how to fight on the ground. The problem with the submission only rule set is this isn’t helping fighters to correctly adapt with the fighting game. And the gap is widening as a result. Bjjers aren’t learning how to impose their game on their opponents, save very few like Maia or jacare.

All that being said, the new craze of leg locks has helped
Bjj and it’s better now than it was 20 years ago, but it needs to shift its focus back to where it started and sharpen that aspect, less it continue its mediocre success in the fight game.
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