In BJJ, this can be a devastating and costly mistake that can ultimately cost you the match. The best way to combat it is to shift your mentality to always be fighting. No matter how sure you think the victory may be. The easiest way to identify an athlete who celebrates too soon is to see how they react once they’ve passed a guard. Passing the guard is the easy part during a BJJ match (though sometimes it may not seem that way). The problem starts once the guard has been passed. This is when you must secure the submission, and also when things get hard.
In BJJ, it’s common to see players rely on the “points” awarded to them during the match in order to win. If there was ever a “safe bet” tactic in BJJ, this is that. Very few players enter a match looking for a submission. They’re looking to win based on points. While a win certainly is a win no matter how you get there, there’s something to be said for getting into the proper position. And just going for a full on submission from there. The triangle choke submission is a great option here. The risk to reward ratio is higher. But sometimes playing that risk is fun, and the payoff is huge.
How many times have you encountered an exceptionally defensive opponent? Everything you do they have an answer for and the match starts to feel like a stalemate? It’s easy to get frustrated in these moments. But just remember, your opponent is doing that to prevent you from advancing. And you advancing is just what they fear. It is your job to quickly identify exactly what they’re doing that is preventing you from advancing. That takes a lot of practice and a lot of conversations with your coach. If you haven't already, be sure to ask your coach about the triangle choke. Learn this technique together if you want, but definitely learn it.
Make sure you take notes before and after matches and practices to keep pushing yourself to get better at identifying various defense mechanisms early on. Once you’ve become a master at identifying those, you need to have an equally effective solution to remove the problem from the grappling equation. Thereby rendering your opponent defenseless and opening the door for you to score.
TRIANGLE SET UP
That’s where the Arm Pin comes in. This is a crowd pleaser, and easier to do than most think. Not only that, but it also can be utilized in a wide variety of situations on the mats. Let’s talk details. By pinning your opponent’s arm, you take away any chance they had at either defending or countering. You also buy time to think, plan, and attack (quickly). You allow yourself to focus on the things that matter. Things like scoring, and (even better) submitting! The simplicity of an arm pin gives you a huge advantage because you then can start to hunt for the submission.
By rendering your opponent’s arm useless, you give yourself ample opportunities to score. Additionally, if you’ve ever had your arm pinned yourself, you know how it feels and you know how debilitating it truly can be. It’s a pretty nerve wracking feeling and can momentarily cause panic to set it. While you should never panic on the mats, knowing you are inflicting momentary fear into your opponent should give you confidence, now you just have to finish the job.
The arm pin can put you in a solid position for one of three potential submissions. A wrist lock, triangle, or the armbar are all options following a successful arm pin. What you decide to follow it will depend on your positioning, strengths, and comfort level as a BJJ player. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out various scenarios and submissions following the arm pin. Play to your strengths and get the job done!