6 Submissions Every White Belt Needs to Master

These 6 submissions are what I believe every white belt needs to develop as the fundamental attacks. Each submission was picked because it develops skills and movements that later techniques are built on, and because despite their simplicity, they are still high percentage finishes at the highest levels of the sport.

Armbar from closed guard


You need move like you a boxer needs a right hook. This is one of the most fundamental submissions that should be in everyone’s arsenal because it allows you to dictate how your opponent behaves inside your guard. The moment he overextends, you can take his arm off.

Triangle from closed guard


Just like the armbar, the threat of the triangle lets you dictate how your opponent behaves inside your guard. Even if you don’t make it your favorite submission, you should develop a respectable triangle (for your level) so that you can make people fear it enough to help you set up other attacks.

Cross collar choke from mount


As with all of these submissions, our attack allows us to dictate how our opponent must react or be caught in an quick submission. Any time their hands move away from their face, you want to know you can slap on that second grip and get the tap.

Armbar from mount


With the hand in the collar for chokes, you are going to get a lot of people attempting to upa you. That’s where the armbar comes in. When they turn to bridge, they expose the arm. If they give up on the escape, you can switch back to the collar choke. This combo is the quintessential double attack.

Spinning armbar from side control


This move can be difficult for beginners to learn because it requires a movement that is unnatural at first, which is why you should start practicing it early. Once you get it down, it gives you that ability to attack the far side of your opponent and transition smoothly from side to side, giving them nowhere safe to hide.

Double lapel choke from back control


In my opinion, this is the most powerful submission in BJJ. This is one of the highest percentage chokes when you get the back, and it should be in everyone’s arsenal. Once you refine this finish, you are a major threat from the back.

While submissions should not be the primary focus of beginners, you need to start early on these so that you can be ready to implement them as the rest of your game develops. These 6 submissions were chosen because they are the simplest techniques that still work at the highest level. Threatening strong, simple attacks lets you dictate the terms of engagement with your opponent. When they slip up, you'll be ready to catch them.

Nelson Puentes

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