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Exploring Submission Fighting: A Comprehensive Guide

Ever wondered about the electrifying world of submission fighting? If you’re a martial arts enthusiast or simply keen on exploring a hybrid of strategic combat and human chess, then lace up your mental gloves and prepare to grapple with a comprehensive guide to submission fighting. From the ancient roots of these dynamic duels to the modern-day chess match on the mats, we’re about to unfurl the spools of this absorbing thread in the fabric of physical and mental discipline.

The Ancient Art with a Modern Edge

Submission fighting, also known as submission grappling, is a combat sport and a self-defense system that focuses on ground fighting. Unlike striking-based arts like boxing and karate, or even wrestling, in which competitors aim to pin one another down, submission fighters – armed with techniques from wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu, and beyond – seek to take their opponents to the ground and force them into submission through the application of joint locks and chokes.

It’s an intricate dance of mind and muscle that has been given fresh life through the televised arenas of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), where submission fighters have showcased their craft to the world, compelling viewers with bouts that are as much about strategy as they are about strength.

The Embroidery of Techniques

At the heart of submission fighting lie techniques as diverse as the myriad knots in a martial artist’s black belt. Here, we unravel the most intricate threads that make up the fabric of this fascinating sport.

The Armbar – A Classic in the Canon

One of the most iconic submission moves is the armbar, a lock that hyperextends the opponent’s elbow. It’s a staple of any submission fighter’s repertoire, and a well-executed armbar can make even the stoutest opponent tap.

The Rear Naked Choke – A Hello From Behind

If the armbar is the quintessential submission move, the rear naked choke is its silent assassin. When this choke is locked in, it’s lights out for the unfortunate soul caught in its deadly grasp.

The Triangle Choke – A Compelling Constriction

The triangle choke is a submission where a fighter uses their legs to encircle the opponent’s neck and arm, strangling and isolating with deceptive ease, echoing the majestic precision of its namesake shape.

A Melting Pot of Martial Arts

Understanding submission fighting means recognizing its roots. The sport is indebted to a host of martial arts traditions. Judo, with its emphasis on throws and pins, contributed significantly, while Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu refined and amplified the ground game, creating a formidably precise and devastating system.

The Birth of BJJ – From East to West

When Judo practitioner Mitsuyo Maeda introduced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the Gracie family in the early 20th century, he seeded the ground for a grappling revolution. BJJ’s focus on leverage and technique over brute strength made it a natural partner for submission fighting.

Wrestling – The Art of the Takedown

Wrestling is foundational for submission fighters, as takedowns are often the opening gambit in a ground encounter. Its influence is apparent in the way fighters from all disciplines incorporate wrestling moves into their arsenals.

Traditional Jiu-Jitsu – A Historical Footnote

Traditional Jiu-Jitsu techniques laid the groundwork for today’s submission fighting by examining a variety of grappling techniques. Though more varied and often softened for the tatami, some of these techniques remain fundamental in the modern sport.

Training & Fitness in Submission Fighting

The level of fitness and conditioning required for these contests is akin to that of an elite athlete. Endurance, strength, and flexibility are not optional; they are the currency in which martial artists trade.

Conditioning – The Forge of the Warrior

A successful submission fighter’s body is a living testament to the power of conditioning. Endless hours are spent on cardio to withstand the rigors of combat, on strength training for the grappling game, and on flexibility to maneuver into the perfect position to claim victory.

Mental Preparation – The Unsung Hero

The mental game in submission fighting is everything. A poised mind that can weather the storm of fatigue and remain strategic in the heat of battle is as crucial as a strong body. Meditation, visualization, and tactical analysis form the invisible armor of the submission fighter.

The Arena of Adrenaline

Submission fighting competitions have transcended mere sports events, becoming cultural phenomena that draw millions of viewers worldwide.

UFC – The Octagon’s Symphony

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been instrumental in popularizing submission fighting, setting the stage for storied battles and legendary fighters to showcase their skills in the octagon.

ADCC – The International Spotlight

The Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Submission Wrestling Championships have consistently attracted the best grapplers on the planet, placing a premium on pure grappling skill and technique.

EBI – The Premier Overtime Experience

The Eddie Bravo Invitational introduces unique submission-only tournaments that emphasize a fighter’s ability to overcome their opponent through technique rather than points in extended, no-gi bouts.

Submission Fighting vs. Other Martial Arts

While all martial arts share a degree of overlap, each discipline is also distinctly tailored, akin to different facets of a gem. Submission fighting stands at a unique intersection, drawing from various arts to create its own dynamic form.

Similarities with Jiu-Jitsu

The connection between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and submission fighting is intrinsic, as BJJ has become one of the dominant martial arts in the submission arena, with both sharing a focus on ground combat and submissions.

Distinctions from MMA

While submission fighting is a dominant aspect of Mixed Martial Arts, the two are not interchangeable. MMA encompasses a range of fighting styles, including striking, wrestling, and submissions, whereas submission fighting is a specialized skill set within the MMA framework.

Integration with Traditional Martial Arts

Submission fighting can serve as a complementary practice for those versed in traditional martial arts, offering an avenue to focus on the grappling and ground aspects that may be underemphasized in their primary discipline.

Safety and Ethical Considerations

In a sport with such potential for injury, safety is paramount, and ethical conduct is not merely a courtesy; it’s a code of honor.

Safe Practices

Understanding one’s own limits and ramping up training gradually can prevent injuries. Additionally, practitioners must learn the signs of distress in their sparring partners and compete with a sense of controlled aggression that emphasizes technique over recklessness.

Sportsmanship and Respect

Submission fighting, at its core, is a test of skill and will that demands respect for one’s opponent. This respect is not just decorum; it’s the very foundation on which the martial arts ethos is built.

Why Submission Fighting?

The question could be rephrased: Why seek mastery over oneself, and if in doing so, one can dominate an opponent, what greater testament to the human spirit can there be?

For the Love of the Game

Enthusiasts are drawn to submission fighting for its strategic and tactical challenges. It’s a game of high stakes and high rewards, where every move counts and every decision could lead to victory or defeat.

The Pursuit of Fitness

For those seeking unbeatable fitness, submission fighting offers a comprehensive workout that targets every muscle group while providing a mental challenge that is as exhilarating as it is exhausting.

Self-Defense and Empowerment

Submission fighting can also be seen as a practical skill for self-defense, preparing individuals to protect themselves by neutralizing threats effectively and efficiently.

A Philosophical Perspective

Submission fighting is more than sport; it’s a philosophy in motion. It teaches humility in victory and grace in defeat, and it underscores that winning is not everything; it’s about the purity of the fight and the lessons it imparts to those brave enough to step onto the mat.

The Battle of the Super-Egos

In submission fighting, every competitor’s super-ego, the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious, is laid bare. The struggle is not just physical; it’s an internal battle against fear, doubt, and the self.

The Art of War – The Pacifist’s Path

The principles of strategy articulated by Sun Tzu in ‘The Art of War’ find their stark parallels in submission fighting. But instead of conquest, the end goal is camaraderie – the victory of one spirit connecting with another through the shared experience of combat.

Submission Division

*Small resume : groundfighting / empty-hands / throws , chokes ,
pinning , keys and imobilizations WITH NO strikes


1. Takedowns and throws
2. Ground fighting with chokes , armbars , legbars, pinning techniques
3. No chokes or armbars is allowed from standing.

** any techniques which are not specified in the „Techniques Permitted
” is illegal .


1. it is not allowed to kick or to punch the opponent
2. it is not allowed to lay down voluntarely, with no action from the
opponent (passive fight; -1 point)
3. groundfighting time: the central referee will allow to continue the
groundfighting as long as action.


1 round x 3 minutes.

In case of a draw there will be an extra round of 2

The extra round will start from 0-0 and after this extra round all.
referees must decide the winner.

Scoring Points

1. Takedowns , Sweepings , Short Throws : 1 point
2. Large throws : 2 points
3.Chokes/Armbar/Imobilizations (scored techniques) maintened for 10
sec: 2 points


1. In case of repeted intentioned fouls the ring referee will give: warning,
-1 , -3 points, disqualification.

2. Depending by the intensity of the foul the central referee can disqualify
the sportive directly or after the first/second warning for the competitor ,
with the approval of chairman of referees.


3. Just the penalties and points given by the central referee will be scored
on the scoretable .

How To Win

By Decision

By Abandon


Gi Pants and Jacket


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