BJJ submissions – Awesome list of 70+ submissions

How many BJJ submissions are there, you ask?

Well, here’s a list of 50+ submissions in BJJ. I’m not sure it’s all the BJJ submissions, but it’s a bigger list than I found anywhere else.

And I also added a taxonomy to categorize the BJJ submissions in a way that makes sense, and that allows

Brazilian jiu jitsu Submissions

If you want to reference a specific kind of bjj submission, you can jump ahead to that section in the list:

1. Arm bar

The arm bar is a submission that overextends the elbow joint. It is one of the most commonly used submissions in Brazilian jiu jitsu. It’s also used in other grappling arts, such as Judo, in which it’s called ju ji gatame.

What breaks: elbow hyperextension

Submission from: mount, closed guard, side control, knee on belly

2. Kimura

The Kimura is a submission that internally rotates the shoulder too much. You can also use the kimura to sweep and control your opponent or to transition to other attacks.

What breaks: shoulder internal rotation

Submission from: half guard top, mount

3. Americana

The Americana is a submission that externally rotates the shoulder beyond its reach. It’s a submission that is more commonly finished at the lower belt levels of Brazilian jiu jitsu.

What breaks: shoulder external rotation

Submission from: side control, mount

4. Arm crush

The arm crush hyperextends the elbow joint, just like the arm bar. However, the body configuration you use to apply this submission is completely different from the arm bar.

What breaks: elbow hyperextension

Submission from: butterfly guard, mount

5. Omoplata

The Omoplata internally rotates the shoulder beyond its reach. It’s similar to a Kimura, but you use your legs to apply the submission, rather than your arms.

What breaks: shoulder internal rotation

Submission from: closed guard, collar sleeve guard, spider guard

6. Judo Americana from Kesa Gatame

I always call this one ‘Judo Americana’ because I don’t know the official name (which is probably in Japanese, or it doesn’t exist if it’s not an official Judo move).

It’s a lock from kesa gatame (scarf hold), in which you use your legs to externally rotate the shoulder beyond its reach. In my experience, old school, heavy judoka’s always use this.

What breaks: shoulder external rotation

Submission from: kesa gatame (scarf hold)

7. Arm lock from Kesa Gatame

Similar to the Judo Americana, you can use your legs to apply a straight arm lock when you’re in the kesa gatame position. This submission is often paired with the Judo americana.

What breaks: elbow hyperextension

Submission from: kesa gatame

8. Huizinga roll

The Huizinga roll is like a reverse omoplata. It was popularized by the Dutch judoka Johan Huizinga, who used it effectively in competition. You can use the Huizinga roll to flip someone from turtle to his back, as well as to finish the submission.

What breaks: shoulder internal rotation

Submission from: turtle

9. Monoplata

The monoplata is similar to the arm bar in leg positioning, but instead of trying to hyperextend the elbow, you try to internally rotate the shoulder. This submission has been used to great effect by Marcelo Garcia.

What breaks: shoulder internal rotation

Submission from: Modified mount

10. Baratoplata

The Baratoplata submission was popularized by Rafael “Barata” Freitas. You can use the Baratoplata when you go for the Kimura, but your unable to separate your opponent’s arm from his body.

What breaks: shoulder internal rotation

Submission from: Kimura

11. Tarikoplata

The Tarikoplata is a submission that was invented by Tarik Hopstock. It’s similar to the omoplata and Baratoplata, but the leg configuration is different. Tarik enters this submission from practically anywhere and uses it to sweep and submit his opponents.

What breaks: shoulder internal rotation

Submission from: bottom half guard

12. Mir lock

The Mir lock was made famous by Frank Mir who hit it in a UFC match. It’s a devastating submission from closed guard that externally rotates the shoulder.

This submission is almost never used, which suggests it might not be high percentage. But then again, Frank used it successfully in an MMA match, so make of that what you will.

What breaks: shoulder external rotation

Submission from: closed guard

13. Standing Mir lock (Jon Jones)

Jon Jones hit what you might call a standing Mir lock against Glover Texeira in UFC 172. He didn’t submit Glover with it, but he definitely hurt his shoulder (Glover had to get surgery to repair his labrum). I find it very interesting that these Americana style submissions are used in an explosive way in MMA, more so than in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

What breaks: shoulder external rotation

Submission from: standing with overhook

14. Monocana (Americana from Monoplata)

From the Monoplata position you can also hit an Americana style submission, if your opponent rotates his shoulder externally to defend the monoplata. I haven’t seen this submission very often, but I’ve seen Marcelo Garcia hit it in training. (I wonder if the opponent could easily try a hitch hiker escape.)

What breaks: shoulder external rotation

Submission from: monoplata

15. Standing arm lock (aoki)

Brazilian jiu jitsu doesn’t use a lot of standing submissions, and they’re largely thought to be low percentage. But tell that to Shinya Aoki! He used an Aikido style arm lock to break someone’s arm from the standing position during an MMA match. (Again, I wonder how many low percentage submissions would work better if you apply them explosively.)

What breaks: elbow hyperextension

Submission from: standing with underhook

16. Quick armbar from collar sleeve

You can do a quick arm bar from open guards where you control the sleeve, such as the collar sleeve guard. You pinch your knees around the shoulder and your thigh presses into the elbow. In Judo they call this technique Ude Higishi Hiza Gatame.

What breaks: elbow hyperextension

Submission from: collar sleeve guard, open guard

17. Arm bar from crucifix (Ude-hishigi-ashi-gatame)

From the crucifix position you can do an arm lock on the arm you trapped with your legs. You can do this both from top crucifix (when you’re still in turtle), and from bottom crucifix.

What breaks: elbow hyperextension

Submission from: crucifix

18. Rear naked choke

From the crucifix position you can do an arm lock on the arm you trapped with your legs. You can do this both from top crucifix (when you’re still in turtle), and from bottom crucifix.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: back mount, crucifix

19. Bulldog choke

The bulldog choke is not very common because your opponent needs to mess up quite a bit to end up there. But, Ben Askren used it to claim a comeback victory against Robbie Lawler in the UFC, and it also occurs sometimes in street fights.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: headlock

20. Kangaroo choke

I saw a kangaroo use this choke and I started using it myself as well. Kangaroos have the perfect bodies for this choke, with their short and strong arms and long fingers.

It’s harder for me to do because I’m a human, but I can get this from belly down back mount when I completely flatten out my opponent. I grab an S-grip around my opponent’s chin and squeeze my hands to my chest, just like the kangaroo in this video.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: flattened out back mount

21. Guillotine

The guillotine is one of the most frequently used and highest percentage submissions in Brazilian jiu jitsu. It can be done with a variety of grips. A major distinction is between arm in guillotines and arm out guillotines, which function quite differently from each other.

What breaks: strangulation/choke

Submission from: front headlock

22. D'arce choke

The D’arce choke or Brabo choke is a head and arm choke. It’s often paired with guillotines and Anaconda chokes. It’s often also a neck crank, and it’s one of the hardest chokes in jiu jitsu to apply cleanly.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: front headlock, top half guard

23. Anaconda choke

The Anaconda choke is similar to the D’arce choke, but you lock your arms the other way around. This submission is most commonly entered after a failed  arm in guillotine, from a front headlock position where both players lie on their back.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: front headlock

24. Japanese neck tie

The Japanese neck tie lies somewhere in between the arm in guillotine and the Anaconda choke. Your hands are configured as in a guillotine, but you put your belly behind the back of your opponent’s head and catch his leg with your legs, so that you can compress his head towards his chest.

What breaks: strangulation/choke

Submission from: front headlock

25. Peruvian neck tie

The Peruvian lies in between the arm in guillotine and the D’Arce choke. It’s also similar to the Japanese neck tie in that you keep the arm in guillotine grips, but you try to use your body to compress the head towards the chest. But with this submission you compress the head be stepping your leg over the head and sitting down, and you prevent the rolling escape by throwing your other leg over the back.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: front headlock

26. Arm triangle

The arm triangle is a common and effective bjj submission, although it’s hard to master. Your arm cuts off blood to one side of the neck, and on the other side you push your opponent’s arm into his neck using either your chest, collar bone or neck.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: mount

27. North south choke

The north south choke is typically applied from north south, with your arm around the neck and nothing on the other side of the neck. Your arm needs to be extremely tight and your shoulder needs to dip very low, in order to apply the choke on both sides of the neck using just one arm.

The north south is very hard to get good at, but is used at the highest levels of jiu jitsu, for example by Marcelo Garcia.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: north south

28. Buggy choke

The Buggy choke is an uncommon head and arm choke from bottom side control. You grab your leg behind the back of your opponent’s neck and pressure into his neck with your lat and onto his arm with your thigh. Most notably, Kade Rotulo hit this in competition in 2020.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: bottom side control

29. Triangle choke

The triangle choke is a staple of jiu jitsu. It’s one of the most widely used and highest percentage submissions in all of Brazilian jiu jitsu. It’s also used a lot in other grappling arts and in MMA.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: guards, top side control, mount

30. Inverted triangle

The inverted triangle is a tricky submission, that’s typically hit from bottom side control while the opponent is not paying attention. Compared to the normal triangle, your head faces the other way (towards your opponent’s legs). It can be hard to finish this submission.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: bottom side control, north south

31. Back triangle

The back triangle is often entered from the back position. It’s quite hard to finish the choke with the back triangle, but it can be done. More commonly, the back triangle position is used to attack arm locks.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: bottom side control, north south

32. Inverted back triangle

In the inverted back triangle, you’re on your opponent’s back and you face his legs. This submission is rarely used in Brazilian jiu jitsu, but it’s a staple in Judo because it’s a quick attack you can do from turtle. 

Most famously, Richard Hale choked out his opponent with an inverted back triangle in a Bellator MMA match.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: turtle

33. Loop choke

The loop choke is a gi choke that’s a bit similar to a guillotine. You grab a cross collar grip and loop your arm around the back of your opponent’s head, and then use something to pressure his head down (usually your free arm).

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: guards, turtle

34. Clock choke

The clock choke is a gi choke from top side turtle. You grab the same side collar (so right collar with your right arm), make sure it’s under the neck and walk over to the other side of the turtle while keeping your opponent in place. This submission is reasonably rare.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: turtle

35.Ezekiel choke

The Ezekiel choke is primarily a gi choke, although a no gi version exists (but it’s much less common). Typically you grab a deep cross face, and with your cross face arm you grab the sleeve of your free hand, and then you pass your free hand over the throat of your opponent. This closed a loop around the neck and causes a tight strangle.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: mount

36.Ezekiel from the back

The Ezekiel can also be applied from the back, in which case the arm of your opponent is almost always also trapped, which is a major difference to the front Ezekiel. The Ezekiel from the back was one of the most commonly hit submissions in the IBJJF Worlds of 2019.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: back mount

37. Bow and arrow choke

The bow and arrow is perhaps the single most effective submission in gi jiu jitsu. You are basically applying a gi choke with the strength of your deadlift.

(I also have a theory that in the bow and arrow, your opponent’s neck functions as a pulley, which even doubles the force you put into the choke. But I’m not a physicist.)

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: back mount

38. Lapel choke from the back

The lapel choke is the simplest gi choke from the back. It’s less strong than the bow and arrow choke, but you give up hardly any control while trying it, so you can basically try it for free.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: back mount

39. Cross collar choke

The cross collar choke is often said to be the first choke you learn and the last choke you master. It’s basic, but hard to do against knowledgeable opponents. Roger Gracie is famous for mastering this submission.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: mount, closed guard

40. Baseball bat choke

The baseball bat choke is famous for choking out more people than any other choke. This happens especially often with the baseball choke from bottom side control, because nobody likes to tap after just having established a ‘dominant’ position.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: knee on belly, bottom side control

41. Pena choke

The Pena choke is named after Felipe Pena. It’s similar to a bow and arrow choke, but instead of grabbing your opponent’s collar, you grab your own lapel and feed it around your opponent’s neck. You then throw your top leg over your opponent’s head so that you can pressure him into the choke.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: north south

42. Papercutter choke

The papercutter choke is a choke from north south. You simply grab the collar and push your forearm into the neck, and make sure the opponent can’t turn towards you to relieve the pressure (usually by lifting his near shoulder with your free arm).

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: north south, side control

43. Lapel choke from side control (Ninja choke)

There’s a lapel choke from top side control where you feed your own lapel around your opponent’s neck and then walk around to north south to cause the choke. It’s sometimes called the Ninja choke because you can pass the lapel around the neck quite sneakily.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: side control

44. Diesel Squeezel (Iron fist)

There’s a guillotine style choke where you jam the fist of your free arm in the neck. Keenan Cornelius calls this the Diesel Squeezel, Karel Silver Fox calls it the iron fist, and Neil Melanson also uses it. Keenan says that it’s the only thing that he always taps Craig Jones with. For me it’s actually my favorite submission, and I typically hit it from bottom half guard or side control.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: head control, bottom half guard, bottom side control

45. Front naked choke

The front naked choke uses the rear naked choke grip, but is applied when you’re in front of your opponent. It’s quite an uncommon submission.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: headlock

46. Gogoplata

The gogoplata is a submission in which you choke out your opponent with your foot. It’s most famously used by Nick Diaz in Pride against Takanori Gomi.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: north south

47. Tepee choke

The tepee choke occurs when you clamp your opponent’s neck between your legs while he’s passing your guard. It’s similar to a triangle choke, except that you don’t trap your opponent’s arm, you only trap his neck. You’ll usually be looking for some kind of collar grips as well to reinforce your choke.

Alternatively, you can do a tepee finish from a normal triangle choke. To do this you lock a triangle, then grab your hand around the back of your own legs, and you stretch out your legs completely.

Bot the tepee choke and the tepee finish from the triangle choke rarely occur at the higher belt levels.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: double under pass, triangle

48. Leg scissors choke

The leg scissor choke is an uncommon submission in which you try to have your opponent’s neck right between your knee caps, you close your legs as in close guard, and you straighten out your legs. It’s often tried from the top kimura position. It’s not a submission you see often at black belt.

What breaks: strangulation

Submission from: Top kimura

49. Inside heel hook

The inside heel hook is one of the most devastating submission in jiu jitsu. It’s illegal in IBJJF gi jiu jitsu. Craig Jones and Lachlan Giles are both specialists in this position.

What breaks: MCl

Submission from: saddle, 50/50, outside sankaku

50. Outside heel hook

The outside heel hook is less strong than the inside heel hook, but can still be devastating. It damages either the ankle or the knee, depending on how it’s applied. The guys from the Danaher death squad specialize in this submission.

What breaks: LCL or ankle internal rotation

Submission from: single x, outside ashi garami

51. Toe hold

The toe hold is a submission that internally rotates the ankle beyond its natural reach. It’s legal in IBJJF competitions for brown belts and black belts. The main difference with the outside heel hook is that the toe hold is less likely to damage the knee, because you can’t really bridge into the knee while applying it (which you can with a heel hook).

What breaks: ankle internal rotation

Submission from: single x, 50/50, during passing

52. Straight footlock

The straight footlock is the only leg lock that’s IBJJF legal for white belts. It typically overextends the ankle joint, although there are variations where you rotate the ankle quite a bit too. You can have a cross body grip on the ankle or a straight grip.

What breaks: ankle overextension

Submission from: single x, 50/50, double outside ashi

53. Aoki lock

The Aoki lock is a straight footlock in which you intentionally let the heel slip, so that you can externally rotate the leg, similarly to an inside heel hook. This can damage both the ankle and the knee.

The Aoki lock is named after Shinya Aoki, who did it in a Mixed Martial Arts match in Pride.

What breaks: ACL, ankle external rotation

Submission from: single x, counter to single x

54. Knee bar

The knee bar overextends the knee. It’s similar to an arm bar, but on the leg. It’s often paired with other leg attacks, such as heel hooks.

What breaks: knee overextension

Submission from: saddle, 50/50

55. Knee bar from over/under pass

The knee bar from the over/under pass deserves a separate mention from the regular knee bar. When you think about it, it’s actually an inverted knee bar. The hips are still pressuring into the knee, but your body is the other way around. Bernardo Faria used to do this move a lot in competition.

What breaks: knee overextension

Submission from: over/under pass

56. Footlock from bottom back mount

The footlock from when you’re back mounted can happen when your opponent crosses his legs or closes the body triangle. This submission happens almost exclusively at white belt.

What breaks: ankle overextension

Submission from: bottom back mount

57. Calf slicer

The calf slicer is a rare submission in jiu jitsu, but it can happen. It aims to shove a wedge in your opponent’s knee pit, and then to compress his upper and lower leg together, potentially blowing up the knee.

Eddie Bravo famously attacked a calf slicer against Royler Gracie in their rematch at Metamoris. It was an extra nasty calf slicer that also twists the knee (Eddie calls it the vaporizer). Royler didn’t tap, but he was clearly in pain!

What breaks: knee separation

Submission from: the truck, the lockdown

58. Twister

The Twister is a rotational lock on the spine. It’s popularized by Eddie Bravo, but it remains quite an uncommon submission. It’s also IBJJF illegal at any belt level.

What breaks: spine, neck

Submission from: the truck

59. Wrist locks

Wrist locks can be applied in various ways and from various positions. They’re often viewed as a ‘dirty’ submission in Brazilian jiu jitsu. If they were more respected, we would probably have separate names for all the different kinds of wrist locks, but we don’t. Wrist locks are IBJJF legal from blue belt and up.

What breaks: your wrist (either way)

Submission from: various positions

60. 100% neck crank

The 100% neck crank aims to push the neck towards the chest further than it can. This can be used to sweep or to submit. As a submission, it’s illegal in most jiu jitsu competitions regardless of belt level.

What breaks: neck

Submission from: front headlock

61. Can opener neck crank

The can opener is both a way to break open your opponent’s closed guard, and to break his neck. I believe this submission is illegal in most bjj competitions.

What breaks: neck

Submission from: top closed guard

62. Chest compression

A chest compression aims to compress the chest so much that it can’t expand, thus limiting breathing. It’s a very rare submission in Brazilian jiu jitsu. But, Josh Barnett famously did it against Dean Lister at Metamoris. (Do note the weight difference and the fact that this was at the end of a long match.)

What breaks: ribs, breathing

Submission from: kesa gatame

63. Estima lock

The Estima lock was popularized by Braulio Estima. It’s a quick submission that’s similar to a toe hold. It’s usually applied during passing or from a duble guard pull position. You basically grab the foot tight to your body and then rotate your whole body to rotate the ankle more than it can.

What breaks: Ankle internal rotation

Submission from: passing, double guard pull, 50/50

64. Banana split / Electric chair

The banana split is a submission in which you spread your opponent’s legs as if he were doing a split. It’s one of the only submission in bjj that straight up doesn’t work if your opponent is flexible enough. Like many unorthodox submissions, it was popularized by Eddie Bravo.

What breaks: hamstrings?

Submission from: the truck

65. Z-lock

The Z-lock is an uncommon submission, but it’s interesting because it’s the only submission I know that attacks the rotational capability of your hip. It’s done from the reaping position, and the goal is to internally rotate your hip beyond its reach.

What breaks: hip internal rotation

Submission from: reaping

66. Double trouble leg crank

When you’re in saddle and you control the other leg too (which is what John Danaher calls ‘double trouble’), you can weave your arm in between your opponent’s legs and kind of crank his legs together. Sometimes this can come on as a knee bar on the primary leg, but more often it just mushes someone’s shins together, which hurts.

Note that John Danaher himself does not consider this a legit submission. In his leg lock DVD he describes it as a method to test what your opponent is made off, but he doesn’t expect high level competitors to tap out to this move.

What breaks: knee overextension, shin pain

Submission from: saddle

67. Von flue choke

The Z-lock is an uncommon submission, but it’s interesting because it’s the only submission I know that attacks the rotational capability of your hip. It’s done from the reaping position, and the goal is to internally rotate your hip beyond its reach.

What breaks: strangle

Submission from: guillotine counter

68. Scorpion lock

The scorpion lock attacks the ribs of your opponent. You lock your closed guard, and then you lock your arms behind your legs, and then you stretch out your legs to the sky (similarly to the tepee finish from the triangle choke).

I used to see this submission happen at local white belt tournaments, but I’ve never seen it at the higher belt levels.

What breaks: ribs

Submission from: closed guard

69. Scorpion death lock

The Scorpion death lock has nothing to do with the Scorpion rib crush I mentioned above. It’s actually an Americana variation where you use your whole body to externally rotate your opponent’s shoulder. I haven’t seen this hit in black belt competitions though.

What breaks: ribs

Submission from: closed guard

70. The Bolton crab

The Bolton crab is a WWE move. You hold both your opponent’s feet, step over him to flip him to his belly, and squat down. It should generally be considered a very low percentage submission. However, somebody hit this submission in an MMA match, so there may be something to it.

What breaks: spine?

Submission from: passing