Steve Jobs, the red belt of technology, famously declared that simplicity is the highest form of sophistication. And while the technology of jiujitsu is rapidly advancing, some things seem to stand the test of time.  In many ways, no gi jiu jitsu is the ultimate return to simplicity in BJJ.  When it comes to no gi submissions, a return to the basics is the best bet for consistently tapping out your opponents.

For no gi submissions, you need versatile attacks that you can play from many positions. That’s why the number one submission isn’t anything exotic or out of reach for you:

It’s the armbar, and it’s not even close.

Don’t believe me, look at the evidence. It’s a consistent finisher across all nogi formats. EBI, Combat Jiu-Jitsu, and ADCC. And while there are plenty of other high percentage submissions such as the triangle or the heel hook, here’s what makes the armbar different.

How to do a basic Armbar from S Mount

The Starter No Gi Submission

For many of us, the armbar is the first submission we learn. But unlike some positions and techniques that beginner’s dispense with over time, the armbar will stay relevant your whole career. You may meet people that confess triangles or kimuras aren’t high percentage for them. But have you ever met someone who doesn’t do armbars? Me neither.

“But have you ever met someone who doesn’t do armbars? Me neither.”

No Gi Submissions Available from Anywhere

If you take a sub like the RNC, which is very high percentage, it can really only be applied from the back. Which means your RNC is only as good as your back-taking.

Transitioning between armbar and back control (Lachlan Giles)

Armbars can be hit from guard, mount, side control, and even the back. If you get good at armbars, you’re dangerous from many positions.

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Always a Plan B Submission

Failed armbars always lead into other submissions, and can lead into powerful submission chains that threaten your opponents.

Spiderweb triangle of failed armbar

From the guard, you have the armbar/triangle/collar choke sequence.

In side control, you have the armbar, kimura, Americana attack. And in the mount, a failed armbar can lead to a back take, a triangle, or even an omoplata. Armbars lend themselves to combos due to one powerful concept:

Anytime the elbow is separated from the body, submissions are likely. 

It’s Worth Mentioning

The armbar is also a very high percentage with in gi BJJ. It lends itself to even more combinations with grips.

So if you invest in armbar attacks, you’re going to get a high rate of return from them.

Of course, YOU may have another high percentage submission in no gi jiu-jitsu. Let us know what it is!