Submission techniques are well known in combat sports and martial arts. They include MMA, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, grappling, sambo, judo and many others. As you all must know, a submission consists in making your opponent give up thanks to a choke, a joint twist or a muscle compression.

First of all, 80% of the submission techniques used in combat are among the following 5:

  • Rear naked choke
  • Guillotine choke
  • Armbar
  • Triangle choke
  • Arm triangle

And secondly, only 20% of submissions end in any of the other submission techniques.

Furthermore, these statistics are important to demonstrate the importance of mastering the 5 basic submissions in MMA.

Here are the five most common techniques in MMA :

Arm triangle (kata gatame)

Here we have a blood choke and a carotid artery compression. Once your opponent is on his back, you will wrap an arm around his neck and try to lock his arm on his face with your head. Then, all that remains is to finish the choke with a good pressure of the shoulder towards the ground.

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Triangle choke (sankaku jime)

There are several ways to place a triangle choke, and the result is always very effective. It is difficult to get out of a triangle once it has been properly locked.

In backstroke, we’ll look to get one leg over the neck and back of our opponent. Then we’ll look for our foot to lock the triangle.

Once the triangle is locked, it’s only a matter of time before we strike. However, there are a few important things to follow, such as passing the opponent’s arm to the side and pulling on his neck.

Armbar (juji gatame)

The arm lock is placed either from the closed guard or in the mounted position. It requires a good mobility of the pelvis to be successful. It is imperative to lock both legs on your opponent to have first succeeded in trapping his arm against you.

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Then, you just have to stretch and raise your pelvis to amplify the joint key.


A lot of people use this hold without even realizing it the first few times during training. A fairly natural hold that consists of locking the opponent’s head under his armpit and applying wrist pressure on the carotid artery using both hands of course. A technique very much used in MMA because of the attempts to get to the ground. So we often see fighters pressing their opponent with wrestling techniques and in the end getting caught in a guillotine.

Rear naked choke

The most common technique in MMA, the rear naked choke is used one out of three times in case of a submission victory. It is therefore THE technique to master, remember to control all the steps necessary to take the back of his opponent.

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This submission often occurs when your opponent is being rained on and turns around to preserve himself, you take advantage of this opportunity to take the back and finish the job.

To completely lock the back choke, it is essential to have passed his forearm under the chin of his opponent. One then seeks to lock his grip on his biceps to finalize.

Even if you don’t do MMA it can be interesting to recognize these techniques and know which fighter is mastering them, especially if you are betting on royal panda betting for example. Indeed, a good technical knowledge of the sport and a good monitoring of the news allows you to make better predictions.

Other submission techniques include: 

Anaconda choke, kneebar (one of the most dangerous submission techniques), d’arce choke, heel hook and Kimura (ude garami).

A martial artist and former coach for two decades from Houston, Texas. Specializing in the disciplines of kickboxing, karate, MMA, and Jiu Jitsu.