Defending Various Submissions in Mixed Martial Arts

How Not to Throw in the Towel

In mixed martial arts a fighter needs to worry about getting submitted just as much as they have to worry about getting knocked out. This is why such a diverse skill set is required to compete in MMA style tournaments.

If you take the fight to the ground in an attempt to either submit or ground and pound an opponent, you must be ready for them to attempt to submit you in the process. Once you start to get caught in a submission attempt, submission defenses can start to get very technical. However, submission defense can be simple if you take precautions and keep yourself well grounded and keep your limbs about you; which is easier said than done when you also have to try and submit or knock your opponent out as well.

Keeping Your Head on Your Shoulders

Knowing how to defend against the guillotine in MMA is really an essential aspect to your game plan. Guillotines can come quickly in a scramble or slowly be set up and executed. Although there are specifics to defending this from different positions, some concepts are consistent throughout.

Your head position can save you from getting guillotined quickly. First and foremost you should try to not let your head slip to one side. A guillotine relies on breaking the head forward to crush the neck against your hand.  Although its almost counter intuitive bulling your neck like a linebacker making a form tackle can stop this as well as increase the likelihood of getting your head out.

Body position is also extremely important. The guillotine choke tries to throw you to one side so that you do not have your center of gravity over the attacker and therefor less control over him. To avoid this an the basic rule is to keep your head and body on opposite sides when rolling with the opponent.

Here is a video with an in depth look at these defenses from various different positions.

The Armbar Defense

The best and easiest way to defend against an armbar is really to avoid letting your arms get away from your body. This really comes in handy when you find yourself in a scramble because a smart opponent will quickly take advantage of appendages flopping in the breeze.

This also needs to be taken into account when attempting to strike an opponent on the ground. Ground and pound seems like an easy way to end a fight.  But a quick submission artist who can take a punch only needs a split second to grab an arm and start to work his triangle hold quickly.

HERE is a link to a site with some more information and a video on defending against the armbar after you have gotten your arm taken.

Getting Out of the Triangle

A slam can be a very effective defense versus the triangle choke if you can do it

The triangle choke can be a difficult submission to escape from. Keeping your arms in tight during scrambles, like defending against an armbar, keeps the opponent from isolating one arm and locking in his legs into position. Also when trapped in the basic triangle setup position, full guard, the sign the triangle is coming is when the opponent  starts trying to trap one leg back to get his leg over.

Once the legs are locked in good behind your back it becomes a countdown until your opponent finagles the choke in tight. Of course you could go Rampage Jackson and full on pick up and then slam the opponent to the ground. But there are also some techniques that you can use to buy time and then quickly get out of the choke. However because of the nature of the submission getting out of this choke is no easy task.

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