The Twister Submission in Mixed Martial Arts

Twist Your Opponent into Submission

The Twister is a Devastating

The Twister is not a basic submission that you see all the time. However it can be an extremely effective way to finish off your opponent from the back mount.  What tickles my fancy about this move as well is how mean this move looks when you lock it in. You get the opponents whole body twisting in ways that it certainly is not made to stretch in.

For some evidence on how rare, and mean, this move is: Here is Jung Chan-Sung’s submission of Leonard Garcia with the first and only twister in UFC history.

Why to Choose the Twister Submission

The twister submission is performed from the back mount. The go to, classic, age old submission form the back mount is the rear naked choke. Because of this, everybody is ready to defend against it so it can be a lot more difficult to sink in than you would expect. This makes also helps make the twister, a relatively unseen move, more likely to surprise the opponent.

Again, the twister is just mean. It involves twisting the whole torso and neck. The lower body is pulled in one direction by a leg triangle, and the upper body is pulled in the other direction via neck crank. The whole submission tends to focus this pressure on the cervical vertebrae in the neck making it extremely painful and possibly dangerous if followed through with.

The Set Up

First and foremost you need to take the opponent’s back with a good seatbelt and good hooks. To get in position to perform the twister you need to then get you and your opponent on your sides. This is where you will pin your opponent to torque his whole body for the submission.

To pin your opponent to the ground you use your legs to control lower body position. The technique to do this is a leg triangle. From your leg hooks in back control, you slide your lower hook through your opponent’s legs and take your top leg out and lock in the leg triangle. Your top foot is placed over your bottom leg and under your opponent’s trapped foot similar to a the lockdown in the half guard.

Your upper body positioning is also essential to completing the submission. You need to get his top side arm behind you and slide your bottom side arm around the back of your opponent’s neck.  Your opponent will still be looking to defend his head and neck from strikes and submissions so separating his arm from his body, and getting between it and your opponent, is not always easy.

The Finish

Setting up this move against a comparable opponent is hard, finishing it is easy. The hands are locked around the bottom of the head/neck of the opponent. The grip used for this is referred to as an “S-grip”. This consists of bending the top digits of the fingers down essentially into a hook and then interlocking those two hooks together.

The hips are then pushed forward into the opponent to rotate the bottom half of his body into the ground and away from you. The S-grip is used to pull the opponent’s neck up and towards you. These two contact points forcing the body in opposite directions is what causes so much torque on the opponent’s spine and neck, forcing the tap.

Here is a video explaining the move in depth

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