BJJ is essentially eliminating movement options from the other person. You take a person from standing where they can move freely and you put them on their back. 50% of their movement options are gone immediately. Then if you can get around their legs they have even fewer movement options. Plus you have gravity and your body weight on top of them. And then in going for a submission you isolate one or two limbs, maybe an arm and the head for a choke, or maybe just the arm for an armlock. You’re just eliminating movement options and honing in on a submission.—Roy Dean
Without being able to positionally dominate someone it’s very difficult to submit them. The real innovation of the Brazilians was that they codified a system of positional movement and control, allowing someone to escape an inferior position, establish a dominant position, maintain it with a high degree of control, then get the finish.
When students are new to the art they quickly discover that they can’t get the submission reliably. What they need to realize is that they haven’t yet learned how to control someone. Without that foundation, the tap is elusive.
Developing a good positional game takes a long time. There’s no shortcutting the process. You just have to put in the mat time. So don’t get frustrated if you can’t make your offense work yet. That’s normal. Focus on the positional game and the submissions will come in due time.
As Roy Dean says, “The submission is just the punctuation mark in a strategy of eliminating movement options from your opponent.”.