Top 5 Submissions For BJJ White Belts

Training in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an endeavor that will take you many years to reach proficiency. Early on, it is best to build a game that is both easy to implement and applicable to opponents of all shapes and sizes.

The art of learning submissions is a study that significantly excites most practitioners. Learning how to properly execute submissions against a fully resisting opponent can be empowering and, in most cases, the highlight of the training itself. As such, it is not enough to only study how to properly pull off submission techniques, the act of choosing what submissions to use should also be taken into account. Today, we will go over some of the most essential submissions for the BJJ white belt.


Importance Of Building A Strong Submission Game

Building a strong submission game is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, submissions are the ultimate goal of BJJ; they represent the ability to control and neutralize an opponent effectively. A solid submission game increases your chances of success in competitions and equips you with practical self-defense capabilities, enhancing your security. When choosing techniques to learn, it is a must to be mindful of your physical attributes, as your body’s ability to move can determine your success in performing specific submissions. For white belts, it is recommended to choose straightforward techniques so that the barrier of entry will not be as difficult.

A well-rounded submission arsenal fosters creativity and adaptability on the mats. It encourages practitioners to explore different positions and transitions, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of the gentle art. This exploration promotes problem-solving skills, as grapplers must constantly adjust their strategies based on their opponents’ actions and reactions. By building a solid submission game early, practitioners lay the groundwork for continuous improvement and long-term success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Now, let’s delve into the top 5 submissions for white belts.


1) Rear Naked Choke

The rear naked choke (RNC) is one of BJJ’s most effective and iconic submissions. It is a fundamental technique that every practitioner should know, regardless of their belt rank. This choke does not rely on the gi and can be applied in both gi and no-gi grappling, making it universally applicable.

The technique involves securing a dominant position behind your opponent, usually the back mount, and using your arms to apply pressure to both sides of the neck, cutting off blood flow to the brain. The rear naked choke is highly effective because it requires minimal strength and is difficult to escape when applied correctly. Work on securing the back mount position and practice the mechanics of the choke. Prioritize position before submission to ensure control and increase the success rate of your choke.


2) Armbar

The armbar is a classic joint lock that hyperextends the opponent’s elbow, forcing them to tap out. It can be executed from various positions, such as the mount, closed guard, or side control, making it a versatile technique in BJJ.

For white belts, learning the armbar from the mount and guard positions is essential. These positions offer control and safety while attempting the submission, which is crucial for beginners. The key to a successful armbar lies in isolating the opponent’s arm and applying pressure by extending the hips. Focus on the fundamentals of arm isolation and hip extension. Practice transitioning into the armbar from different positions to understand the mechanics and leverage involved.


3) Triangle Choke

The triangle choke is another fundamental submission that white belts should prioritize. This choke utilizes the legs to encircle the opponent’s neck and one arm, creating a ‘triangle’ that applies pressure to the carotid arteries.

This submission can be a bit more challenging due to the coordination required, but it’s an excellent technique for understanding the use of legs in BJJ. The triangle choke is most commonly applied from the guard position, providing a strong attacking option from the bottom. Develop flexibility and leg strength to assist in locking the choke. Practice the setup from the guard and focus on the angle and positioning to effectively apply pressure.


4) Guillotine Choke

The guillotine choke is a powerful submission that is effective in both gi and no-gi grappling. It involves encircling the opponent’s neck with one arm and applying pressure to choke them. This technique can be applied standing or on the ground and is particularly effective against opponents attempting to take you down.

For white belts, the guillotine offers an excellent introduction to chokes and understanding neck control. It’s also a submission that can be applied quickly, which is useful in self-defense situations. Learn the correct hand positioning and practice the choke from various positions. Understanding the difference between a blood choke and an air choke is crucial to applying the guillotine effectively.


5) Kimura

The kimura lock is a shoulder lock that applies pressure to the shoulder joint, leading to submission. It is named after the legendary judoka Masahiko Kimura and is a testament to the technique’s effectiveness and legacy in grappling arts.

For white belts, the kimura serves as an introduction to joint locks and controlling an opponent’s arm. It can be applied from multiple positions but starting from the closed guard or side control can provide a safe environment to learn and apply the technique. Concentrate on the proper grip and the mechanics of twisting the arm behind the opponent’s back. Understanding how to control your opponent’s body to prevent escape is essential for executing a successful kimura.



For BJJ white belts, focusing on these five submissions can build a strong grappling foundation. Each technique introduces key concepts of control, leverage, and timing, which are essential to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Mastery of these submissions not only equips white belts with practical tools for competition and sparring but also lays the groundwork for more advanced techniques and strategies.

Every individual’s BJJ journey is unique. Patience, practice, and persistence are key. By concentrating on these fundamental submissions, white belts can develop a deep understanding of the sport, setting the stage for continued growth and success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


You may also like: 

Top 4 BJJ Attacks From The Kesa Gatame Position