If you train Jiu Jitsu, I’m sure you have heard the mantra “POSITION BEFORE SUBMISSION” at least a thousand times, but what does it mean and when should it be applied?

Position before submission is a core principle in Jiu Jitsu. It basically means you should establish a dominant position before initiating your submission attacks.

A dominant position (e.g. mount, side control) allows you to have greater CONTROL over your opponent.

With greater control, you are limiting your opponent’s ability to move and options to escape. His/her movements become more predictable, thus creating opportunities for submissions.

On the other hand, when you are UNDER a dominant position, playing defense, you should take the approach of SUBMISSION BEFORE POSITION.

Don’t think about improving position if you are being threatened by a TIGHT submission.

For instance, when someone takes your back and has his/her arms around your neck. If you try to use your hands to get rid of his/her hooks in an attempt to escape and improve your position, there is a high probability you will end up getting submitted with a choke, because your hands are busy trying to escape the position, not the submission!

Defending the submission comes first, then you try to improve your position.

  • OFFENSE –> Position Before Submission
  • DEFENSE –> Submission Before Position

Gustavo Gasperin
MMA Leech