8 Most Efficient Submissions For Older Grapplers

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu advocates the philosophy that technique and intelligence can overcome brute strength and explosiveness, making it an inclusive martial art for enthusiasts of all ages. This principle particularly resonates with older grapplers, who, while they may notice a decline in physical attributes like speed and explosiveness, can still thrive by leveraging the strategic depth of BJJ. Among the myriad of techniques available, specific submissions stand out for their efficiency, requiring minimal physical exertion while offering maximum control and effectiveness. In this article, we review several submission options that are especially suited to older grapplers.


Efficiency Over Attributes

As we age, our athleticism steadily declines, whether we like it or not. Regardless of our background, age will determine what techniques you can do (and not do) in training and competition. Older grapplers must select techniques that are highly effective but only require little speed or coordination to apply. This is the secret to having an effective and timeless game. Below are our top recommendations for our veteran practitioners.


1) Arm Triangle Choke

The Arm Triangle Choke is a quintessential submission for older practitioners. Unlike many chokes that require rapid movement and physical strength, the arm triangle relies on strategic positioning and subtle adjustments. Executed from various dominant positions such as mount or side control, this submission compresses the opponent’s carotid arteries, using their shoulder as part of the choking mechanism. For older grapplers, mastering the nuances of arm positioning and body weight distribution can turn this into one of the most reliable submissions in their repertoire.


2) Kimura Lock

The Kimura Lock is a versatile shoulder lock that combines mechanical leverage with a secure grip, making it ideal for practitioners who might lack speed but not craftiness. It is applicable from a range of positions, allowing older grapplers to adapt the move based on the flow of the match. The essence of the kimura lies in the control it provides, allowing the practitioner to dictate the pace and direction of the engagement. By focusing on technique rather than force, older grapplers can effectively use the kimura to neutralize younger, more athletic opponents.


3) Straight Armbar

An iconic technique in BJJ, the Straight Armbar is a move that requires precision and timing. It is a submission that can be executed from the guard, mount, or side control, offering a dynamic range of setups. Older grapplers can benefit from the armbar’s straightforward mechanics, focusing on proper limb isolation and hip extension to secure the submission. The beauty of the armbar lies in its simplicity and effectiveness, making it a staple technique for practitioners of all ages.


4) Ezekiel Choke

The Ezekiel Choke is particularly deceptive and can be applied from positions where the opponent might feel safe, such as within the practitioner’s guard. It requires minimal movement, instead relying on the clever use of the Gi and the positioning of the arms to constrict the opponent’s neck. This choke is a favorite among older grapplers for its subtlety and the element of surprise, allowing them to secure a submission even from seemingly disadvantageous positions.


5) Americana Lock

Also known as the keylock, the Americana targets the opponent’s shoulder, exploiting the vulnerabilities in the joint. This technique emphasizes control over strength, making it perfectly suited for older grapplers. The americana can be executed slowly, allowing the practitioner to methodically break down the opponent’s defenses and apply the lock with precision. This submission is a testament to the principle that in BJJ, the brain can indeed triumph over brawn.


6) Collar Choke

The Collar Choke embodies the strategic depth of BJJ, turning the opponent’s Gi into a weapon. It is a technique that rewards patience, timing, and an understanding of angles and pressure rather than explosive power. Older grapplers can use the collar choke effectively by setting it up methodically, using their experience and tactical acumen to catch opponents off guard. This submission reinforces the idea that knowledge and technique are timeless assets in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


7) Loop Choke

The Loop Choke is another example of how practitioners can use the Gi to their advantage. It requires less physical strength and more understanding of the mechanics of the choke, a great requirement for the older practitioner. It can be set up from positions where the older grappler is less likely to be overpowered, making it an efficient tool in their submission arsenal.


8) Straight Foot Lock/Ankle Lock

While lower body submissions might be less emphasized in traditional BJJ, the Ankle lock is an exception that older grapplers should not overlook. Targeting the ankle or Achilles tendon, this submission can be applied from a guard position, allowing the practitioner to control the engagement while minimizing physical exertion. The ankle lock shows that a deep understanding of leverage and anatomy can compensate for the physical rigors of combat, making it a valuable addition to the older grappler’s arsenal.



For older grapplers, the journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not about overpowering opponents with strength or outpacing them with speed; it’s about outsmarting them with superior technique, strategy, and an unwavering will to learn and adapt. The eight submissions highlighted here are merely a starting point; we encourage you to build a strong repertoire of submissions from all positions as you improve your understanding of the martial arts. By focusing on these efficient techniques, older grapplers can have a rock-solid foundation that will serve them well up until they reach the black belt level.

Remember that the essence of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is constant learning and adapting. Older grapplers bring a wealth of experience and wisdom to their practice, and by concentrating on submissions that maximize efficiency and minimize reliance on physical attributes, they can continue to enjoy and excel in the beautiful art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Whether in training or competition, the art of submission is not just about youth and speed; it’s about leverage, timing, and the intelligent application of force – qualities that age can refine, not diminish.


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