When you are looking to learn submissions in no-gi BJJ it is best to start by focusing on high-percentage submissions. Or, in other words, focusing on no-gi submissions that work in real life.
Through personal experience as well as data from real no-gi grappling competitions I have compiled what I believe to be the top 11 high-percentage no-gi submissions.
So if you are new to no-gi BJJ these are the first submissions I would focus on. Thankfully, all of these submissions are also still effective in traditional BJJ. That is what’s excellent about no-gi submissions vs gi submissions: they work in both.
The only exception is heel hooks. Of course, they work in the Gi but are not allowed. But with that said let’s check out my number one high-percentage no-gi submission.
#1 No-Gi Submissions Is The Rear Naked Choke
The rear naked choke is the most common and highest percentage of no-gi submission. Not only is it the most common submission in no-gi grappling it is also the most used in the gi and MMA as well. On top of that, the rear naked choke has stood the test of time.
Many no-gi submissions are becoming more and more popular today. A great example would be the heel hook. However, even to this day, the rear naked choke is a high percentage submission.
Because of this, the rear naked choke is a submission you must master. Check out this video and start mastering the rear naked choke.
The second most common and high percentage no-gi submission is the arm bar. Like the rear naked choke, the armbar is great because it works in no-gi, gi, and MMA. It is also a high percentage submission in all of those sports
Because of this, the armbar is a submission you must master in no-gi grappling. This submission can be hit from many different BJJ positions.
The most common positions to hit the armbar are from the bottom guard, mount, side control, and even from the rear mount.
If you are new to jiu-jitsu then I would probably start by learning the armbar from the bottom guard. Then learn to master the armbar from all of these positions.
Check out this video from BJJ fanatics on the no-gi armbar from the bottom closed guard!
#3 Triangle Choke
The third highest percentage no-gi submission would be the triangle. This submission is very effective in no-gi grappling, BJJ, and MMA.
Though you can hit the triangle from multiple positions it is most commonly hit from the bottom guard. It is still one of the most used submissions in BJJ and ADCC.
The triangle choke is a submission you will use from white belt to black belt. So do yourself a favor and master the triangle from the bottom guard now.
Check out this video to learn to do the perfect triangle choke!
#4 Guillotine Choke
Another must-learn no-gi submission is the Guillotine choke. Like the previous submissions, it is effective at all levels of the sport and is still one of the highest percentage submissions in no-gi grappling.
Check out this video from Lachlan Giles to learn the Guillotine choke.
The kimura is a classic submission that has been used in grappling for centuries. The kimura, also known as the double wrist lock in catch wrestling, the kimura has stood the test of time.
In fact, the kimura got its name after judo master Masahiko Kimura defeated Helio Gracie via double wrist lock. So the kimura was actually used by catch wrestlers and judokas for a long time.
However, it was not called the Kimura until BJJ. Either way, the Kimura was a high percentage submission then and still is to this day.
Best of all, you can hit the Kimura from so many places. Just mastering the Kimura grip will help your no-gi game tremendously.
Check out this short seminar from Knight Jiu-Jitsu to learn the Kimura!
#6 Head and Arm Choke
A personal favorite of mine is the head and arm choke. Though it can be a little tricky to master it is dangerously effective once you do. Once mastered this is a submission I was able to use on higher belts when I was a white belt and blue belt.
The trick is that you need to learn how to not leave any space to get this choke tight. So who better to learn from than one of the greatest to ever do it? Check out this video of Roger Gracie going over the details of the head and arm choke.
#7 Darce Choke
The Darce choke is my personal favorite submission. It works great in no-gi and the gi and is a high percentage choke. If you have the right body type for it like me you might find it to be the most effective submission.
Though you can hit the darce from a few positions, my favorite is the Darce from top half guard. Often times you will find that people trying to fight out of the bottom half guard will expose themselves to the darce choke. Check out how to do the Darce from the bottom half guard here from Roy Dean.
#8 Foot Locks and Heel Hooks
Of course, today the number one no-gi submission people think of is the heel hook or various types of foot locks. Though they are high percentage no-gi submissions they do actually still rank lower than many others such as the rear naked choke or arm bar.
But you still do need to master heel hooks and foot locks more today than ever before. Even if they are not your favorite submission, anyone who trains no-gi needs to understand the mechanics of lower body submissions. Even if your main goal is learning how to avoid getting heel-hooked yourself.
That said, if you are new to jiu-jitsu, advanced heel hooks is not where I would start. Instead, I would focus on learning a few basic foot locks.
Next on the list of high percentage no-gi submissions is the tried and true omoplata. This is a great submission that works very well for many people. It is especially effective if you are limber and flexible.
The omoplata is a high percentage submission in both Gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu. Knight Jiu Jitsu has a great video on the Omoplata here!
Last but not least is the Americana. This is likely the first submission you will ever learn in jiu-jitsu. Though some say it is not as effective against higher belts, it is still one of the most common submissions in no-gi competition.
The Americana is a staple and foundational submission that all grapplers need to master. Here is a good example of how to submit your opponent with an Americana.
Master High Percentage No-Gi Submissions
If you want to take your no-gi submissions to the next level you might want to invest in some no-gi jiu-jitsu instructionals. This links out to my top-picked instructionals for no-gi jiu-jitsu.
With instructionals, you can learn from the best grappling coaches and competitors in the world.
A good one to start with would be High Percentage Chokes: No Gi By Lachlan Giles ( Affiliate Link )! Chokes are a good place to start when it comes to mastering no-gi submissions.