Is it possible to submit an opponent who has better overall jiu-jitsu than you do?
Yes it is!
If you follow the strategy of dictating where the fight takes place, that is. This means forcing your opponent to fight in the positions of your “A Game” and in a position that your opponent is not as familiar.
Ryan Hall was a successful sports jiu-jitsu competitor known for specializing in certain positions like the triangle. Hall has since switched his focus to competing in professional MMA and notably won The Ultimate Fighter season 22.
Ryan Hall is also one of the very best teachers when it comes to emphasizing the principles and concepts behind his techniques.
In his excellent instructional “Arm Triangles”, Hall shared his strategy on using one’s A Game to defeat better opponents.
When I was competing as a purple belt against a lot of very good to elite level black belts, realistically there was no way that within 3, 3.5, and 4 years before I got my brown belt I was going to be able to compete in every position against people who have been at it with better training environments, and things like that, than I had, in every position.
So the idea was: drag them into something that I control better than they do. Something that I understand. Because even though as a whole, for jiu-jitsu, was I better than everyone else that I was competing against?
Absolutely not. But, did I have an area that I had an edge over literally everyone? At the time, yes. That was 50 / 50 guard. There was a couple of different things. The triangle was built like that as well.
I said “All right, you are better than me objectively. I recognize this. I don’t need to fool myself. But, provided that I can drag you into my area of expertise, I can defeat anyone if I can get them in the right spot.” That doesn’t mean that it is over confidence or that like “I’m going to get him for sure!” or something like that. It is just, “Hey, I know that if I do the right thing in my position where I know almost all of the answers, I can win. I can beat anyone.”
What do you think of Ryan Hall’s strategy?