How much do submissions factor into elite Sambo and Judo?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Kim Jong Un, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Kim Jong Un Absolute Boss

    Kim Jong Un
    Oct 5, 2014
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    I was watching Ronda doing Judo in the Olympics expecting to see a bunch of armbars, but I didn't see any and it looked more like wrestling with gis on. I am guessing that at the highest level sub defense is too good so it becomes mostly gi wrestling, but I am an MMA noob so I decided to ask you guys. Does Sambo have more submissions? Also if you pull guard do you lose points?
  2. SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator

    Nov 1, 2004
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    It's not that sub defense is so great, it's that your time on the ground is very situation in Judo, and limited by time and the ref's discretion. Most Judo matches at all levels are a battle of executing a clean throw to win, with pins and submissions being secondary. Judo submissions consist primarily of armbars and gi chokes, and with gi chokes being impossible without the gi, most judo practitioners will be best at the armbar no gi - Ronda more so than others.

    Sambo has a broader range of submissions that are legal, and there is more ground work allowed in competition. So while I am not as familiar with the norms of high level competition, I think you will see more submissions in high level competition.

    You would be penalized if you just straight pull guard just to do it, not as part of a throw or submission attempt, and you would be stood back up. You also can't do it to stall or to avoid a throw. And it's not like you can pull guard and just stay there. If you go to your back and nothing is happening immediately, you go back to your feet.

    By the way, I'm not an expert on Judo competition, but I've seen a fair amount and competed in one, and this is my understanding.
    Franklegit and Rebelfett like this.
  3. selfcritical Brown Belt

    Jun 14, 2011
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    After the most recent rule changes, I think Olympic Judo is probably more forgiving with ground time than sport sambo. If you aren't threatening a pin or sub, you will get stood up on a dime
  4. AnotherOldGuy Purple Belt

    Oct 16, 2015
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    The depth in women's judo is much deeper than in WMMA; the difference between Rousey and the women she beat in the Olympics (and the one who beat her) is tiny. Subs at that level in five minute matches are as hard to get as subs in the first five minutes in Mundials or ADCC, or pins in wrestling.

    Judo's quick standup makes it worse, but even in the old days (pre-1980's) where whole matches took place on the ground, subs were pretty rare at the highest level, because everyone became good at defending against it. Its the same reason that even when the division leader in MLB plays the worst team in the league, you rarely see 10-0 games ... at the Olympics level everyone is good. Rousey wasn't even the best on the ground her weight division (that would be the eventual Olympic champion, Ueno, who chased Rousey on the ground when they'd competed in the past.

    This is kind of the problem all grappling (and sports in general) run into - offense is exciting and sells tickets, but defense wins games, so everyone gets very good at defense. Making for a lot of matches where very little happens, because no one is making mistakes big enough for the opponent to capitalize on.

    Some sports adjust the rules accordingly - baseball lowered the pitcher's mound, hockey changed the rules regarding the red line, basketball made some defenses illegal - in order to give offense the advantage.

    The saying "the best defense is a good offense" is true when there's a big difference between competitors, but when competitors are on the same level, the best defense is to not take any chances. Hard to sub someone (or score a goal etc) when that's happening.

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