John Danaher On The Most Effective Submission For Women when Facing Much Stronger Men

John Danaher On The Most Effective Submission For Women when Facing Much Stronger Men

The great MMA and BJJ instructor John Danaher talks about what is the best submission when there is a strength discrepancy. In this case when a woman is facing a man.

Some submissions are considered ‘strength moves’. The great Marcelo Garcia told Firas Zahabi that he considers the Kimura to be a strength move.

Firas talked about it and shared a story:

“I remember going to train with Marcelo Garcia. He also told me that he didn’t like Kimura because for him it was a strength move. He also doesn’t like arm triangle
If you look at his career all the things that he doesn’t like or the things he’s been caught with. A Darce from Braulio and Drysdale, a Kimura from Jacare…”

For Danaher, the Heel Hook is for him the most successful submission hold for women when they take on much stronger and trained men.

This is the reason why Leglocks are known as the great equalizer in Jiu-Jitsu.

Danher wrote on his IG:

“Observations – women sparring men in Jiu Jitsu: Probably one of the toughest assignments in all of Jiu jitsu is for a woman to submit a male who has the same amount of training time and the size and strength disadvantage that is typically found in this scenario. Over many years of observing mixed classes with men and women grappling each other I came to the conclusion that BY FAR the most successful submission hold for women when they take on trained men is the HEEL HOOK – nothing else is even close in my experience. Let me explain this.

The strength discrepancy between men and women is much more pronounced in the upper body than lower body. It is particularly pronounced in hand and arm strength. The discrepancy between men and women in lower body strength is far less pronounced. When two men of different size and strength clash I usually favor strangles from the back as the best submission hold for the smaller and weaker fellow – but in the case of women versus men I frequently observe that the big difference in hand/arm strength means that women struggle to win the hand fight that precedes strangulation (the rear triangle works much better for women in this scenario and it is my belief that rear triangle is second best submission for women against men after heel hook).

Most of the other classic upper body submissions such as arm bars, Kimura, front triangles run afoul of the arm/upper body strength discrepancy and as such appear to be quite problematic for many females to use against similarly skilled males. Even most leg locks are problematic – knee bars and toe holds require considerable arm and hand strength in application and so have proven difficult to apply in mixed sparring – but the heel hook lets women use their considerable leg strength and dexterity to great effect with relatively little interference from males advantages in hand/arm and upper torso strength – as such I have seen more mixed grappling scenarios in the gym over the years won by heel hooks (especially inside heel hooks) than any other by a very considerable margin. Let both women and men take note – when there is a big strength difference heel hooks are among your best friends!”

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