Heel hooks, calf slicers, and neck cranks are all deemed dangerous submissions and prohibited from competition by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), a non-profit that hosts some of the biggest Jiu-Jitsu tournaments in the world. Usually, learning these dangerous moves are at the discretion of the BJJ instructor. Some students may never learn these submissions, but others begin to learn them from day one, especially if their academy is not focused on sports competition. Should academies teach these submissions at all?
If we explore the origins of Jiu-Jitsu during Kanō Jigorō’s time, we notice that he removed a number of techniques from Jiu-Jitsu repertoire that Judo would later take up. Jigorō removed moves that he felt were just too dangerous to practice. Traditional Jiu-Jitsu in Japan in the 1900s was focused around small academies where the ratio of students to the instructor was very low. The setup permitted the teacher to give a great deal of attention to his students and make sure that injuries were kept to a minimum. But in 19th and early 20th century Japan, the training was also rather brutal, and it was not uncommon for instructors to double as bonesetters. Dislocations and broken bones were frequent occurrences. Kanō knew that if the martial art was going to grow into popularity, injuries needed to be kept to a minimum. As a result, regulations came into place to teach Jiu Jitsu to large groups of people, with a minimal risk of injury. That’s why the more dangerous moves were removed. Now many instructors ask themselves if they should follow in his footsteps?
The answer to this question varies.
Learning painful and dangerous submissions in Jiu-Jitsu is important. The most important is to know how to apply them under total control without hurting your opponent.
In this video, BJJ black belts Jocko Willink and Dean Lister show what they believe are the most painful submissions:
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