That critical moment: Understand something that goes to the very heart of your performance in Jiu Jitsu – something we might call THE SHARED KNOWLEDGE PROBLEM. Whenever you go to employ a given move on someone of roughly the same rank as you – YOU BOTH HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOVES YOU ARE TRYING TO EMPLOY ON EACH OTHER AND THE TO THOSE MOVES. So if we both know what an arm bar looks like and we both know the counters to it – how are we supposed to successfully apply it in a competitive situation? When there is shared knowledge of a move there will always be a critical moment halfway through the performance of the move where your opponent will recognize what you are attempting and go into his counter sequences. THIS IS WHERE THE MAJORITY OF SUBMISSION ARE LOST. Look at this photo – I am roughly halfway through an arm bar (juji gatame) from Guard position. Any opponent worth his salt will have recognized what is happening by now and ought to be going into strong defensive counters – IT IS HERE THAT THE REAL BATTLE FOR SUBMISSION IS WON OR LOST. It is at this point that you must be at your most mechanically sound in the application of the move. DON’T TRY TO USE SPEED TO GET PAST THIS POINT- USE TIGHTNESS. Note how I use lower leg alignment and combined with a strong back-heel leg action to stay on the head at this critical junction so that I can control my opponent’s movement and prevent slippage. Identify these critical halfway of the major submissions and research how to exert tight control to take you successfully from HALFWAY there to ALL the way there – this is the single most important stage of mastery of any given submission hold and the one that you must on your to submissions success.