Fighterempire Interview with Jim Alers teaches us how to perform submissions


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“In your opinion, what is the most effective submission?”

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Jim Alers: “I believe that half of my game comes from the back. I think from the back you have the most you know… opportunities. And from there I think to be honest the rear naked choke. Once it’s locked in there’s no turning back. If you have it locked in and tight I think you can tap out anybody. So for me that’s the most effective submission”

“I never have a problem getting someone into a submission, but once I do they always seem to escape leaving me in a terrible position. What tips do you have to make sure they won’t escape once I’ve gotten them?”

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Jim Alers: “Well for me, position before submission. I believe that I see tons of guys they’re so fast to try to get the attack and the defense that it’s setup properly but not even the right position and because of that they lose that submission. So I believe that if you establish great position that there’s no chance you’re losing that submission”

FighterEmpire: “So just take your time and make sure you have a control over your opponent before you try to submit them?”

Jim Alers: “Exactly”

“Most of the time I get someone into a submission they’re done and not getting out but my problem is I can hardly ever get someone in one. What tips do you have for getting someone into a submission? Like an armbar or a choke?”

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Jim Alers: “So that all comes with timing. You’re not just going to get on the mat after you learn an armbar and armbar someone you know? Or any submission. You might get it, but you might not have the right technique to finish it. Timing and practice. So my technique is just to drill the submission over and over and over again. And when you grapple there’s three types of training partners. There’s the one that beats you up, there’s the one that gives you a good roll and a guy you can practice your moves on. Don’t kill him, but get your moves out there practice your submissions and let it become second nature to you.”

“I’m finding whenever I attempt to put someone in a submission I am quickly countered. People in class I’ve been rolling with say its because I am too predictable. What tips do you have to mask that you are going for a submission?”

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Jim Alers: “So I think that’s always the next step. White belt you’re just learning the submissions, a blue belt they have some submissions but they’re not thinking 2-3 moves ahead. But when you get to purple belt I think that’s when you establish your jiu jitsu game so at purple belt you’re starting to think alright, I’m going to go for this americana because i know he’s gonna reach across. And when he reaches across, I’m gonna get him for the armbar. I think you need to set up a chain of moves. Not just go for one submission.”

“How important would you say the physical strength of the fighter is when attempting to put someone of the same weight class in a submission? Should strength matter if the technique is done correctly?”

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Jim Alers: “You know when JiuJitsu first came out, nobody knew jiujitsu. So somebody who’s 160 who knows jiujitsu against someone who’s 160 but doesn’t know jiujitsu, strength does not matter at all. He could purely do technique and you’re going to submit the guy. But now it seems like everybody knows jiujitsu. We have so many jiujitsu practitioners out there that you need to get some strength, workout and focus on your health and conditioning. So that you have the upper hand because now if you’re a purple belt with great technique and the other guy is a purple belt with great technique you know it’s gonna be hard to pull off. So having strength and good conditioning does give you the upper hand so I’d say it’s pretty important nowadays.”

FighterEmpire: “But if the other person has no BJJ skills at all you’d say you could get through with purely technique?”

Jim Alers: “If he has no jiuJitsu skills at all you’re golden. Just watch Gracie in UFC 1”

FighterEmpire: “Would you say an MMA fighter could succeed in the ring without any grappling knowledge or skill at all and relying solely on striking ability?”

Jim Alers: “I don’t think so. Because even the guys who are official just striking they have the takedown defense. They’ve drilled it over and over again takedown defense is also a big part of the ground game. It’s not just taking someone down and winning on the ground.”

FighterEmpire: “So if they don’t have offense then it’s completely necessary to at least have defense? They can’t rely only on striking abilities you’d say?”

Jim Alers: “Oh for sure you can’t go in there as a pure Muay Thai guy or a pure boxer and expect not to get taken down by a high level wrestler.”

FighterEmpire: “How important are your grappling skills to your game personally?”

Jim Alers: “Of course right now I’m trying to improve my striking every day. But I improve my striking so I can get to the takedown so I can get to the ground and finish the guy the way I like to finish them. If I get a knockout or something, amazing. But that’s not my main game plan. Striking in order to get my takedown and finish it on the ground.”

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