The Dream Submission

When I say “dream submission,” I’m not talking about those times that you dream about BJJ in your sleep and wake up in an intense battle with your blankets.

Come on. Don’t tell me you’ve never done that.

I once woke up to find myself locking up my blanket in a pretty tight triangle. Even though it was a lifeless object, I was pretty proud. Hey, don’t judge. Us white belts have to find those victories where we can. I dominated the shit out of that blanket.


I’m talking about that one submission that you fell in love with the first time you learned it. The one that you have been on an impatient quest to make it happen in live rolling. Surely I’m not the only white belt that has a dream submission.

Mine is a sequence I learned in the Monday night no-gi class back in July and I’ve mentioned it here several times. Your opponent is in turtle and you are beside them, hip to hip. You lock up their arm with your legs, slip your arm under their other arm, and roll over the top of them to crucifix. From there you have the option to choke them or armbar them with your legs.

There is just something about this whole sequence that I love. It makes me feel badass and super jiu-jitsu-y. Even just talking about it makes me smile.

After we drilled this back in July I knew that I was at the beginning of a determined quest to make this move happen in live rolling. Every time I rolled and had my opponent in turtle I would jump at the opportunity to go for that sub.


I imagine I had the look similar to Daniel-san’s intense stare down before his epic jump front kick to the face. (While on the subject of this, jump fronts are super easy so it really makes the movie ending a little sad.)

Much to my disappointment, my quest to hit my dream submission always ended in failure. I think I was forcing it too much instead of exercising some patience and finding the right moment to go for it. I just couldn’t get the timing right and many times would end up losing position.


Eventually I kind of gave up on it and figured that maybe it was too advanced of a move for me to worry about right now.


When I just happened to have someone in turtle and they just happened to leave just enough space that I could get my leg under to scoop up that arm and lock it up…I knew I had to go for it. Before I know it I’m rolling over the top of them, landing with them in crucifix, and armbarring them with my legs. When the guy tapped I sat there in shock.

Holy shit! I just submitted someone with my dream submission. I did something super jiu-jitsu-y and cool and actually pulled it off.


I can totally relate to you now, Karate Kyle.

It might sound kind of stupid, but it was seriously one of the coolest moments of my life to finally nail this submission.

BJJ has a funny way of handing you those “coolest moments of my life” situations. It’s such a challenging process so it makes even those small victories so rewarding and the big victories are truly amazing. There are so many times that I feel like things are impossible and BJJ always has a way of showing me that as long as I keep trying, keep showing up, keep a positive attitude, and keep working hard, my goals and my dreams are absolutely possible.


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