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The Science Behind the Submission: Exploring the Anatomy of Jiu Jitsu Moves

August 10, 20232 min read

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Jiu-Jitsu, often referred to as the "gentle art," is anything but simple. Beneath the surface of every sweep, pass, and submission lies a complex interplay of biomechanics and human anatomy. At Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy, we emphasize understanding the science behind each move. By delving deeper into the techniques, practitioners can execute them more efficiently and safely. Let's explore the anatomy of some key Jiu-Jitsu moves and uncover the scientific principles that make them so effective.

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Leverage: The Fundamental Principle

The Physics of Force Jiu-Jitsu is fundamentally a game of leverage. By understanding how to apply force using the body's natural levers – our limbs – one can maximize efficiency. This principle is foundational in the teachings at Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy: the longer the lever, the less force required to achieve the desired effect.

Joints as Pivot Points Every joint in the human body serves as a potential pivot point. When a practitioner applies force at the correct angle and distance from the joint, they can manipulate their opponent's body with minimal effort, a concept regularly taught in our classes at Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

The Anatomy of the Armbar

Targeting the Elbow The armbar, a classic Jiu-Jitsu submission, targets the elbow joint. By securing the wrist and leveraging the hips against the elbow, a practitioner can create immense pressure. This move's effectiveness is a testament to the detailed instruction provided at Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Muscles at Play Beyond joint manipulation, the armbar also stretches the bicep and forearm muscles, intensifying the submission's impact, a nuance that is highlighted during our training sessions.

Chokes: Cutting Off the Flow

Carotid Artery Compression Many Jiu-Jitsu chokes, such as the rear-naked choke, target the carotid arteries. By applying pressure on these arteries, one can restrict blood flow to the brain, leading to a rapid submission. Safety and precision in these techniques are paramount at Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Safety First Understanding the anatomy behind chokes is crucial for safety. Proper application ensures effectiveness without causing undue harm, a principle we hold in high regard at our academy.

Guard Sweeps and Spinal Biomechanics

The Importance of Posture A straight spine provides stability and strength. At Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy, we emphasize the role of posture in playing guard. Disrupting an opponent's posture by manipulating their spine can lead to successful sweeps.

Hip Mobility The hips are central to many Jiu-Jitsu techniques. A deep understanding of hip anatomy and biomechanics can enhance one's guard game, a concept we explore in depth at Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy, making sweeps and submissions more accessible.


The beauty of Jiu-Jitsu lies in its blend of art and science. By understanding the anatomy and biomechanics behind each move, practitioners can elevate their game, ensuring that every technique is executed with precision and efficiency. At Tupelo Jiu-Jitsu Academy, we believe in the principle of using knowledge and leverage to overcome brute strength, a lesson that resonates both on and off the mat.


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