Angela “Unstoppable” Lee has proven to be pretty savvy with her Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills.
The undefeated ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion is the proud owner of six submission victories in the ONE Championship cage, as well as countless others from tournaments and amateur competition. Tapping her opponents with a wide range of techniques ranging from the basic armbar to high-level twisters, the 21-year-old has shown a thorough understanding of the “gentle art.”
In addition to using her submission expertise inside the ONE Championship cage, Lee also teaches BJJ at her family’s gym, United MMA, in Hawaii. Now, she is bringing her world-class grappling knowledge to ONE Championship fans.
Here are the World Champion’s top five submission tips for those who are looking to improve upon their ground games.
#1 Have Options
The submission you are attempting to lock in may not always come to fruition. Your opponent could have it scouted out, and properly defend against it. In those instances, it would be wise to plan ahead and use your position to transition into another submission hold.
For instance, if the armbar is not working, then go for a triangle choke. If that fails, try for the omoplata, or perhaps resort back to an armbar. Regardless, give yourself options.
“Have different options when you go for a submission,” Lee says. “If option A does not work out, then go straight into option B, and if that does not work out, then go into option C. Have some different go-tos. Also, flow from one transition into the other. And making that transition time shorter is what will make the difference in your technique.”
#2 Know Your Inner Grappler
Some BJJ practitioners prefer the top game, while others would rather work from the bottom position. Everyone has their own preference, and it is imperative to know where your strengths lie.
“It is important to know what kind of grappling your style is,” she begins. “Know what positions you prefer, like if you are more of a top person or if you are more of a bottom person, and then obviously use that to your advantage.”
#3 Be Patient
Patience is a virtue, especially when it pertains to BJJ. In the middle of a bout, a grappling tournament, or just a simple roll with a training partner, exhibiting a little bit of patience while going for a submission could lead to a tap out.
“Being patient is important because with certain positions, it takes time, especially with chokes,” she says. “It is going to take time to sink in, a couple of seconds, and sometimes if you just give up straight away, then you could lose that submission. So just be patient.”
#4 Understand Your Immediate Situation
Athletes exert a tremendous amount of energy when competing, so it is absolutely crucial to understand your immediate situation. By having a thorough understanding of what’s going on, you can properly dissect the match and make sound decisions, such as exerting more energy to escape potential danger, or taking a quick breather before setting up an attack.
“Knowing when to scramble and knowing when to rest is important, because during a match or a bout, there are certain key moments where you need to scramble and cannot stay in that position,” the champ explains. “Also, there are certain moments where it is ok to catch your breath and it is ok to rest.”
#5 Commit To Your Submission
There will be times when a limb is there for the taking. If you act quickly enough, you could easily get the armbar, a leg lock, or whatever submission the situation warrants. But when you go for that game-clinching submission, make sure you commit yourself to it.
“If you are going to commit to a type of submission or try to use a technique in the moment, do it the right way and try to do it 100 per cent first, because sometimes people put on techniques half-heartedly and it doesn’t end up working,” she explains.
“When you are drilling techniques, it is different. But in a match or a bout, you have to go full speed, like slap that armbar on and crank it. With all the adrenaline that goes on in a bout, sometimes people can power out of it. So learning to apply the submission, but also to follow through with it, is what you are going to have to do.”