Telegraphing my subs

I was told that I sometimes telegraph my submissions by one of my training partners. I'm guessing, he means that he knows what sub I am going for as soon as I start to execute it.

How do I improve on this aspect of my game? Should I be more explosive in my sub execution?

I do not want my technique to suffer cause I'm trying to do something too fast (i.e. he escapes cause of sloppy execution).

If you have the proper position it should't really be that big of a deal. A lot of the time you know exactly what a guy is going for but if he has tight position it's hard to stop it. Also, if you do resist it opens up another sub or sweep for him to exploit.

It's not explosiveness that gets rid of that problem (that will actually give you LESS control). It actually means 2 things:

1) You may need to be more technical with your entries. If you lack control as you set up the sub, your partner will be able to escape easily. (Having good control does not guarantee the sub, but you will have an easier time transitioning to something else)

2) Your partner's awareness is improving. They are noticing earlier and earlier mechanics in each technique you attempt. This is something everyone should be working on: recognizing the first movements of each technique. That way you are prepared to counter the techniques when you feel your partner attempt them on you.


PS - Is your training partner more advanced than you are? That can make a big difference in how aware they are of your movements.

Skill wise we are about the same. He has his favorite positions and high percentage subs and I have mine. He does have about 70 pounds on me and is a hell of a lot stronger so you can say that he does have somewhat of an advantage.

I guess you could say that he is that "big guy" that everyone enjoys rolling with because... well...they are just way bigger and stronger than yourself.

Also, I've been rolling with this guy for about two years now at least once a week during open mat sessions. So, it is possible he is familiar with a majority of the entries I have into a certain techniques.

I am pretty sure its not a positional issue as Rodney stated cause' if I can pin a guy that is much bigger than me for a reasonable amount of time without him escaping a crossmount, mount, s-mount, or north/south position I must be doing it fairly well.

Problem is he sees it coming almost every time even if I try chaining 2 or 3 subs together or get into a "triple threat" where I have several sub options in one position.

Maybe this is just a symptom of training with the same person for too long?



You still haven't really said what the problem is. Your partner says you are telegraphing. So what? Are you still catching him? Does he escape because you telegraph?

If he is escaping, that means that you are not controlling the transition from Position to the Submission. You need to be tight! You need to have really good mechanics! Look at the subs you are attempting. Are your entries really loose? Do you give up a large precentage of your control when you enter the submission?

It's true that you can't keep 100% control while entering a submission, but you shouldn't be abandoning all of your control when attempting a sub--it should flow from the control you already have established.

Also, are you trying to "force" a submission that he isn't really presenting, or are you taking what he gives you? I know you said that you're chaining them together--are you controlling the transition from one to the next?


I think the key to this problem is to think two,three moves ahead..Dont think to yourself "there is the armlock" and then go for it..Chances are, if the guy is any good, he knows he is open to it..Instead, attack a different sub and use his counter to take the sub you want..

Let his reactions govern your submissions.

Q. Rice hit the nail on the head.

I am working on this myself. My instructor told me to strive to eliminate the short pause between my positional combinations. It makes your attack faster and smoother, thus harder to predict. This takes lots of practice and gets harder to do agains higher ranks. (They know how to get you off your game) Hope this helps.

MitsuyoMaeda is correct. You always telegraph the first move to some extent. In fact, sometimes I like to obviously telegraph the first one on purpose, and I don't expect to get it, but I do expect his reaction and I'm ready with a counter to the reaction that will happen very fast because I know what he's going to do. Combinations are key. He's distracted by the first attack, so he will have a harder time reading the second one.

Quincy and Andrew are correct.

It's all about the SET UPS. See the "your thoughts when playing guard" thread for an example of this.

If you're 'telegraphing', I'm assuming you mean that your opponent is able to counter because he sees something coming.

So: find a move for if he counters, attack the same sub in the same way, KNOWING that he's going to counter, and waiting for the right time to attack your follow up.


Combination is king, don't fake anything, go for the first sub and if it is successfully countered then take what is offered from there etc. Techniques is a beautiful thing.