Can submissions from WWE and professional wrestling be applied in real life?
This is the million-dollar question that every pro wrestling fan asks.
Most submissions from WWE and modern pro wrestling won’t help you that much in a self-defense situation, and here is why:
1. Submission holds in WWE VS. Submission holds in MMA and BJJ
If you take the same submission and see how it is applied in WWE versus how it is applied in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu matches and Mixed Martial Arts, you will notice a big difference in technique.
WWE is all about amplifying moves and impacts, therefore professional wrestlers may apply some modifications on a legit submission hold to make it appear more painful and more spectacular.
Meanwhile, in Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu things are different, it does not matter if the submission is spectacular or not as long as it can choke out the opponent or break one of their limbs.
When an MMA fighter applies a submission hold, they follow every step in the book to make the technique as slick as possible and as inescapable as possible even if the eye of the audience might not notice those slick and perfect steps.
Examples of submissions in WWE Vs. Submissions in MMA and BJJ
a. Triangle Choke
Triangle in WWE
As you can see in the following video, the triangle applied in WWE is not even applied properly, the arm of the opponent isn’t even included in the choke.
Another example of a wrongfuly applied triangle in WWE
The knot of the triangle is applied on the wrong side, the wrestler should have crossed his legs on the other side where his opponent’s arm is trapped.
Triangle in MMA
Watch this highlight reel to see how effective triangles are applied in MMA
Kneebar in WWE
The Undertaker’s knee is facing upwards while his opponent is sideways which makes the submission ineffective.
Kneebar in MMA
Notice how the the is facing his opponent’s knee while applying the kneebar
2. Most submission holds in WWE are based on pain while submissions in MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are based either on:
a. Rendering the opponent unconscious by choking them out (example: triangle choke, arm triangle, guillotine, etc.)
b. Breaking a limb or a joint of the opponent by applying a joint lock (example: armbar, kneebar, heel hook, kimura, etc.)
The concept of submission in MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is different than the concept of submission in WWE.
In MMA and BJJ, a submission isn’t considered effective unless it can fulfill one of the two elements mentioned above.
A submission is not considered effective unless it can break a limb or choke the opponent.
Because pain is very relative and the threshold of pain varies from an individual to another, even for the same individual pain might vary depending on the amount of adrenaline pumped in the system, if the adrenaline rush is high the pain tolerance will be extremely high too.