Eighty Five Percent of Submissions Happen in Under Three Minutes At White Belt
When do most submissions happen in matches? We’re diving into a series of articles to answer that question for multiple belts levels AND in both gi and nogi. It’s been a lot of clicking our stopwatches, rewinding matches, and subtracting the first few seconds of the video where your mother screamed “Let’s go Taylor!” into the camera. But we finally have some useful data on when you are the most at risk.
What We Did
Pretty simple really, we already had lists of a few dozen matches where submissions happened, so we doubled back and timestamped the moment a competitor tapped. We subtracted any early moments before the match started, and boom.
We did this one hundred times for white belts (working on blue next week). Half were gi and half were no gi. As a bonus, we also tracked what submissions occurred, to see if certain submissions hit earlier than others.
Finally, we did NOT distinguish between IBJJF and other formats. Maybe that’s something for later.
Here’s our big takeaways:
You’re in the Most Danger in the First Two Minutes
The average submission timestamp was two minutes and two seconds. In nogi is was two minutes and three. In gi it was two minutes and one.
Late Submissions Are VERY Rare
We didn’t see a single submission occur past four minutes. Please don’t send us videos of “your friend” being submitted at 4:13. We understand that they happen. But in a random sampling of one hundred matches, we didn’t see any subs in the last minute. It’s not common.
There Are No “Early” or “Late” Submissions
The average time of individual submissions is remarkably consistent at right about two minutes. Technically, the guillotine is over represented in submissions under one minute. But, at just four guillotine submissions in a hundred, it’s hard to read too much into that. There is a notion that some submissions are more or less likely as a match goes on. It’s might still be true, but in our limited data it doesn’t seem to be significant factor.
This is generally supports our theories on offense and tempo, but it also may support the idea that weathering the storm with good defense past the three minute mark or so makes a submission victory unlikely for your opponent (but equally unlikely for you). It’s also interesting to note that in our self defense research, we also found that street fights are most dangerous early on, although the average street fights seem to last seconds, not minutes.
We’re cuing up 100 blue belt matches, and should have some more data to share next week.