We saw a little bit of everything at the recent IBJJF Pan No-Gi. There were many impressive chokes, armlocks and leglocks and it was hard to distill the array of finishes we saw into a manageable list, but here are some of my favorite black belt submissions. Watch and enjoy.
8. Joao Miyao armbar vs Alexis Alduncin
Light-Featherweight champ Miyao was not to be denied in this match. Alduncin is one of Mexico's top grapplers but his passing attempts were no match for Miyao's incredible guard. Watch how the Brazilian counters the double-under pass attempt to go for an inverted armbar finish – impressive stuff.
7. Pablo Mantovani kneebar vs Adam Benayoun
Atos black belt Mantovani describes this as a "magic" kneebar due to the way he catches it by surprise. The intricate set-up relies on a good command of the leg game and plenty of flexibility in inverting underneath your opponent but when it comes on, it comes on fast.
6. Jessica Santos guillotine vs Catherine Perret
Checkmat's Perret is a well-known face on the competition scene, Santos not so much. That's one of the reasons why the guillotine that ended the match was such a shocker, as Santos isn't exactly a name thrown around when discussing top female black belts. Based out of Seattle, the Brazilian beat World No-Gi champ Talita Alencar earlier that day, proving herself to be one to watch from here on out. Santos has got sharp submissions and knows how to win at the highest level.
5. Marcos Tinoco estima lock vs Piotr Frechowicz
The word from within Marcelo Garcia's gym is that of the entire elite squad of black belts that train under the legendary grappler, Tinoco has the strongest grips. Moving up to medium-heavyweight for this event, Tinoco slapped on a quick estima lock for the tap in his opening match of the division. Tinoco went on to win gold later that day with another impressive submission along the way, a reverse armbar from top side control. Check that one out here.
4. Enrique Galarza kneebar vs Enrico Cocco
No-gi specialist Cocco is known for his entertaining style and is considered a proficient leg locker, making it extra impressive that Galarza tapped him with a lower body submission. The kneebar that ended the match came from a sneaky X-guard attack similar to Mantovani's set-up, but Galarza– a black belt under Karel Pravec of Silverfox BJJ– makes it higher on the list due to the value of a win over an ADCC veteran.
3. Aaron Johnson ankle lock vs Jackson Sousa
This was one of those matches that had "explosive" written all over it. The super-heavyweight final saw Johnson go hard after Sousa's feet, and it didn't take long for him to find what he was looking for. A nice inversion underneath Sousa's hips allowed Johnson the space to extend onto a belly-down ankle lock, giving him his first Pan No-Gi gold medal.
2. Jeremiah Vance armlock vs Cody Orrison
10th Planet submission specialist Jeremiah Vance keeps throwing new moves at us. Was it a double armlock? Was it a shoulder lock? Whatever it was, it looked nasty and got him the win. Very impressive indeed.
1. Gordon Ryan rear naked choke vs Kaynan Duarte
Man of the moment was double gold medalist Gordon Ryan, and possibly his most impressive submission was the rear naked choke of Atos prodigy Kaynan Duarte in the final. Ryan is 23 and Duarte only 20. Ryan is already established as a top name thanks to his many accolades, and Duarte is one of the next big things in the sport. Ryan cemented his position as a finisher with a methodical and clinical rear naked choke in the absolute final, a deserving winner of the no.1 black belt submission from No-Gi Pans.