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When It Comes To BJJ, What Is A System?

When It Comes To BJJ, What Is A System?

There's been a lot of talk the last few years about "systems", these series of moves that all work together so that, once you start attacking, you'll have an answer for every possible reaction, giving you a huge competitive advantage. But, are these systems really all they are cracked up to be? Should you have a system of your own?

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There's no doubt that, at the highest levels, every grappler has the positions they feel invincible in. Whether it is a certain pass, or a guard they are confident in, or even a particular grip from the feet to set up a throw, once they get there they just know they are going to score. They know what their opponent will try to do, and they have a counter ready. For new grapplers, finding these positions you feel confident in is really important, and usually pretty fun too!

If you spend your time on the mat attacking without a plan, always reacting instead of acting with purpose, it becomes harder to build your own attacks. Instead, always approach every roll with some kind of goal, even if it is as simple as "pull guard" or "get on top". A system is really similar to a comprehensive gameplan, and a grappler with a good gameplan has a huge advantage over one without.

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So, how do you build a system in a position? It's really pretty simple. First, find a position that you like, or want to improve at. Pick your strongest attack from there, and start sparring and executing that attack. Will it always work? No way, but that's where the real study comes in. Pay attention to what your partners are doing too, how they are addressing your attacks and setting up their own, and then start finding ways to either prevent those defenses or counter them once they happen. Over time, you'll see ways that you can "trap" people, baiting them with one move, then countering into an even better attack once they try to escape.

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