One of the biggest challenges most BJJ students face is connecting techniques together, a.k.a. building a “game”.

Isolated techniques are of very little use against more experienced opponents… Yes, they work well against beginners or untrained people, but what if your opponent defends it? Do you have any follow-ups or are you just going to reset and start over?

When you go against experienced grapplers, you will likely need to string several techniques together in order to accomplish your initial goal. The best way to do that is to have a system based on your opponent’s most common defenses/reactions so you can counter his/her moves in a predictable fashion.

You will not only have answers to his/her moves, but more importantly, you will be one step ahead, which is crucial at the highest levels.

It can take years to develop a system like that. It is definitely not an easy task to gather information and techniques, test them in competitions, and tweak them as your opponents get better. But that’s part of the fun!

Let’s take a look at the system/flowchart below from my new Intructional Course called Ashi Garami Fundamentals.

As you can see, once my opponent enters into the “system”, whether he/she is standing up (Single Leg X-Guard) or on the ground (Ashi Garami), he/she will be under attack. With several counters and recounters for my opponent’s defenses, I’m always threatening him/her with sweeps and Ankle Lock submissions.

I’ve been playing and tweaking this system for almost 4 years, and having great success in competitions at the Black Belt level.

Hope this flowchart can help you as a framework to develop your own systems in the future.

Gustavo Gasperin
BJJ Black Belt