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Let’s look at what a position is: the Guard, the Mount, Side Control, the Back, etc. As we discussed in a previous blog, alignment is the combination of Base, Posture and Structure. If you need more details go back to our March 23rd blog post. Comparatively, alignment is more important than position when it comes to applying or defending the submission. Wait! What? But coach always said “Position before Submission.” Allow me to explain.

Per BJJ black belt Rob Biernacki, even though someone may have a dominate position on another person, if the person with the inferior position has good alignment, then technically speaking they are okay. When in this situation, go through a mental checklist asking yourself:

1. Do I have good base?

2. Do I have good posture?

3. Do I have good structure?

When you’re looking for and utilizing “breaks” in these areas it begins to afford you with more opportunities for increased finishes. Mathematically speaking, when you have all 3 areas covered, and your opponent has all 3 areas covered, it is the person who eliminates the most of those 3 areas from the other person that will normally win the exchange. For example, looking at whether a Guard Pass is successful or not isn’t necessarily based off of the passing technique. Instead, look at it from whether or not the person being passed is in proper alignment (base, posture, structure) or not. Hmm…Did you just have an a-ha moment?

Offensive techniques don’t necessarily exist due to dominance in position, but really in lack of one’s proper alignment. With alignment, you should always look for a better or dominate angle to your opponent’s alignment. Good set-ups break down your opponent’s alignment in some fashion to create vulnerabilities. High level BJJ practitioners rarely take themselves out of proper alignment. This is a big reason why they are so formidable.

Remember the Pareto 80/20 Rule: 20% of technique when done with correct alignment will produce 80% of successful results. Food for thought.

Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!

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