If you are a fan of Jiu Jitsu and regularly watch high level matches you may have noticed that most of the top competitors use the same sequences over and over in their matches. The sequence is essentially a combination of their best moves that they use to get from a neutral/inferior postion to a more dominant position.
For example, if Leandro Lo is in guard position he will try to get a DLR hook with his left leg and will grip the bottom of his opponents pants with his left hand. From here he wants to transition into a Single Leg X and will sweep from his back or stand up into a single leg takedown. Once he is on top with will try the toreando pass or knee slice. From side control he will attempt submissions and may also look for a mount/backtake at which point he will look to submit his opponent.
If one part of the sequence is blocked he will has multiple options to get him towards the ultimate goal- submission/maintaining superior position.
Here is a high level picture of my attacking own sequence. Some competitors such as Ryan Hall have much more detailed sequences.
Using sequences allows you to get your game plan clear in your head. You can rest assured in the knowledge that you have a few paths to victory and it is just a matter of applying your gameplan until you reach the dominant position/submission.
Having a go-to sequence does not mean that you have to neglect the rest of your game though. It is still important to practise other positions and try other techniques. There are always improvements that can be made and it is important from a defensive perspective that you are familiar with as many positions as possible .
Here are some more examples so some of the best Jiu Jitsu players and their go to sequences :
Roger Gracie- Takedown, Pressure pass, collapse opponents legs, pass to mount, collar choke/arm bar.
Marcelo Garcia- Arm drag take down, knee slice, Knee on Belly, Mount/Back take, and RNC/arm bar.
Miyao brothers- Guard pull, berimbolo, back take, bow and arrow choke.
Bernardo Faria- Pull half guard. Get hold of lapel under leg. Deep half to single leg, over under pass. Sub attempts from side control.
Finding these patterns was a major light bulb moment for me. Although I knew that the techniques I was using connected together, it was not until I saw them being used in the highest level of competition that I realized how effective these techniques are when performed properly and linked together in a planned sequence. It made me think about my own game and what my chain should look like. Over the next few weeks I practised some of the techniques that I had seen and began to firmly establish my own Jiu Jitsu chain which I continually try to improve everytime I am on the mats. Now when I watch a major event or see clips of sports Jiu Jitsu players competing I try to watch out for techniques and sequences which might fit with my own game and make notes on things to try in my next training session.
In the following video Roger Gracie takes on Rafael Lovato Jnr in the open weight of the 2009 world championship. In my opinion this video perfectly captures Roger Gracies sequence and it shows how effective this sequence is even when used on elite level grapplers such as Rafael Lovato.
When watching this video try and watch out for the following from Roger: Strong overhand right grip when standing, foot trip (1.18) , heavy pressure pass (2.05), collapsing of opponents knees to opposite direction when in side control (2.36), mount (2.50), punching hands deep through for collar grip (3.15), cross collar choke (4.10)