Many students at V.O.W. often hear coaches and other students talking about the Panda System.

Sometimes you’ll hear someone yell out, “go Panda”. I’m often asked by beginners what this is and if they should be learning it. I always say yes, and it should be something you focus on and develop very early.

So what is Panda system?

It’s essentially six movements, each serving it’s own purpose during a roll. The six positions are Hawking, Panda, Baby Bridge, Turtle, Running man, and Stick. This makes no sense of course without seeing these positions demonstrated, but each position is designed to control your inside position. Inside position is the space between your hip and armpit. Almost all submissions and control come from this space being occupied by your opponent in some way. If this space is denied, no real control can be achieved. Understand this is not your entire game, it’s a small portion of it. It’s a defensive precaution taken when you have lost position, then using the system to recover your guard or top position (active).

The great thing about the panda system is you can train it whenever you want and it gives beginners a goal, a way to stay safe.

Because it is defensive, you can manufacture the challenges during a roll. Meaning, you can give your back or let someone pass your guard. See how long you can survive before losing inside position. The more you practice the better you get at it. The one tip I’ll give is to watch your transitions between the positions in panda. This is where you will lose control of inside position and now have to produce an escape.

This isn’t something that most Jiu-Jitsu players like to focus on of course, being offensive seems to take priority for most.

This is not wrong, you should always want your opponent having to defend or catch up. However, developing your defense in this way can be very frustrating for your opponent and give you a level of comfortability in positions that appear to be very uncomfortable. That being said, you develop this comfortability over time in the positions, they are indeed uncomfortable :).

We have panda class every Friday at V.O.W. and I highly recommend it for everyone.

Here is a link to a breakdown I did with someone using the panda system in a tournament and winning.