-fresh from f00k

Balance Scales

Ever since starting this whole Jiu-Jitsu thing, you tend to get a lot more friends calling you out to test your new skill set. The chance of this happening quadruples when alcohol is involved 🙂 They come at you with their homemade WWF wrestling background and you just laugh thinking how should you embarrass them? Armbar? Omaplata? Body triangle?!

Now going against other BJJ folks you might have a harder time because they know the defenses and all, right? Well there may be a way to outsmart them. Have you ever noticed when doing technique, many people have the tendency to do the move on one side only. This is usually due to their comfort ability with their dominant side. Through various studies, 70-90% of the world’s populations are right hand dominant, which means 10-30% of people are going to catch you off guard (if you’re a righty).

Take a moment to analyze your game and see what side you usually go to on certain moves. i.e. Most start half guard with their right shoulder on the ground. I think this is the reason why most people are comfortable passing towards that side because everyone practices and drills from there. Although I feel comfortable passing both ways, I feel less comfortable getting passed on my left side because I like my strong leg on the bottom towards the ground.

Noticing and practicing this at any stage (white-black) can help catapult your overall skills. Most of us already know how to armbar, triangle and kimura from both sides because we practice it a lot, but it’s always good to practice everything (passing, submitting, defending, controlling) from both sides! If you do this, you can double up on your number of moves without actually learning more moves. It gives your opponent that much more to worry about and you can be one of those people who catch them off guard.

Take Manny Pacquiao for example. He’s one of the best boxers in the world right now, if not the best. Although his speed, power, and heart are the main reason for his success, I think one of the big ones is also him being a southpaw. Like everyone else he practices and mostly fights guys that are orthodox. When they face him, they are in a different world now. Techniques may not work the same on him that work on their regular opponents. They may say they are comfortable going against a southpaw, but I guarantee they are less comfortable.