Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tales from the Weak Side

Looking forward to getting back on the mat tomorrow after a couple of days off.  I've basically got two weeks before my new job starts.  And while I don't worry about the new gig taking up too much training time, there will probably be a stretch of a week or two while the old schedule and the new schedule get to know one another.

One critical thing I want to work on over the balance of the year is getting better at doing some of my signature moves on my weak side.  More to the point, I'm talking about passing guard to my opponent's left.

The Effing Pass has given me a directional option to the left.  But it is still based on a strong passing threat to the opponent's right.  I've had great success with this pass this year.  And that means that I need to intensify the technique (or at least the technique's effectiveness) by being able to attack from more than one direction.
The Flat Pass is another example of a technique that I need to be able to execute from both sides.

There's an argument, most popularly from Marcelo Garcia, that you don't need to worry about being able to do the same attack from both sides.  In other words, as long as you have an attack from the left AND an attack from the right, it isn't a big deal if they are different attacks.  This makes a lot of sense to me from a practical standpoint.

But then there's the argument from Professor Carlos, an idea he got from one of his early jiu-jitsu instructors, that there should be no "weak side."  And while that initially sounds overly optimistic, to be equally proficient with each technique whether the move is to the right or the left, it's worth remembering that effectively all we need is relative, not absolute, ambidexterity when it comes to our techniques.  We don't need to perform some imaginary "ideal" armbar from the guard whether we are attacking the right arm or left.  All that is required is that we are able to execute from either direction better than our opponent is at defending from BOTH directions.  And that distinction may make all the difference.