John Danaher. Symmetry

John Danaher. Symmetry


Symmetry: do you need to be able to perform your major moves on both sides of your body with equal skill? This is a question I’m often asked. The human body itself is asymmetrical. Almost everyone is either right handed or left handed and we heavily favor one side. Your jiu jitsu will inevitably reflect this fundamental fact. Most great champions are considerably better at performing their favorite moves on one side than the other. Indeed, I would go further and say that in most cases it’s better for most people to focus mostly on their preferred side for their major offensive moves so that they can get the training volume to create a truly strong move that will be effective at championship level. I’d rather have a world beating right hand Guillotine and no left hand Guillotine than an average Guillotine on both sides. In some cases, especially defensive moves, you might need symmetry. For example a side elbow escape. You never know which side of the body your opponent will pin you so shouldn’t you be equally good on both sides? Even here I would argue that side symmetry is required but that move symmetry is not required. For example, after my hip replacement I still had an acceptable right side elbow escape but my left side elbow escape dropped to truly feeble levels. However, I compensated by switching focus to left side high leg escape which I could still perform at adequate levels of competence. In this way I was symmetrical in the POSITION , but not with MOVES. This is the most natural and effective was for most athletes to develop over time.

John Danaher