Grip Fighting: The First-Mover Advantage & Disadvantage In Judo
Dr. Rhadi Ferguson
Head Sensei – Tampa Florida Judo
Look, all things being equal, here’s why you should literally get YOUR grip first.
There is something that has been clearly identified in chess and in business and it also seems to hold true in the sporting world, especially in those events where time is a big determinant of the outcome as well as social influence, like that on referees and judges. That thing or phenomenon is called the “first-mover advantage.”
What you may not be familiar with is that the white side in chess has an advantage as the white side wins approximately 55 percent of the time.
Why is this?
Well, this is due to what is called first-mover advantage.
In business, Professors Greve and Seidel, who are featured in the June 2014 edition of the Harvard Business Review, of which I am a subscriber and would highly influence you to subscribe to as well, speak about this advantage from the business point of view. And in the 22 Laws of Branding, and in other books also authored by Al Ries, Mr. Ries makes it painfully clear that there is an advantage to being first — and a HUGE on at that.
Even on the elementary level we understand that the ‘early bird gets the worm’ and that does not mean that you must wake up early, but that means that you need to arrive early (first).
So, how does this apply to judo?
Well this applies to judo in all areas but more specifically in the area of grip fighting and not just in tachiwaza but also in newaza. Getting your hands on your opponent, proactively and first has an advantage in terms of the concept of tempo.
You literally have tempo advantage if you get your hands on your opponents gi first and get it in the right place.
This advantage is available to you but most people lose this advantage because they are not first and due to another phenomenon that is worst than being first.
What is worse than being first is being first BUT having your hands in the wrong place.
In Professors Greve and Seidel’s research and also in the works of Al Ries in his branding and marketing books they all purport that even if you have an inferior product, getting to the market first and in front of the public first has a significant advantage. And while it does, this particular piece of our discussion does not hold true in sport and competition.
Case in point, you can quickly lose a chess game by making an ill-advised move or worst, making a move that you did NOT recognize was going to cause you to lose tempo.
See, putting your hands in the wrong place, even if you are first in a judo match, can cause you to lose tempo and actually not create an advantage but a disadvantage. And here’s what’s scary.
As good as you are, you may not know you are doing it.
Have you ever sat back and watched two people play chess and you can see the danger that one player is about to put himself in but the player that is getting ready to make the move just can’t see it?
Of course you have.
And you may just be sitting on the side because you just lost to one of the two players competing and quite honestly are not better than them BUT you can SEE what one of them cannot see because you have a better view of the situation.
Well, that is what an increase of judo knowledge provides on the sporting side. The discipline of sport judo is so small and so myopically focused that you actually have to dive deep inside of the study of sport judo to understand some of the concepts that you just cannot get nor understand as a pure Judoka. Although the principles are exactly the same, the application is different.
I graduated from Howard University in 1997 with a degree in mechanical engineering and I understand engines, motors, rotors, mechanical systems and mechanical analysis. I UNDERSTAND it, BUT I cannot build an engine, fix an engine, do a mechanical analysis, or construct a rotor. I cannot. Why? Because I have surface level knowledge of these things. And that okay. It’s also okay for me to go to a mechanic when I need my car fixed.
And it is also okay for you to get the knowledge that you need in order to maintain the tempo of a combat sport situation like judo. I’m sure you understand that you need to “grip first” and “get your grip” because I hear many coaches around the country saying that phrase to their students. But what’s most important is knowing what grip you need to get and why.
This will allow you to get, keep and maintain your ‘first-mover advantage’ and then apply your judo techniques. Because your ‘first mover advantage’ also means that you have the advantage of being in better position to throw your opponent first as well.
Take care and grip first!!!
Dedicated to Your Improvement,
Rhadi Ferguson, PhD
P.S. If you would like 15 FREE videos on how to get, keep and maintain the first-mover advantage, please visit www.GripFighting.com