2022, Volume 18
Standing right: laterality of combat stance in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
1Department of Psychology, Senshu University, Kawasaki, Japan
Author for correspondence: Matia Okubo; Department of Psychology, Senshu University, Kawasaki, Japan; email: email@example.com
Background and Study Aim: Fighters in grappling sports usually have a preferred combat stance. In general, judokas and wrestlers prefer the right combat stance, which involves the placement of the right foot in front while grabbing the opponent’s collar or neck with their right hand. The aim of present study is knowledge about the laterality of the combat stance in Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters and its role in competition outcomes and skill levels.
Material and Methods: We surveyed video recordings of 313 matches in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions, and coded the laterality of the combat stance (left or right), match outcome (win or lose), and belt rank (blue, purple, brown, or black).
Results: Among a total of 610 fighters, 391 fighters adopted the right combat stance, while the remaining 291 took the left combat stance. A significant rightward preference was found for the combat stance (%right = 64.10%, p<0.001, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 60.15, 67.91. The association between the combat stance and match outcome was not significant; χ2 (1) = 0.40, p = 0.39. The main effect of the combat stance was significant, endorsing the rightward preference in the combat stance, LRχ2 (1) = 49.16, p<0.001. There was a main effect of belt rank; LRχ2 (3) = 157.13, p<0.001; reflecting the difference in the number of matches between the belt ranks. However, no interaction was significant; LRχ2 s (1) <1.00, ps>0.35; including the interactions involving belt rank; LRχ2 s (3) <4.54, ps>0.21.
Conclusions: The modest lateral preference in combat stance may reflect strategies or tactics rather than biological factors such as handedness. As Brazilian jiu-jitsu focuses more on the ground than on standing techniques, the laterality of combat stance may have little effect on competition outcomes and skill levels.
Key words: martial arts, grappling sports, combat sports, belt rank, neo-gladiator