I am trying to understand how often playing opponents as one-sided may backfire. If an opponent is right-handed only, you would prioitize preventing the right hand from gripping and not worry so much about the left. If the opponent is a significant threat with either handedness grip, sacrificing a grip to one hand to prevent the other is probably not a good strategy.

  • ambidextrously here means the competitor is a significant throwing threat both from a right-handed grip (right hand on lapel or over back) and a left-handed grip. The throws used from a right-handed grip do not need to be those used from the left-handed grip; the competitor just has to be a significant threat with either handedness grip.
  • I am looking for rough proportion (1%?, 5%?, 10%?), not exact numbers
  • international Grand Prix/Slam or similar events

1 Answer 1


From the Judo Chop Suey Podcast, Episode 26: Interview with Christopher Round at ~49:18, the interviewee Christopher Round, a former US Olympic hopeful, addresses this point while discussing where he reached his competitive ceiling:

I started running into players who were ambidextrous. And it's very rare for a player to be very good who is ambidextrous...[indistinct]. A lot of high level players, they'll have attacks that are both sided, but to be a true ambidextrous player, I can count on one hand the number of people I knew who did that at a world level. Won Hee Lee was an example of someone who could do that. Won Hee Lee for those that don't remember him, he was a very, very good player from South Korea. He won the world championships in '03. He was a guy who beat Jimmy [Pedro] in the third round of Athens [Olympics]. And I actually, my brain would just like, malfunction when I would handle those players. I was used to very disciplined judo players. And I realized, and once some of the people I fought realized that if they kept throwing different looks at me, I would have trouble keeping track. I started running into stuff that people could do that I just kinda couldn't keep up with. And that's not to say that I couldn't keep up with, to a large extent, a lot of very good judo players.

It appears very few players are ambidextrous, but being ambidextrous is an advantage.

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