Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ineffcient Vs Ineffective

In the world of Jiu Jitsu, nothing is black and white. Just because something isn't easy to do, doesn't mean someone can't figure out a way to do it. Just the same, if something is inefficient, isn't the same as that thing being ineffective.

An instructor may be teaching you how to hold sidemount. He may tell you to places your arms like this, your legs like this, and all your weight will be on his sternum. He cannot move you.

Now the instructor may be intelligent and well spoken, but when you ask him your dilemma, that you weigh less than 140lbs (or you are a very petite women), and most men in BJJ would not have a problem benching someone your size off of them. He explains that maybe you weren't doing it right, if you did it correctly, they cannot move you no matter what size you are.

If size doesn't matter, its no longer physics. Mass will always be a part of the equation of Jiu Jitsu, so will acceleration, force, velocity, etc.

He made a classic error that many people make, in Jiu Jitsu and in life. They mistake inefficient with ineffective. Yes its always more effective to use your whole body than an isolated part of your body. Like him moving you or escaping sidemount just using his arms, that's inefficient yes. But that doesn't mean it cannot be effective. To be a good teacher, you have to be able to answer the "what ifs." Especially in competition, something you may think will never work sometimes works.

Maybe you are passing, and trying to hold your opponent down, and you place his legs in a position where he can only move one leg to lift you up. Is it efficient to lift your whole body weight with his one leg? No. Can it be effective? Yes.

Why go inverted when you can hip escape and go to guard? Yes going inverted may take more energy and more athleticism, and hip escape simpler and less taxing, but which is more effective? Efficient and effective aren't always the same thing.

Efficient needs to be repeatable. You have to be able to do it over and over without issue, that's what efficient means. It doesn't waste movement or time because you will be doing it a lot.

Effective is different, it only has to work once. Maybe I have better technique, but someone with inefficient technique only has to beat me once during an event. You may be a better swimmer, but I can be effective against you at least once. I can't tackle people with my head for a long career, nor can I have a long life with that habit. But I can be a very effective player.

A move you've never seen, can be quite effective. It may not be repeated more than once and is why it's not very efficient.

Effective: Successful in producing a desired or intended result.

Efficient: Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.

Sometimes it's the same, usually it's not. They are not interchangeable.



In this match, Roger Gracie has been known to be a master of efficiently using his size to dominate his opponents. But Buchecha who is also a very large man, plays a game that may be more taxing energetically but is quite effective.

A simple efficient style, may not always convert well to competition or when visiting a new school. Not because competitions have rules, not because of points, or time limits. It's difficult because you go in thinking that inefficient moves will not work against you, and that efficient movements will always work. That's incorrect, effective moves will work against you, and your effective moves will work against them. It's a whole different ball game, because they only need to beat you once. So it only has to be effective once.

I draw a parallel to life. In life simple things don't always work more often or better than a harder or more complex system. Not all effective answers will be simple.

I find it quite annoying when someone wants to just hear the gist of a book or a movie or an article. It doesn't make it more effective, in fact often times it makes it less effective. They say internet is effecting our ability to learn because we only look at blurbs about things, we don't learn deeply. Maybe that's more efficient, but that's definitely not more effective than reading the whole book.

A good instructor will know the difference between efficient and effective.

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