1. Drilling a technique. Should you just focus on one side or do both?
2. Will practicing MMA make your sport BJJ game go down and vice versa?
3. When rolling. Should you start on you feet and focus on takedowns or guard pulling? Both?
Three short questions get you three short answers.
1. Drill both sides if you have time. Otherwise, drill whichever side you’ll use most. And try to drill escapes and defenses on both sides. You don’t need to be equally good at both sides, but you need a plan for both sides, even if the plan is “get to where I can do the other side.”
2. Doing one will help the other to the degree that the skills overlap. Here’s a scientific diagram to explain it:
3. It depends on your game and what you need to improve most. If you’re like most jiu-jiteiros, you should work on your takedowns. But if you’re up against a wrestler or judoka and it’s not the time to get tossed on your head, pull guard.