Switching lead sides in a fight

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Midnight-shadow, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I'm not sure which hand is faster, but my right hand has more control, while my left hand has more strength.
     
  2. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    That's fine, if that's how you choose.

    How I choose to look at it, is what if my right hand gets injured...
     
  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Assume that if you spend 1000 days training, you will be twice as good as if you only spend 500 days training. Also assume you spend the same amount of training time for both approaches. If you train

    1. both hands with 6 techniques A, B, C, D, E, F, You will get 50% good on all 6 techniques on both sides.
    2. your right hand with techniques A, B, C. You also train your left hand with techniques D, E, F. You will get 100% good on all 6 techniques but on one side only.

    IMO, 2 > 1.

    If your right hand gets injured, your left hand still have techniques D, E, F which is 100% good.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  4. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Well, to start with, I don't think I'll ever get 100% good, so that's out ;)

    Say we're basing it on those 6 techniques, I'd rather do:

    Left - A, C, D, E
    Right - B, C, D, E, F

    For example.

    Then you've got one or two each side that are your specialty moves and a bunch that are workable.


    Something that I've discovered from a bit of the sparring we do - you're in a left lead stance against someone and can get a good jab/cross or whatever, all good.

    If another opponent comes in from your right rear quarter and you can only be effective from a left lead you've got a big reposition to do to face them - if you can twist on the balls of your feet into a right lead you don't even have to lift your feet (unless you want to kick them).
     
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  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Interesting, I can see where that could play to your advantage with practice. I am very side biased both hand and foot. I learned to used my right side very good but was never quite as fast. Fast to enough to keep them guessing though. I got really banged up from an auto collision and had to learn to use my right side. Retraining the brain is hard but doable.
     
  6. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    We have a student that was born with one leg missing above the knee and the other leg just below the knee. Of course he does everything very different. What is amazing is he has no thought of
    Interesting, I can see where that could play to your advantage with practice. I was very left side biased both hand and foot. I had to train a lot to learn how to effectively use my right side tools. Never as fast but fast enough to keep you guessing and make good contact.
    Later in life I was in a bad auto accident and had to learn to use my right side for writing, etc... It is hard but you can retrain the brain. Over about a decade, I have gotten back to where I can write with my left hand but it is different.
    We have a man in class who was born with one leg missing above the knee and the other just below the knee. It is amazing to watch him practice. Everything he does is very different of course but has no clue he is missing his legs. Simply awesome.
     
  7. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    The concept of leading with either side can be looked at two ways. Sure, most of us have led with either side. Or at least can lead with either side. And, yes, everyone will find something they can do better with the left forward, or the right forward.

    And yes, a lot of fighters/Martial Artists will say they fight either way equally well. And to them I say - when danger actually threatens you in real life you will know immediately what side is your best. Immediately.

    But - we have to teach and encourage students to use either side forward, always. It's part of developing them as Martial Artists. It's not like boxing, Martial Arts striking is much more complex. You just have to train both sides forward. Have to.

    But.....[again with a but]....two of the guys who taught me the most, Bill Wallace and Joe Lewis, always fought with the same side forward. That's not to say they couldn't move with the opposite side forward, heck, I've even seen Bill throw a spin kick. [swear to God] However, they competed and were world champions at the highest levels of Martial fighting - and they did so with the same side forward at all times. There's something to be said for that.

    I have a favorite side for different things. If I really have to hurt you, one side is going to be forward, always. But if all I want to do is defend, control you and not hurt you for whatever reason, like when dealing with a drunk who's not actually a threat, other than in the legal sense - the other side will be forward, always.

    The choice is yours. And man can't have a better thing in life than "choice".
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting. The boxing coach would be wrong with that statement, if he weren't talking about boxers. A lot of trained folks switch frequently (probably most of them with more strategy to it than I have - I just change when it feels right). Sometimes I want my faster jab, sometimes I want my stronger cover, sometimes I want my faster foot, sometimes I want my more powerful cross. With grappling, I don't tend to want my strongest hand forward - not sure offhand why that is, but I tend to prefer my strongest hand to be second in. Maybe it's just a difference in technical approach, or maybe the result of some injury and accommodations I made at the time turning into habit.
     
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  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. I practice all techniques on both sides, to see if they are similar. If they are, I continue to train both sides more or less equally. If one side is stronger than the other (and assuming it's not something key like a jab), I focus the lion's share of my training time to that side for that technique. My hip throw, for some reason, is much better on my right hip (possibly because I prefer to lead a grappling entrance with my left hand), so I let that continue to be the case and I train the right side more than the left...but not exclusively.
     
  10. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I think a lot of it has to do with whether your footwork focuses on steps or slides. If you're sliding around, you can keep the same lead foot, but in an art with a deeper stance, you're more likely to step to move.

    The more kicking you have, the more likely you are to use both sides as well.
     
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  11. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    This was my instructors explanation for training both sides differently: there is no choice. Just response. Both sides trained equally causes a delay to choose. (Their view.)
     
  12. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    I guess it depends. In Taekwondo, we train defense from a neutral position instead of a sparring stance. Sometimes we step outside, sometimes we step inside, and sometimes we step back. Which way you step will usually determine which is going to be your lead leg.

    The way you step will somewhat depend on how you block. There isn't really a thought of "which side do I choose?" It's more like, once you're there, you're already trained to deal with leading on both sides.

    A switch-hitter in baseball doesn't try and figure out whether to swing the bat towards the pitcher or the catcher. He always swings towards the pitcher.

    Where I DO see the advantage to only training one side is if you've done 1000 hours of training on one side instead of 500 hours of training on the other. Using a belted system as an example, it would be like having a black belt in one side vs. having a midrange color belt in both sides.
     
  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Logically, that makes some sense, but I've never seen anyone with competency (so leaving out those still learning a particular technique) actually choose a side. It just happens. I know where my preferences are, because I have time and attention available when sparring students to observe my own actions and see what tends to come out.
     
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  14. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When I put my right side forward, if my opponent has

    - right side forward, I'll circular to my left (his right).
    - left side forward, I'll circular to my right (his left).

    I'll use complete different footwork.
     
  15. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Training against a right-hand punch in our classes, we may:
    • Step with our left leg to outside our opponent's stance, and then either kick to the ribs, body, or knee, or attack the arm and go for a figure-4 or elbow lock take-down
    • Step with our right leg into our opponent and perform a hip or shoulder throw
    • Step with our right log to our opponents' side and use hand strikes to the head, neck and body
    • Step back with either leg and attempt to control the attacker's wrist from a safe distance, and then step forward and transition to a throw or pull (the type of throw you do will determine which way you go)

    There's other considerations, too, like if you're fighting multiple opponents.
     
  16. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    Yes, I cannot imagine someone in the middle of the chaos stopping to choose a side.

    I think it is more about being really good and confident (so no freezing/ little risk) at least using one side. And once we really understand the technique on one side, it is easier and faster to learn the other side. Again, my instructors view. I quite agree, but I see other aproaches equally reasonable.
     
  17. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    Well, I don’t talk about training only one side, I talk about training both sides differently. For example, striking was always with the same leg leading. Which makes us use both sides differently. Or one can really choose develop both sides differently. Which leads to my previous answer.
     
  18. CrazedChris

    CrazedChris Green Belt

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    We are trained to switch, and train both sides equally,since an attacker can come from anywhere.
     
  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There's some scientific evidence that when you train one side, the other side still learns something. So, training one side much more heavily than the other might actually not leave the off-side as weak as we'd expect. Of course, that same principle means that when we train the off-side, we're strengthening the dominant side, too. In the end, it might come down to preference - I haven't seen anything close to a well-designed study of the topic that would help us get more defined. In any case, it seems likely there are real advantages both ways. I'd bet someone who trains not switching will be better on the side they trained to, so the slight reduction in number of options might not be significant - and your instructor might even turn out to have a damned good point.
     
  20. IvanTheBrick

    IvanTheBrick Orange Belt

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    Switching sides can you give a significant advantage. I start with my left forwards like most right handed people. However, if you can tell the other opponent is well-versed in his fighting skill, you can throw him off completely by switching sides. It does leave him AND you more exposed as your body is significantly easier to hit if his right foot is in front of your left foot. But it will certainly either force them to adapt or switch to a more uncomfortable side.123
     

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