Switching lead sides in a fight

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

  1. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Some anecdotal evidence for this; when I was fencing, I fenced right-handed for the most part. At one time, I switched to left because I injured my right shoulder, and I'm a stubborn ***. Both with the footwork and the hand motions, I was not as good with my left side. BUT, despite using my non-dominant side (so naturally weaker, although less so from MA), and not having practiced with my left side before, I was significantly better than an athletic person trying it for the first time. I'd attribute that to me having the mind for it already, except I was also better than some whom had fenced for years. I'd even win bouts in college tournaments against other collegiate fencers that had fenced for years.

    And it's definitely not that I'm just THAT good. It took me years to get to a point where I could actually compete and stand a chance against other fencers originally. It took me a week to get to that point with my other hand (although I never fully caught up...my 4 parry was always a tad too strong, so would get caught by a disengage fairly easily, and my counterattack was a tiny bit too 'joltish', so it didn't have quite the same effect...and those were two of my main 'techniques'). There's definitely a difference, but some training had to have occurred, otherwise everyone would have been wiping the floor with me.[/QUOTE]
     
  2. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    I like to refer to boxing here. (there are a lot of boxers and fights to look at for data...)

    Usually, a boxer learns one side. He is either lefty or righty. He trains that way and he fights that way. Even when the other boxer is in a different stance, they stay in their lefty or righty stance. They learn to both defend and attack from their preferred stance against both lefties and righties. Yes, the other guy circles the opposite direction for a lefty as for a righty... but its really the same. You circle away from the other guys power hand... which in boxing, is the back hand. You circle towards the lead hand side of your opponent. Footwork and a good jab are used to keep your opponent from getting to the outside.

    Some boxers do switch sides. However, the number that do is much smaller than those that don't... especially as you move up the ranks. For the boxers that can switch sides, they do so for many different reasons. It may be that their opponent doesn't handle lefties too well. It may be because the opponent presents an opening to a rightie that he doesn't present to a lefty. It may be to confuse him, or slow him down or show him something different. This change may be because you are losing and need to change course or it could be that you would rather win by knock out, and you are only able to out point him from one side.

    Boxers are discouraged from switching sides during the round, as it is dangerous. It is especially dangerous to pull straight back. Boxers train to follow a guy pulling straight back, and hit him when he gets there. He is predictable in that way. He also thinks he is safe, especially if he won the exchange and got out... you will often see them pull straight back, with their hands down. The other guy can, and does, follow him and lands a significant shot, even after losing in the initial exchange. If you try to change sides in the middle of the round by pulling your lead foot back... you trigger the other guy, that you are pulling straight back. If he gets to you before you get your foot down, you are caught on one leg, possibly with your feet squared up... a knock down is very likely. There is a reason that proper boxing footwork does not involve "walking" steps... they take too long, and you are not in a proper stance to either attack or take a punch, for the duration of the step. If you are bringing your back foot forward, you are moving closer to your opponent, with your feet squared up. I used the word triggered before, for a reason. Boxers are waiting for you to either pull straight back or square up. When your opponent is in a squared up stance, the effect of your punch is magnified. They are quick at it. You will see boxers switch stance while fighting... but they must be very aware of timing and distance. You will also see them get sat down for trying it to close or at the wrong time.

    At the end of the day... its up to you. But switching your lead side is not a magic bullet. It has advantages if you can fight on both sides. But, it has a disadvantage while you are switching. (there may be another disadvantage, if you are not as good on the other side...) At the end of the day, it is like any other technique... don't do it just to do it. Know why you are doing. (know when and where you are doing it as well, or enjoy seat on the floor)
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I tend to do the opposite - I often (not always) start strong-side forward and switch to orthodox. I'm not sure why...maybe I've just watched Princess Bride too many times.
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    That's an impressively quick retraining turnaround. And with some pretty specialized skills. We used to think the brain only worked cross-sided (left brain controlled right body, etc.). We know now that both sides of the brain are routinely involved, so it makes sense that the training crosses sides of the body. Where it fails to do so, it's probably driven by the idiosyncrasies of that off-side.
     
  5. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I wasnt surprised at the time-i thought it qas natural. It wasnt until i was telling someone about it later that i realized just how significant that experience might be (unless im an anomaly)
     
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  6. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    It's only better when you can fight from both sides equally well. I've never trained in a fight gym but I've seen fighters fight in both left and right stances. The advantage of being to fight from different stances is universal. It simply means you can attack, defend, evade and press without having to reset to a particular stance.
     
  7. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    So last night we did some light sparring, where we were only allowed to do punches to the body. No punches to the head, and no kicks, elbows or knees at all. I found myself switching sides quite regularly and it seemed to work quite well, allowing me to counter-attack easily no matter which stance I found myself in. Obviously this was easier than normal since it was just punching and I don't know how effective I would be if I had to use and defend kicks as well.
     
  8. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    When you switch sides, you have to shift weight from one leg to another, you will give your opponent a chance to foot sweep you. The moment that you switch sides, the moment that your opponent's foot sweep can put you in defense mode.

    If your defense against single leg or double legs are not equal on both sides, you weak side may give you trouble.

    IMO, when take down is allowed, there are more things to consider.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  9. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    In K1 Kickboxing (which is what I'm training for right now), you aren't allowed to use "wrestling or judo throwing or submission techniques". From how I understand it, the only way you can takedown your opponent is by either sweeping the foot or catching their leg as they kick you and then sweeping their other leg.
     
  10. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    When you speak of "in the middle of chaos", are you talking solely about SD situations or also in the ring?
    Naturally, in an unexpected, unsolicited attack there is no choice of sides so both sides better be well trained. If responding to a threat, I can see where the practicing using your strong side or best technique is preferred.
    In the ring/on the mats, using both sides is smart. The more tools you have the better. I loved the chess match of competition and using your tools to coordinate the opponents next move to be what you want. In other words "baiting". For example presenting your open side or an opening to lure a desired strike from your opponent.
     
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  11. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    For striking, I only like stance shifting if it's part of a cohesive footwork method which takes advantage of the switch for specific purposes (usually involving lateral movement and changing angles). Willie Pep provides an excellent example of this:

    What I don't care for is just standing in front of an opponent and switching stances in hopes that it will somehow confuse him.

    You do see a lot of stance switching in arts where the competitive sparring rules disallow strikes to the back (typically certain point karate and TKD systems). In this case, standing sidewise to your opponent and constantly switching stances can present confusion as to which side is a legal target at any given moment. However I don't think this is useful outside that particular ruleset.
     
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  12. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    You should be O.K.. Because you can fight from either stance, you can take the stance that takes power away from your opponent's power kick. Learn how to do power kicks off your front leg and you'll be able to not only defend but also couter your opponent's power kick.
     
  13. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    If you step back you have already switched stance. No need to step back again just to get back in the stance you started from. If I know you can only fight from a right foot forward stance, then I watch for you to make that change when you are in a left foot forward stance.
     
  14. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I don't like that tye of stance switch either. I like when others do it. I just don't like it for me.
     
  15. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I think it’s a good method but I haven’t developed that particular skill set very far myself. When striking I mostly stay orthodox. (In grappling I’m comfortable switching leads as necessary.)
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's only an issue if you switch sides as a separate action. If I kick, and settle to the other side as a result of the kick, then there was no new weight shift. When I shift as a separate action (which do sometimes do), I'm presenting a new opportunity to my opponent - sometimes on purpose.
     
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  17. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    I really like that video. Never heard of Willie Pep before... Someone to look into. A point I wish they brought out in the video is that it is very important to know when and where to use that V step. Where and when the point of the V is, will make or break that foot work. Pep does it nicely in the video... I watched it once looking at the mechanics of how his step works. Then I watched again, to see where and when he was using it. Lots to learn there. Thanks for the post.
     
  18. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The guy who did that video has a YouTube channel (Modern Martial Artist) with a bunch of really good technical analysis of various boxers and MMA fighters. I’ve learned a lot from watching his breakdowns.
     
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  19. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You can switch sides when you are outside of your opponent's kicking range. If you are inside of your opponent's kicking range, when you switch sides, you will expose your center. Your opponent may kick to your chest right at that moment.
     
  20. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Interesting...we use that kind of footwork, the triangles and the side stepping a lot in pekiti-tirsia.123
     

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