Training to hold the stick in the left hand as right-handed person

Pipeguy

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Asking this in the balintawak forum since it is (from what I know) a singlestick art, and (from what I've seen) people training it seem to only hold the stick in their dominant hand, while the non-dominant is always empty. I may be wrong about this, sorry, but I will ask my question regardless since I want an opinion from what I think is an art that uses only one one-handed weapon at a time.

The question: Are there any uses to training the non-dominant (in my case, left) hand to strike with the stick and/or completely training to fight southpaw in a single-weapon-only system? And if you don't think it's useful, please tell me why regardless.

Thanks in advance
 

Flying Crane

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I believe it is a good thing. People will argue and debate the role that the weak hand should play to support the dominant hand. I personally feel there is nothing wrong with working to develop some level of ambidexterity, while acknowledging that the dominant hand will always be stronger and better. That is fine.

At the very least, it is a good exercise for the brain, working through the exercises on the other side that you are not used to doing.

I do my weapons work on both sides (Chinese methods), including staff, spear, sword, saber. I find it fulfilling.
 

Rich Parsons

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I like to do some training on my Left.
I practice predominately on my right.
When I teach and run into left handers it is good to be able to move with them so they can feel it and see it from their perspective.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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There are a couple reasons to do it. The oft-spouted one is probably the more obvious-what happens if you end up in a situation where you can't pick up a weapon in your right hand, you have to be able to use your left.

The more important one to me is something I learned from fencing. Most (olympic) fencers only fence with their primary hand. Logic dictates that there's no reason not to. You're learning a specific sport, it's linear so you don't have to worry about someone going to your off-side at all. But this causes a problem. Even with extra weight-training/conditioning, muscle imbalances occurred in just about every fencer that I knew. In their arms and legs, but more importantly in their backs. One friend of mine was preparing to try out for the olympics, but his senior year he missed most of our meets because of back issues that IIRC were purely from fencing.

Granted, most people aren't spending 2-4 hours a day training with a weapon with just one arm, but it's something to keep in mind. If this is a lifelong pursuit, you should train both just to deal with those muscle imbalances a bit. If it's not, and you're just aiming for a 6 month self defense thing, you should train both so you're more ready to use improvised weapons if needed. IMHO of course.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I like to train different set of techniques on different sides. My fight strategies will be different when my opponent and I are in uniform stance, or in mirror stance.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I like to train different set of techniques on different sides. My fight strategies will be different when my opponent and I are in uniform stance, or in mirror stance.
That works if you are training something on both sides. If you only train one side (as some single-weapon styles do), or significantly more on one side, that's when the muscle imbalances can come in.
 

AIKIKENJITSU

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Asking this in the balintawak forum since it is (from what I know) a singlestick art, and (from what I've seen) people training it seem to only hold the stick in their dominant hand, while the non-dominant is always empty. I may be wrong about this, sorry, but I will ask my question regardless since I want an opinion from what I think is an art that uses only one one-handed weapon at a time.

The question: Are there any uses to training the non-dominant (in my case, left) hand to strike with the stick and/or completely training to fight southpaw in a single-weapon-only system? And if you don't think it's useful, please tell me why regardless.

Thanks in advance
I have taught my form of Kenpo for fifty years. I am right handed. I train with short stick mostly with my right hand, but also with my left. I should practice more with my left, but I'm lazy; there's so much more to practice. But i always practice with my left a little bit, because what if my right arm is injured in combat? I would then need my left hand to have muscle memory on using the stick or I would be in trouble.
Sifu
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Pipeguy

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Sorry for checking on responses so late, but thank you everyone!

There are a couple reasons to do it. The oft-spouted one is probably the more obvious-what happens if you end up in a situation where you can't pick up a weapon in your right hand, you have to be able to use your left.

The more important one to me is something I learned from fencing. Most (olympic) fencers only fence with their primary hand. Logic dictates that there's no reason not to. You're learning a specific sport, it's linear so you don't have to worry about someone going to your off-side at all. But this causes a problem. Even with extra weight-training/conditioning, muscle imbalances occurred in just about every fencer that I knew. In their arms and legs, but more importantly in their backs. One friend of mine was preparing to try out for the olympics, but his senior year he missed most of our meets because of back issues that IIRC were purely from fencing.

Granted, most people aren't spending 2-4 hours a day training with a weapon with just one arm, but it's something to keep in mind. If this is a lifelong pursuit, you should train both just to deal with those muscle imbalances a bit. If it's not, and you're just aiming for a 6 month self defense thing, you should train both so you're more ready to use improvised weapons if needed. IMHO of course.

I actually do fencing (not for very long, 2 and a half years or so) and have heard of this a lot, so I was worried about the imbalance. My friend does Modern Arnis (which naturally uses both hands), but he suggested asking balintawak people because he said he knew they only use 1 stick for everything they do. Also because there's some connection between his system and balintawak.

I don't know how many of you are actually in balintawak, but all input is welcome and thank you all.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Sorry for checking on responses so late, but thank you everyone!



I actually do fencing (not for very long, 2 and a half years or so) and have heard of this a lot, so I was worried about the imbalance. My friend does Modern Arnis (which naturally uses both hands), but he suggested asking balintawak people because he said he knew they only use 1 stick for everything they do. Also because there's some connection between his system and balintawak.

I don't know how many of you are actually in balintawak, but all input is welcome and thank you all.
To clarify, I train a style of eskrima (among a couple different weapon systems I've dabbled in over the last decade or so) that I believe is derived from Doce Pares (same as balintawak from my understanding), but not balintawak itself. My style does both single stick and double, but I think my advise holds true regardless. IMO, any single-weapon system that does not train the weapon in each hand has those issues, whether or not they recognize it or claim they've got some solution to it. The only real health-solution is to do the same or similar exercises with both hands.
 

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Yes practice with non dominant hand

It can help you understand techniques. With our dominant hand we can very easily use speed or strength to mask flaws in the technique. Using the non dominant hand will expose these.

So training non dominant hand can make your dominant hand better as well.

As an aside, my teacher always used his right hand when teaching, after a few years I found out he is actually left handed
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Yes practice with non dominant hand
MA contains skill and ability. You may train skill on both sides. Will you also develop ability on both side? To develop ability on both sides, require double your ability development time.

The head lock training is a good example. You may spend 1 hour daily on your right arm, or you may spend 1/2 hour on your right arm, and 1/2 hour on your left arm. The result will be differently. You will have a very strong right arm, or you will have 1/2 strong right arm and 1/2 strong left arm.
 
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Taiji Rebel

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MA contains skill and ability. You may train skill on both sides. Will you also develop ability on both side? To develop ability on both sides, require double your ability development time.

The head lock training is a good example. You may spend 1 hour daily on your right arm, or you may spend 1/2 hour on your right arm, and 1/2 hour on your left arm. The result will be differently. You will have a very strong right arm, or you will have 1/2 strong right arm and 1/2 strong left arm.
My first boxing coach encouraged us to switch stances. We would practice fighting orthodox and southpaw. He also suggested practicing with shorter 10min sessions at various points throughout the day. This was considered more beneficial than just focusing on longer training sessions. We were also encouraged to use visualization to improve our skills. Steve was a great coach and way ahead of the curve when it came to using the mind and other unconventional methods of the time - training with your non-dominant side is an idea which I continue to share in my own teachings.
 

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We are required to do all of our strikes, amaras, speed building, open hand drills left and right from the get go. Training combative techniques is more of a minor than a major, interjecting left handed techniques gradually and letting the students kinda run with it. Everyone has their favorite techniques and we just say choose your favorite and do it left handed. This makes it more fun than stressful. At the black belt level, senior students are not expected to be fluid, but transition to left enough to show a bit of proficiency. Doing tapi tapi left handed can be a bit comical, haha. My instructor is fluid in both. Coincidently, we have a student that does not have a right arm. We practice right to left or left to left with him. Our instructor has modified many techniques to adapt to his strengths. He has a prosthetic for his right that can inflict much pain and hes learned to use it rather well. Ouch!

Eskrido de Alcuizar
Buena Park, CA
World Eskrido Federation
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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There is a big difference between the striking art and the throwing art.

In the following clip, his

- right arm is the "major arm" that control his opponent's body.
- left arm is the "minor arm" that control his opponent's arm.
- right leg is the "attacking leg" that sweep his opponent's leg.
- left leg is the "rooting leg" that apply footwork and maintain his own balance.

He needs to coordinate all his 4 body parts and spins his upper body to his right and spins his low body to his left at the same time.

It's more complicate than just throw a punch on your opponent's face. To develop all 4 body parts coordination, it requires training time.

You can use all your training time to train 1 side. You can also split your training time to train both sides.

Since your time is limited, if you have

- 1 girlfriend, you can make her happy all the time.
- 2 girlfriends, you can only make them happy 1/2 of the time. :)

 
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geezer

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In our PCE group, an offshoot of Latosa Escrima, we do basic striking with both hands, and switch leads. I also look at a lot of the double stick work as a way to develop ambidexterity and as a way to balance the effects of training on your body.

That said, training time is limited, and for sparring or self defense you need to primarily train your dominant side, all the more considering that when holding your weapon in one hand, both hands are engaged and have a job to do. Practically speaking, it is far better to be very good with your dominant orientation than just pretty good with both sides.

This is proven in all kinds of competitive sports. How many tennis players, golfers, quarterbacks, pitchers, shooters, archers, wrestlers or boxers are really equally good with left and right? Sure, there are switch hitters in batting, and boxers that can switch leads effectively, but that's rare. And many of the greatest do not switch sides.

Bill "Superfoot" Wallace anyone?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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All her videos have left side throws. Her

- right arm always controls her opponent's arm (minor arm).
- left arm always control her opponent's body (major arm).


 
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