Switch sides?

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Switch sides?

Postby T-Man » Dec 09, 2006 04:59

Hi everybody,

I wanted to share with you an interesting "project" I´m on this moment. I practice escrima and kick-boxing and especially in escrima one should use both hands equally - in stick & dagger and 2 stick drills - but with your checking hand at all the time of course.

That made me to do the decision that I want to be better with my left hand (i´m right handed, obviously). To achieve this I started to "switch sides" in everyday routines. I switched my computer´s mouse to left hand side, when I make coffee or just grab something - I make sure I´ll do everything mirrored (it´s not only hands, but your stance, position etc.). I started with the easy tasks and the ones I do the most during day, like mouse hand. I added more demanding tasks, like buttering the bread, slicing veges etc. and finally now, I write notes with my left hand.

However, after a month of switching sides in more complicated tasks I have noticed some SIGNIFICANT improvements in ALL the sports I do:
- escrima drills has really amazed me, how easy are they now
- in boxing, my left hand jabs are a LOT faster, more powerful and economical (what´s strange: also right hand has improved)
- moving in fighting position is a lot easier, also with right-sided stances
- maintaining balance in right kicks has improved

Have anyone of you folks tried this kinda "drill" ever? If you wanted to try, I would say at least it have been very rewarding for me.
To make the struggling in the beginning easier, one should consider it to ease the boredom of daily routines - it can be a lot of fun too!

The improvement thanks to this practising makes me think, that is the original problem of weaker side the lack of practise we apply to it, or maybe the weaker side has expertized to "assist" the stronger side - meaning that it´s as competent as the other, but in different areas (during these months I have been noticed, that some originally left-hand tasks are very difficult to do with the stronger hand as well).

Anyway, I´m happy with this project and can recommend it to anyone who want to try to break out of routines and seeks for something different for the change. :wink:

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Joined: Oct 13, 2006 00:55
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Switch sides?

Postby Thomas Kurz » Dec 09, 2006 18:44

A smart project and a very good observation. Increasing symmetry of all skills is a known means of improving overall coordination. During workouts, switching side after each set of exercises speeds up recovery of the previously worked side (Sechenov researched it) so it shortens rest periods between sets. Below are some quotes you may find of interest.

Children and Sports Training by Józef Drabik, chapter “Technique,” subchapter “Principles of technical training”:

“9. Capitalize on the phenomenon of transfer from the nondominant side. Exercising the “worse” arm further improves the technique of the “better” arm. Symmetry in exercises lets athletes perform a high number of attempts without overloading one limb or side of the body. Doing exercises with the “worse” side forces one to get to know the movement better. This greater knowledge of technique helps the athlete in better performance. In games and individual contact sports there is also a tactical advantage, of course, to being ambidextrous.


“12. Train the athlete in versatility. The future champion needs to be proficient with both sides of the body, with many techniques, in various situations. Use many various exercises while teaching the children. This will develop general fitness, and coordination, as well as keeping them from being bored. A good foundation of general fitness and well-developed coordination makes it easy to learn progressively more difficult skills.”

A quote from another chapter (“Coordination”) of this book:

“These are the means of developing coordination (both general and special) of young wrestlers, for example.

“a. Practicing standard wrestling techniques

“b. Performing all exercises on the opposite side (right-handers on the left, left-handers on the right)

“c. d. e. f. g. .... etc.”
Thomas Kurz
Madrej glowie dosc dwie slowie
Thomas Kurz
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Postby T-Man » Dec 10, 2006 06:15

Thank you Mr. Kurz for your encouraging words!

As you´ve always told: try it out - then you know if it works - now after two months of trying I´ve felt ready to open this thread. Your comments and quotes ensures me I´m on a right track.

I started this as an experiment, but turned it into a "project", because it´s been so rewarding, so as those athletes who really can work both sides, I want to be one myself too.

If I think of the tactical advance you replied, the natural step 2 after applying left hand considerable equally with the right one, would be conciously choosing the best (easiest and the most efficient) way to choose your side in each position and circumstances. In escrima one key principal is always to find the shortest (fastest) way to break the opponents defense with stick or dagger or hand in particular position - what should be applied with whatever limb may suit it best at that time. In my opinion this could be practised same way in daily routines: "I want to grab and open that box: which leg to move to get there shortest way, which hand to grab it to reach it the easiest, etc".
I´ll give it a try, when I´m competent enough to use my left hand efficiently - and I will let you know!

One question I still have, which I would appreciate to get your opinion:
- have anyone of you ever met a person, who truly uses ones sides equally - I mean instictly and randomly?
(I know human being ALWAYS prefer something, blue or red, but I mean if you have met a man or woman who randomly grabs a pen with one of the free hand for example)

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Joined: Oct 13, 2006 00:55
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