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During my last training session I noticed that one of my group members kept favoring his right side whenever the instruction was geared towards the left side. I said to him, “You appear to be one sided, most right handed fighters often feel awkward on the left side in the beginning.” But to my surprise he said, “Actually I’m left handed.” So basically, all of his previous instructors either forced him to use his right hand or never addressed the fact that he was left handed. I could imagine if the majority of Eskrimadors were left handed and forced me to use my left hand. I would be extremely frustrated that I had to favor my weaker hand over my stronger hand. Many experienced fighters are proficient with both their right and left leads when it comes to empty hand tactics but putting a stick or sword in the weak hand takes much more skill to overcome the awkwardness. It’s much like driving a car and being used to the steering wheel being on one side and then going to another country and being forced to operate a vehicle on the opposite side for the first time. Some may take to it quicker than others but most people would experience much difficulty for quite some time.

The basic numbering system can easily be mirrored for a left hander’s benefit but what about the other training drills? And do you make right handed students switch hands when performing drills in order to accommodate left handed students?

What’s your approach to training people that are left handed?

Respectfully,
Zach

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I am left handed and I just learned everything as taught in class and then practiced on both sides on my own. I love having 2 sticks in hand though because it gives a balanced feeling and you practice everything on both sides as a rule.Growing up, everything was taught right handed and the instructors would say..and you left handed people do it the other way..very frustrating!! It is better for me to just learn as it is taught and develop my weak side and then practice on my own.Many people do not understand the way a left handed person thinks..especially a left handed person who is actually a right handed person and became left because of brain injury at birth! So I am pretty ambidextrous but my grip is weaker on the right due to the injury.I have found that my left handed movements adapted to a right handed world confuse right handers to no end.
My thoughts...work both sides.

When I teach lefties I want them to use their left hand for two reasons; 1. Its thier dominant hand and 2. It give the righties experience against left handed fighters. None of my left handed guys ever use their left hand because they say its too much work to translated the movements. Ultimately the choice is theirs, if they want to use their left hand, they can, if not, they dont have to.

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