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On your being a southpaw and sparring---do you find it's easier or harder to spar with another southpaw? A woman at the gym is southpaw and we spar now and then. I tried switching to southpaw and that worked okay for avoiding her southpaw kicks, but my offense was mostly punches because my left kick telegraphs a lot. From your perspective, would it be worth it to keep sparring lefty with a lefty and righty with a righty? Or should I just stick to righty and try to improve that side a lot? fyi, I sometimes switch to lefty without realizing it and then I'm stuck as lefty for a while.

Thanks! ♦

Never hurts to be ambidextrous, if you can find ways to challenge yourself and get good work out of switching up in training. But it's not "necessary" to switch. I fight a lot of southpaws - there are a shocking number of them in Thailand (maybe it's a normal ratio but there are just SO MANY fighters out here) - and they never seem to have a problem with me being orthodox because that's the norm, but occasionally if I switch stance they get confused because it's not what they're used to training with (generally speaking). I'm almost useless when I go southpaw and I don't do it because I'm so skilled that I can switch, I can only stay like that for a short while.

There's this guy JR who is incredible. He's naturally southpaw but will fight the first two rounds orthodox, then switch in the 3rd round. It not only confuses the hell out of his opponent, but he's STRONGER than the first two rounds... even though he could kick anyone's ass in any stance at all. Master K, my first trainer, is also southpaw but learned and fought orthodox because he just copied what everyone else at his gym was doing. So he's just massively strong on his front side, which is awesome for fighting.

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I think there is a difference between newbie mistakes and what annoys me.

 

For example a lot of newbies try to block every kick, it doesn't bother me but sometimes in light sparring taking the kick to give a better one back works better.

Things that do annoy me are low kicking too low or kicking my ankle whilst I am blocking.  I have had many an elbow in the tops of the foot from panic reactions on rib kicks or teeps which are never nice.  I usually forgive them if they go hard as its a nerves thing but hitting or kicking hard after the bell has gone frustrates me.  I also get frustrated if someone stops bent over as if they are hurt and I ask if they are okay and they then take the opportunity to hit or kick.  All of this happens rarely and I am sure I have annoyed a few people in my time so I generally try not to complain as we all had to learn once and I am still learning from those who are more experienced.

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Things that do annoy me are low kicking too low or kicking my ankle whilst I am blocking.  I have had many an elbow in the tops of the foot from panic reactions on rib kicks or teeps which are never nice. 

Aren't those things that you're supposed to do?

 

I was taught when you're aiming for a low kick, aim right above the knee so that if they check you don't kick them in the knee (which will hurt the kicker more than kicking the ankle/shin where there's a little more give because the knee bends when the shin/ankle is kicked, absorbing part of the power if you don't have time to stop your kick).

 

I was also taught to a way to block rib kicks with my arms such that my elbow is covering my lower ribs, because 1) it discourages kicks, and, 2) it can be faster than checking a rib kick with your leg.

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, but both of those things seem like normal things to me.

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Its difficult to explain in a post but a lot of people don't cover their ribs then panic move back so it's your foot not your shin and cover them elbowing the kicker in the top of the foot.  If your ribs are already covered the kicker would kick the outside of the arm and the kick would be turned in if that make any sense. 

 

The low kick often occurs when I haven't blocked but they kick my ankle bone instead of my thigh and the when I block they often catch my foot or ankle instead of my shin.

 

Hope that makes sense!

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