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Thread: Practicing techniques on both sides

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    Renée is offline
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    Question Practicing techniques on both sides

    I sometimes feel that I should be practicing techniques on both left
    and right sides. I can understand doing them all on their 'original' side
    for the sake of doing the form. I know in the videos there is a small
    mention from time to time about practicing both sides, but that's about it.
    What do you guys think?

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    unshackled-chi is offline
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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Hey, just my two scents here, but i strongly recomend trainning on both side at all times, we never know which lead we will have facing an attacker or GOD forbid a mass attack situation.

    If the goal is total warrior, then both sides being coordinated and trained are a must...in my opinion of course haha.


    cool post! and overlooked !
    "Mighty power like steel is our Kata and heritage which require a long time of practice and training. It is what men are seeking, just only for their self-respect and self-defense."
    MASTER MEITOKU YAGI

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Training both sides

    Mods will probably move it any way (It's how Rob gets his jollies), but you might want to check here.
    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    The mentioned thread has some good thoughts. However, another perspective: realize that most of the comments in that thread are coming from the perspective of EPAK, i.e. 154+ techniques. In the IKCA, we only have 55 techniques, and when you subtract those that are done against a bearhug, full nelson, etc., you have a few less. Therefore, it is much more practical and useful to practice the IKCA techniques on both sides.

    Just a side note: it is also useful to be able to do the techniques on both sides when teaching. Expecially with a group of children, I teach the techniques on the opposite side to provide a "mirror" so they can follow the movements much easier.

    You're not going to hurt yourself by learning them on both sides! But, to paraphrase concepts of the previous thread: you do have a strong side--take advantage of it.

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    I don't practice or teach them on the opposite side. There is enough material if you break them down to the real meat & potatos of what is involved that one side is enough. We've got techs designed for each side - and most of us are right side dominant anywho. Kenpo is Kenpo - except when it ain't. But when it is - no square pegs in round holes. :P
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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Let me clarify: I don't teach the techniques on the other side, I simply perform them that way while facing the class because it's easier for children to follow. I normally do it the right way with older teens and adults, because they can make the "translation" in their minds.
    I also don't push or require students to learn them on both sides; but I do mention it in passing once in a while. I agree, one side is enough. But I do think there is some value in learning the other side to some techniques. Just for flow, spontenaity, dexterity, etc.

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    In the original videos, GM Sullivan and GM LeRoux bout specifically say taht you should practice every technique on both sides.

    Even teh grab defenses can be done bilaterally...Escaping Ram - step with the right foot and kick with the left, for example.

    The ability to use each technique on both sides is one of the beauties of the IKCA curriculum. Add to it the different attacks that can be defended with the same technique (Beheading the Dragon works just as well for outside a left punch as it does inside a right punch as it does outside a lapel grab, etc) and the number of uses increases dramatically. Prefix, Suffix, Insert, Re-arrange,Alter, Adjust, Regulate, and Delete movements as needed and you have the infinte techniques.

    But you have to start with working on both sides and borrowing and blending.

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Quote Originally Posted by stone_dragone View Post
    In the original videos, GM Sullivan and GM LeRoux bout specifically say taht you should practice every technique on both sides.

    Even teh grab defenses can be done bilaterally...Escaping Ram - step with the right foot and kick with the left, for example.

    The ability to use each technique on both sides is one of the beauties of the IKCA curriculum. Add to it the different attacks that can be defended with the same technique (Beheading the Dragon works just as well for outside a left punch as it does inside a right punch as it does outside a lapel grab, etc) and the number of uses increases dramatically. Prefix, Suffix, Insert, Re-arrange,Alter, Adjust, Regulate, and Delete movements as needed and you have the infinte techniques.

    But you have to start with working on both sides and borrowing and blending.

    I concur lol.

    Alittle experiment , write your name with your dominat hand, in my case right, now switch write your name with your left !

    Maybe a simple analogy, but its the same name, you have done it a million times, but connecting the dots feels a little wierd (EH)

    My point is, that feeling you have when writting on your non-dominant hand, would not be a good feeling in a fight .

    P.s it is just a preference of mine, does it matter ? that might be best left to the individual to decide. I work from home and have a live in training partner so i have to find ways to pass the time hahahaha
    "Mighty power like steel is our Kata and heritage which require a long time of practice and training. It is what men are seeking, just only for their self-respect and self-defense."
    MASTER MEITOKU YAGI

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Quote Originally Posted by unshackled-chi View Post
    It is just a preference of mine, does it matter ? that might be best left to the individual to decide. I work from home and have a live in training partner so i have to find ways to pass the time hahahaha
    You lucky dog!
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Techniques inside of two hand grabs, hugs and pushes are the lowest priority to practice both sides of. This is not to say unnecessary, merely of the lowest priority.

    Kenpo Gary

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    I am a strong believer in being able to do techniques from either side. There aree a lot of left handers out there, Who know how you might be attacked. Right or Left. We do some of the forms both sides also.

    I am Most respectfully,
    Sifuroy

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    A term that has stuck with me over the years is the "stupid side". Doing a technique on the opposite side feels 'stupid' sometimes! lol

    Doing techniques on the "stupid side" is a valuable tool.
    "Fall seven times, stand up eight." Japanese proverb

    "I've seen some cats do some crazy stuff like bending swords with their necks and breaking flaming bricks... thats great and all but can they fight?" *shrugs* Moses Powell

    -Hank Colado

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Last night I started practicing the master form using the other side...

    That really messed me up, too. I can do each technique on the opposite side, but when I try to string them together, it maxes out my brain power!

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    Talking Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    It was in Amite, LA in 2000 when Mr. Sullivan and I were standing there watching Mr. Paul Britton (who was then a 6th dan in IKCA) doing the master form. All of a sudden, Mr. Sullivan realized that something was different about the form this time. He looked at me and said, "He's doing the master form on the opposite side!" Then, he smiled and said to me, "He can do the form better on the opposite side that I can on the normal side." It was pretty incredible.

    For Mr. Britton's 7th dan test, he incorporated the techniques on both sides for the master form. Amazing. Mr Sullivan said, "What do we call this? The mother master form?" LOL! It was great. Great memories.

    My best,
    Jeff
    Jeff McLaughlin
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    http://JeffSpeakmanAR.com

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should."

    I'm a single side guy. This is a discussion that can go on ad nauseum, but I've yet to see someone who can do something in a self defense perspective equally well both sides. You can be competent on one side, but you'll always be dominant on the other. From my perspective it's far more efficient to train both sides to do tasks that benefit their respective pieces of the puzzle. We've got techniques that take advantage of this setup already. Training them the other way muddles the waters a bit from a neuromuscular perspective. You have to build new mental pathways in the brain to take advantage of movements that are set up for the dominant side to use. I find it to be more advantagous to develop the "weak" sides applications with the recognition that it is indeed my "weak" side - and I have drills and exercises to do that. Example is a hammering inward block. The right side I can slam that with enough power to deaden any arm I've hit yet. Left side just don't feel right. So while it's a tool that I could eventually develop to be reasonably competent with, it isn't really that important, cause I have tools on my dominant side that would fit better in any application I could use a left hammering inward on.

    Just my perspective, but I figured I'd throw it out there.
    ~ Steve Zalazowski
    Continuing Student of the Arts.

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    I can't disagree with the "work your strong side more to be able to take advantage of it" mentality (vs the "work the weak side more to bring it up to snuff" mentality), but I do believe firmly in trying to develop both sides, for two primary reasons:

    First (and lesser) - To be able to use all techniques in all places.

    Second (more important) - by doing new things on different sides, you exponentially increase the neural pathways for both sides. Tests have shown that the simple act of learning to write legibly with your non-dominant hand has great impact in other areas, activating opposite side of the brain much more. To a musician, learning different instruments (piano, drums, trumpet, saxophone - all different groups with vastly different ways of making music) makes you an exponentially better musician...I see a parallel with our system.

    But in the end, we can agree to disagree and head to the buffet to discuss other matters...damn I love that GenTsaos chicken!

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Quote Originally Posted by stone_dragone View Post
    I can't disagree with the "work your strong side more to be able to take advantage of it" mentality (vs the "work the weak side more to bring it up to snuff" mentality), but I do believe firmly in trying to develop both sides, for two primary reasons:

    First (and lesser) - To be able to use all techniques in all places.

    Second (more important) - by doing new things on different sides, you exponentially increase the neural pathways for both sides. Tests have shown that the simple act of learning to write legibly with your non-dominant hand has great impact in other areas, activating opposite side of the brain much more. To a musician, learning different instruments (piano, drums, trumpet, saxophone - all different groups with vastly different ways of making music) makes you an exponentially better musician...I see a parallel with our system.

    But in the end, we can agree to disagree and head to the buffet to discuss other matters...damn I love that GenTsaos chicken!
    Agreed with you there, activating the brain is always a good thing. However, I'll use your comparison for the opposite side as well . None of those areas are utilizing your neural pathways in an instance wherein your life is on the line. I'm a firm believer in developing your "weak" side to be reasonably competent. But trying to teach mirrored movements based in a system that is what it is - a right side dominant system - requires neural pathways that are not conducive to direct, explosive action to be there. When you are subjected to REAL stress - where you must make life or death decisions in split second time increments, you will ALWAYS work with your dominant half, because the dominant half controls the reflexive and flight or fright reactions. Working from that perspective, I reinforce the actions and movements that build pathways so that my body will work as a solid unit with both sides complimenting each other's strengths. The neural pathways I've built and continue to build for my "weak" side are set up to provide motor functions that will work under stress. The last thing anyone wants to do in a crisis is panic because you've confused which side you trained technique X to do. I conducted an experiment with two of my students from 2005 to early 2006 because I called BS on Doc's perspective that I've mirrored in my own training that you'll have a dominant side that will be the one that responds under duress. I trained two of my students, one learned the yellow belt techs on both sides, the other learned them and practiced them on both sides. When subjected to real stress - which meant I padded up and told them I would be attacking them with attacks found in the yellow belt techs and I would not stop unless I felt they did sufficient damage to stop me, and once defeated I would get back up and keep going for an undetermined amount of time - I'll give you a wild guess to see who functioned and who froze. Admittedly there was an age gap between the two, but I did pick the one who said he was ambidextrous all his life to prove my point as the one I taught both sides to. There was no control group and I didn't inform them of what I was doing, I just taught them that way. This is now 2008 and the one I taught both sides to still freezes sometimes when subjected to stress and forced to respond. He winds up out of position with his weak hand tied inexorably to his body and throws his structure out of whack so even his strong hand can't retaliate effectively. The times he can tap into the motor pathways that compliment what he's doing instead of fire the half mirror image version he functions just fine. I actually feel kind of bad I ingrained incorrect habits into him for a year but I've also committed whatever time I need to with him to help him deprogram himself.

    Great discussion here btw.
    ~ Steve Zalazowski
    Continuing Student of the Arts.

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Quote Originally Posted by JSK-5.0-AR View Post
    It was in Amite, LA in 2000 when Mr. Sullivan and I were standing there watching Mr. Paul Britton (who was then a 6th dan in IKCA) doing the master form. All of a sudden, Mr. Sullivan realized that something was different about the form this time. He looked at me and said, "He's doing the master form on the opposite side!" Then, he smiled and said to me, "He can do the form better on the opposite side that I can on the normal side." It was pretty incredible.

    For Mr. Britton's 7th dan test, he incorporated the techniques on both sides for the master form. Amazing. Mr Sullivan said, "What do we call this? The mother master form?" LOL! It was great. Great memories.

    My best,
    Jeff
    Anyone have vdieo of that? I'm not a fan of Mr. Brittons at all, per se, I've just heard about that event and wanted to see for myself.
    ~ Steve Zalazowski
    Continuing Student of the Arts.

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Quote Originally Posted by IWishToLearn View Post
    "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should."

    I'm a single side guy. This is a discussion that can go on ad nauseum, but I've yet to see someone who can do something in a self defense perspective equally well both sides. You can be competent on one side, but you'll always be dominant on the other. From my perspective it's far more efficient to train both sides to do tasks that benefit their respective pieces of the puzzle. We've got techniques that take advantage of this setup already. Training them the other way muddles the waters a bit from a neuromuscular perspective. You have to build new mental pathways in the brain to take advantage of movements that are set up for the dominant side to use. I find it to be more advantagous to develop the "weak" sides applications with the recognition that it is indeed my "weak" side - and I have drills and exercises to do that. Example is a hammering inward block. The right side I can slam that with enough power to deaden any arm I've hit yet. Left side just don't feel right. So while it's a tool that I could eventually develop to be reasonably competent with, it isn't really that important, cause I have tools on my dominant side that would fit better in any application I could use a left hammering inward on.

    Just my perspective, but I figured I'd throw it out there.

    I'm fairly ambidextrious and train both sides. The most confusing part is when required to show a technique, "now was that a right punch or a left?". I've been jumped from behind where the situation lended itself to an opposite side technique...right hand grab on my left shoulder from behind; the Tracy curriculum doesn't have anything that fits that attack. I responded with a variation of Crash of the Eagle, which put him on his back and ended quickly. Regardless of the use of individual techniques, when you're forced to respond outside of the box, it simply gives more tools at your disposal.
    "Many years of training is wasted by one night of drinking"-oldslowguy

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    Default Re: Practicing techniques on both sides

    Quote Originally Posted by unshackled-chi View Post
    I concur lol.

    Alittle experiment , write your name with your dominat hand, in my case right, now switch write your name with your left !

    Maybe a simple analogy, but its the same name, you have done it a million times, but connecting the dots feels a little wierd (EH)

    My point is, that feeling you have when writting on your non-dominant hand, would not be a good feeling in a fight .

    P.s it is just a preference of mine, does it matter ? that might be best left to the individual to decide. I work from home and have a live in training partner so i have to find ways to pass the time hahahaha

    Good analogy. I think the point is: "Your off side is weak because you choose to not develop it." There are many examples of people who learned to write with their off hand due to necessity. I think the only counter arguement anyone has to developing the off hand, is that it requires twice as much time to develop techniques which could be better focused on the primary side.
    "Many years of training is wasted by one night of drinking"-oldslowguy

    "Pain may be a cruel master..........but it breeds diligent pupils."

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