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Thread: Techniques on Both Sides

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    Default Techniques on Both Sides

    Since this is becoming a debated topic, I thought I would start a new thread on it.

    I do not encourage my students to spend their time working the techniques on the left side because the system was designed to use our dominant side to our advantage for a reason. Also, our "right sided" responses work great whether the opponent is attacking us with a left or right punch, kick, push, or whatever.

    I believe that practising my techniques on the left side is a waste of my time since all of that time could have been devoted to improving my Kenpo exactly the way Ed Parker designed it.

    Here's one question to ponder: if you were attacked on the street, would you not react, by overall, using your strong side forward? Absolutely. Our brain reacts that way. So then, why not take advantage of practising and getter better at using that dominant side precisely how Ed Parker created it?


    Jamie Seabrook
    Last edited by Seabrook; 02-08-2006 at 10:51 AM.
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    No arguments from me there!

    I do have one question though. I've heard/read that the original Parker forms were actually intended to be performed on both sides. We don't do this, but I was wondering if you knew how true that was?

    I guess I may have 2 questions.... . If the former is indeed true, what would be the purpose?
    "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

    Jamie,
    I mostly practice techniques one sided. However, I have found some merit to doing the opposite side. If was better for me for position recognition on certain techniques. I've also found (for me) that some techniques I did on the opposite side let me graft into a strong side forward technique that previously wouldn't have let me.
    In the II series Mr. Parker did have forms from short 1 - long 3 required on both sides. As there could be merit to that personally I've only practiced up to long 2 on the opposite side. Long 3 is already double sided so I see no need to practice that on the opposite side. There's enough material to cover than to spend my time as well figureing out each individual thing on the opposite side.

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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    I do like to practice both sides. though it is less for being able to react with an identical technique weather it is thrown with the left or the right attack.. but rather to train my body to be equally effective with basic motions on either side.

    Even something as simple as hammering inward block. If I practice my techniques only on one side then I work my right inward hammer block 30 40 times, developing the muscle memory and precision with that arm to be able to block and strike with great power and effeciancy. If I do not train my left side in the same way then my basic blocks are going to be inherantly weaker and less accurate.

    It's like going to the gym and only lifting with the right side of my body because I am right handed.

    so short answer... I work both sides to keep both sides sharp.

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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by jfarnsworth
    Jamie,
    In the II series Mr. Parker did have forms from short 1 - long 3 required on both sides. As there could be merit to that personally I've only practiced up to long 2 on the opposite side. Long 3 is already double sided so I see no need to practice that on the opposite side. There's enough material to cover than to spend my time as well figureing out each individual thing on the opposite side.
    Cool...so I'm not crazy? LOL. Good point about Long 3 etc..you do already perform the techniques on both sides. I agree that there's more than enough material to occupy one's time. Didn't Doc say something about not even teaching past Long 3 any more???

    Anyway, that brings me back to the 2nd question. If not for the techniques, why in the forms? Was it because they were already mirrored in the forms and would therefore be redundant?
    "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: Techniques on Both Sides

    When teaching, I never require that students learn the techniques on both sides, but I do encourage them to try it. 9 times out of 10, when I have the beginners doing circle drill, someone ends up with their left side forward and the attacker throws a right hook punch. In this case there is no need for them to switch their footwork to get right side forward and do Delayed Sword, instead I encourage them to do Sword of Destruction or Sheilding Hammer on the left side.

    Also, since most of our forms involve executing from both sides it somewhat forces you to become fluent with both sides.
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBunny
    I do like to practice both sides. though it is less for being able to react with an identical technique weather it is thrown with the left or the right attack.. but rather to train my body to be equally effective with basic motions on either side.
    No matter how hard we try, we can't be "equally effective" on both sides. In fact, trying to get your techniques down on the left side can delay your muscle response if you were ever really attacked. I am more worried about protecting myself than I am about whether my left arm is as strong as my right, or whether my left arm is as equally worked as my right.

    Do you think Ed Parker was ambidextrous? While I only met with him once, my guess is that he was not, and that he didn't try to be given the way he designed his system.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    No arguments from me there!

    I do have one question though. I've heard/read that the original Parker forms were actually intended to be performed on both sides. We don't do this, but I was wondering if you knew how true that was?

    I guess I may have 2 questions.... . If the former is indeed true, what would be the purpose?
    Before answering, what do you mean by the "original forms"?
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler
    Anyway, that brings me back to the 2nd question. If not for the techniques, why in the forms? Was it because they were already mirrored in the forms and would therefore be redundant?
    Great question.

    Yes, the forms are pretty much done on both sides anyway. But I still view them as using our dominant right side.

    That stated, no doubt the forms done in their mirror image improve our basics substantially, on both the left and right sides.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    The long forms are done on both sides and the short forms on one. I always thought it was a little silly to do short one on both sides because when you do long one, you are essentially doing short one on both sides.

    I can't imagine not doing the forms past long 3. I LOVE form 4!

    I find that when I know a technique really well, doing it on the other side is pretty easy. Not on every technique, but on a lot of them. I think doing the forms (4-6 included) really help with transferring moves on both sides.

    It's interesting that some don't matter so much. Like Leap of death, for instance. Once you've leaped, it doesn't matter whether you do the rest on the 'left side' or the right. For some, it's just the initial movements that are a little different. The rest work either way.

    The extension to gathering clouds, too. You can claw to the left or right, depending which kick you start with, and it makes no difference.

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    Great question.

    Yes, the forms are pretty much done on both sides anyway. But I still view them as using our dominant right side.

    That stated, no doubt the forms done in their mirror image improve our basics substantially, on both the left and right sides.
    That is precisely why I work my techniques on both sides.. like I said.. not to be able to act on those techniques for both sides but to solidify even the most basic movement.

    Was SGM Parker Ambi? likely not... very few are.. if any. I know I am not. Does that mean I should simply accept that my left side will naturaly be less effective than my right? Thus not bother to train that side as much? Thats just silly in my extrodinarrily humble opinion.

    This is also not to say that every technique I learn I spend as much time on both sides... I wish I were that diciplined or that I had enough time to do so.. I don't... but I do train my left when I am able.. and I consider myself better for it.

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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Doing the techs. on both sides is a great way to work your mind and the other side of your body but all in all I would have to agree that you would react with your dominant side by nature.

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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Practicing yourtechniques on both sides is a waste of time. There are techniques designed to take care of right handed attacks and left handed attacks. By trying to work both sides the student often gets confused. That is why you do not see it until Long Form 3 when the student has enough skill to comprehend all the aspects of doing something on both sides.

    As Jamie said you will never be as god with your off hand as you are with your dominant hand, that is just our make up as human beings.

    Too often beginners think that they are gonna learn every technique, and the relearn it on the other side of the body. Unfortunately those students don't stay around that long because they burn out and quit, and end up telling people there is too muchto the art. Those that don't burn out and quit end up dropping tryingto learn the other side.

    There is a method to the madness and SGM Parker laid it out that way for a reason.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Unfortunately for us lefties, we have to learn most of the techniques on our weak side.

    It helps overall brain function though to have to practice it that way.

    Long 1 and long 2 introduce the idea of both sides. That's what the longs are for.

    -Amy
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    Here's one question to ponder: if you were attacked on the street, would you not react, by overall, using your strong side forward? Absolutely. Our brain reacts that way. So then, why not take advantage of practising and getter better at using that dominant side precisely how Ed Parker created it?


    Jamie Seabrook
    What if you could not fight with your strong side forward for some reason? This is why I learned to fight on both sides. If something on your strong side is broken and than you cant lose it you had better be able to fight on your other side. My studio leaves it up to the student to play with both sides of the technique, we tell them that it would be better for them if they can do things on both sides.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBunny
    Does that mean I should simply accept that my left side will naturaly be less effective than my right? Thus not bother to train that side as much? Thats just silly in my extrodinarrily humble opinion.
    That's not what I am saying. The forms and sets get us to do the same on both sides, and I practice them diligently...all forms from Short 1 to Long 8, and all of the sets (first and second ones).

    But, in terms of the techniques, the left is still used a lot of the time but just in different ways than our dominant side.

    Here's an example. I spar a lot. And the weapon that I tend to hit with the most is my lead hand left jab or lead leg left kick (be it side, roudhouse, or whatever). How could that be given that I don't practice my techniques on the left side? The answer is that our left is already built into the system anway, just not like our dominant side is. But it's silly to only fight with a lead hand, or lead leg, so I use my power (dominant right) shots as follow-ups to my leads.
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate
    What if you could not fight with your strong side forward for some reason?
    Then I would.......fight with the other side forward.

    The left side IS ALREADY BUILT-IN TO EPAK. Because of American Kenpo's techniques, we should all be able to use both sides with maximum effectiveness, and yes, by practising the techniques as they are written, and not by having to do them on the other side.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    Quote Originally Posted by Seabrook
    I spar a lot. And the weapon that I tend to hit with the most is my lead hand left jab or lead leg left kick (be it side, roudhouse, or whatever).
    Thanks for the tip! I'll remember that if we ever spar. LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by RobBroad
    Too often beginners think that they are gonna learn every technique, and the relearn it on the other side of the body. Unfortunately those students don't stay around that long because they burn out and quit, and end up telling people there is too muchto the art. Those that don't burn out and quit end up dropping tryingto learn the other side.
    That is sooo true. I can recall several students over the years that started out gung-ho and wanted to learn everything on both sides.....I have no idea what they're doing right now.
    "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: Techniques on Both Sides

    I think what this really comes down to is the feeling of "having" to learn both sides and "wanting" to really sharpen your less dominant skillset.

    I do not think that it takes away from your abilities on your dominant side.. but to say that you shoulden't bother or to say that it is a wast of time to make an extra effort of training your less dominant side I honestly believe is selling yourself short.

    Personally, when I spar I rather like forcing a right handed fighter to defend against left handed attacks also it makes them either continue using ther right side in an open faced engagement or to use a less comfortable fighting side to keep it closed.

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    Default Re: Techniques on Both Sides

    The sets,and the freestyle requirements are more than enough to build the other side of the body. But to take the time to learn the opposite side of each technique is time that could be spent building your existing techniques, forms, sets, and freestyle requirements.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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