July, Theme of the Month: Left Handed

The Bible contains 25 unfavorable references to being left handed (it's where the goats sit)...

The custom of shaking hands comes from medieval times when, upon encountering, people would hold each other's right hand to show that neither of them was carrying a weapon. Lefties could not be trusted because they could shake their enemy's right hand and hold a sword behind them with their left hand...

Then there is the way we talk about the left hand. In Latin, the word for "left" is "sinister", which has come into English meaning "evil." The French word for "left" is "gauche", which in English means "awkward" or "tactless." The English word "left" comes from the Old English left, meaning "weak."...

Why all the hate? Some of the most awesome Balintawak practitioners I know are Lefties!

The Dog Brothers introduced me to a concept that I really appreciated regarding the way you talk about your body. They said you should never refer to your sides as your "strong/dominant side" and your "weak side" because subconsciously your body will agree. Instead they refer to them as (I think) their "Power Side" and their "Speed Side". This really resonated with me as I was coming from a Kickboxing background where we use the jab to probe and the right to bomb. I was really excited the first time heard Grand Master Taboada refer to our left hand as "the Feeler" and our right hand as "the Killer". The lesson I take from this is that everything you have is a tool and it has a specific job, don't disparage one tool for another. Figure out how to use them. One of the many jobs of the left can be to teach the right...

Balintawak functions on several assumptions, like the person you are facing is skilled. Since the majority of people are right handed it is assumed that your opponent will be as well. For the same reason Balintawak is taught holding the weapon in the right hand. While this is all well and good there is tremendous value in picking up your weapon with your less dominant hand. When we train with our dominant side we tend to take the motions for granted since we do them all the time. We become complacent and can plateau with this attitude. By picking up our weapon with our less dominant side we are forced to think about every step of our mechanics which allows us to apply this heightened awareness back to our dominant side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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