Learning to box southpaw?
I just started taking boxing lessons in effort to balance myself out as a martial artist. My intention is to develop the basic striking and body mechanics needed to defend myself when clinching is not the best option. So I've come here for feedback on a thought about learning to box as a southpaw.
Here are my thoughts why having my strong hand forward would be beneficial:
1) I'll always be a grappler at heart and I shoot with my right leg. Having my shooting leg forward will place me that much closer to the shot (if I have to take it).
2) Since most people are right handed, I will naturally circle away from their power hand.
3) I figure that my jab will be a primary technique and using my strong arm would be wise in a self defense situation where sticking and moving is the best option.
Again, I have no idea what I'm talking about which is why I present these initial ideas for you to comment on. As a grappler, I realize that learning strong-side techniques is the best course of action. However, I have no intentions of becoming an outstanding boxer and thought a modification to integrate my grappling skills (or lack of them) would work for my objective.
Taking a step forward as you shoot is a good way to stay strong on your takedown while using an orthodox stance. (I believe Omega talked about shooting this way..? It switches you from right leg in the back to left leg in the back)
Imo, it's beneficial to keep your power hand in the rear to generate more power with it. With a bit of training and muscle memory, there are very small difference between a strong or weak handed Jab. On the other hand, there are much larger differences with a cross and uppercut from the strong and weak hand. So you're basically throwing away the advantage of having a strong arm. You're taking your cannon and turning it into a pistol.
Also, if you decide to start kicking, many people find it far easier to learn to kick with their dominant leg (which I assume is right), which generates more power and (imo) is easier to throw from the back.
Your jab is your primary technique, but changing everything to help set that up is like saying you ONLY do RNC when you grapple, so you turtle all day and wait for the opening to take their back to tap them out. Sure, it might work, but imho it's not the best way to approach the situation. Not to mention that working the jab with the left hand gets your hand-eye coordination up to speed, to the point where the difference between the left and right jabbing are negligible. There're many other good reasons why even Pro boxers have their power hand in the back.
Of course, it all comes down to personal preference in the end; I just don't think that forcibly changing to Southpaw just for grappling will help much. If you're a good grappler, you should be fine, especially with most basic takedowns. (Throws are another story, I've had TONS trouble doing Judo throws with my weak side)
Take what I said with a grain of salt, there are other far more experienced people here who can also answer for you. Not to mention that I don't listen to my own advice myself; I change between southpaw and orthodox constantly as I strike. Also, as long as you stick to your stance decision, muscle memory and strength will build and the difference won't be as noticeable.
Edit: My own personal opinion: Go for it! Fighting Southpaw is different, and you'll be able to take some more experienced fighters by surprise if there are few left-handers there. Not to mention that you should be training for fun, and I personally find Southpaw to be more fun. Throwing a knockout punch with the weak hand is oh so satisfying.
To be fair though, I snowboard and skateboard Goofy (right foot forward), but my strong arm is on my right side and I scooter Regular.
Oh, and barehanded MA is much more of a recreational hobby than a self-defense discipline. If you want to defend yourself, you should take some stick/knife fighting styles and a small arms firing program.
Last edited by Cuddles; 4/18/2013 10:57pm at .
I actually teach my students to shoot in from what I call "Strong Side Forward Stance" if the person is naturally a right handed fighter. It makes obtaining the T-Position clinch much easier and you are using your strong hand (right) against his weak hand. It also allows you to obtain the single leg much easier as well.
By keeping your right foot on the outside of his left foot does allow you to avoid his right hand and right leg much easier. If for some reason you can not keep your right foot on the outside of his left foot then you can always parry his straight right and shoot in to obtain T-Position clinch with your head near his shoulder blade. You can easily go for a rear trip takedown from there. Even if you donít plan on taking your opponent down you can always wear him down with powerful jabs and right hooks to the head and body.
I myself am a right handed person but a long time ago I decided to fight as a southpaw. My boxing coaches tried to get me out of the habit but I ignored them. I spent many hours learning to hit hard with my left hand and today I feel I hit harder with my left than my right. 34 years later I still fight southpaw and I feel it gives me an advantage especially for takedowns.
I say keep up with this strategy because you will benefit from it. Also learn to strike with and kick the left hand and leg as well. Being able to switch stances is a bonus.