Monday, August 15, 2011

This is my strong hand...

Have you ever been drilling a technique and realized that it works better from one side or the other?  The thought of my left side being so inefficient and my right side techniques flow a lot smoother has been bothering me for several weeks now. I am to the point, where I need to focus on improving my weak side to improve my techniques from any position and help me work more escapes and others.

Since my loss in focus and concentration a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a gem of a book called, Body-Mind-Mastery: Training for Sport and Life by Dan Millman. This book discusses how to use natural laws in nature and life influences your training and performance in whatever sport you are currently involved.If it outlines some really deep ideals on training and performance in sports and how it interacts with your life.

Now, I was reading the other day in the book about symmetry between your body and muscles. If you were capable to perform any movement with either your weak or strong side you could reduce injuries, by not limiting yourself to one side, you could train longer, by switching side to side, and you would be come more versatile in your sport.

 Naturally, you are going to favor your dominant side and move somewhat effortlessly in your movements. If you could train your weak side to be as strong as or stronger than your dominant side, would you take the time? I am sure a majority of you would say, “Yes!” Who would not jump at the chance to improve their game?  The list of pros definitely outweighs the cons in my book.  The only con I could come up with is the sheer awkwardness of trying techniques from the other side. I am sure there are others, but the pro for me would be less fatique on my dominant side, more escapes, more submissions, and the ability to increase my skill level by utilizing 100% of my body.

I am going to start trying to do things with my left side and see if I can activate the opposite side of my brain and increase my efficiency on my left side. Some things I have already started doing, I moved my mouse over to my left side and I have started trying to do things with my opposite hand. I managed to write the alphabet 10 times with my left hand, it looks like chicken scratch, but I felt like I was concentrating and focusing a lot more than I would have done if I were just writing with my dominant hand. This is going to be a fun experiment and I will try to keep you posted on my progress. How do you train your opposite side or have you ever tried to use your non-dominant side during your daily activities?


  1. Interesting. I may have to check out that book. I can relate to the comment about reducing injuries by encouraging symmetry in use. I have actually had some hip pain flare up from constantly drilling a butterfly sweep to the one side. Now I make sure to work both sides if that particular sweep is the focus of a class!

    I have considered trying to work both sides for a technique, but I think I am still too new. Unless I've seen the tech a handful of times, I just confuse myself trying to do both sides. And that is frustrating.

    It's super interesting though, because I have done tech with a guy who was drilling both sides. He did it perfectly on the one side, but his body would forget a key detail going the other way. What the heck, brain?!?!

  2. It is a very interesting book, it goes into a lot of detail about dealing with stress and fear of preparing for a competition and gives some good training tips.

    I tried techniques on my left side last week and after thinking about them doing some mental drilling of them in my head, I was impressed when I could do the tech somewhat flawless. I even got Tim,my instructor, to critique it to make sure I was not doing something out of the ordinary.

    Try it sometime during open mat and let me know how your left side works. Thanks for your comments!

  3. Drilling both sides is important. We can't expect our opponent to go to our strong side.

    I take my right arm and loop it under my belt and grab my excess belt to keep me from using my dominant arm. It makes my hips move more and keeps my left arm moving to accommodate.