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    Regarding left and right handedness

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    Steve Leadbeater

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Steve Leadbeater on Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:21 pm

    Please rest assured that I will continue to work with Quicksilver in the use of Double sleeve and double lapel within the framework of understanding that a single style is not for everybody and some experimentation and variation is needed to get the best from the Art.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:22 pm

    JudoStu wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    ccwscott wrote:How much do you focus on being able to fight from both sides?  It seems quite often at high level play, that even right handed players will end up in a left handed grip.  The way I was always instructed was to have one or two throws from the left side, but is it common for high level players to be nearly as proficient on both sides with all their throws?

    No, it is not common at all. It's actually extremely rare. Most successful competitors who master a couple of techniques to the other side have done so for a particular reason, such as:

    - injury forced them
    - the particular technique rather than really 'right' or 'left' is somewhat neutral or facilitates doing it from the opposite side (for example, yoko-tomoe-nage)
    - a strategic planning in the case of exceptional rivalry between two champions with the outcome of the match difficult to predict (Frank Wieneke's left seoi-nage on Neil Adams in the final of the LA 1984 Olympics in the -78 kg class)

    Angelo Parisi was one of the exceptional jûdôka who regularly displayed highly technical throws from both sides. Particularly his seoi-otoshi was known to be devastating irrespective of whether it was the right or left version. But even Parisi, did not master half the gokyô from both sides with the same level of skill.

    Do you encourage students to practice throws from both right and left sides and if so do you only start doing this once they are at a certain level?
    I ask as throwing left sided has never really been encouraged in my club but, now that I am 2nd kyu, I am trying to practice both sides equally.

    No, and it is not recommended to teach jûdôka directly from the start techniques to both sides. It is confusing. In one of my clubs, years ago when I was away people were taught a number of throws (sasae, hiza-guruma) from the left. I am still struggling with the consequences, i.e. even some black belts not knowing which version is left and which right. There is scientific evidence as to why it is discouraged in judo to do so, and it has to do with motor skills. I encourage judoka at a certain level though to start doing techniques from the other side. That is usually when they have reached a certain limit in learning techniques from the gokyô. At one point jûdôka will know most of those techniques in a sense, but can't really throw with several of them, whereas others exceed the level of their technical ability (that is nearly always the case with kûki-nage techniques, which virtually no jûdôka can do). At that point introducing techniques from the other sides is as if you are offering 'new' techniques.

    I am not addressing the case of children here. that is a special case as one has to take into account issues with growth and development and prevention of unilateral development.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:25 pm

    Quicksilver wrote:Good evening,

    My apologies that it has taken me this long to get back to this topic (the preliminary HSC has been eating my spare time), and many thanks to everyone who has replied. Your comments and suggestions are of great interest to me and very much appreciated. Smile I've been trying working with double sleeve and double lapel grips of late but tend to end up almost perpetually changing grips anyway; which is more of a product my still trying to work out what does and doesn't work with my Judo in general than anything specifically grip related.

    I meant binary more in the sense of black and white; a better way to phrase the query might have been how much does dominance of either side in, for example, handwriting, translate to one's Judo- but that has been addressed too.

    Thank you! Interesting discussion. Smile

    Warm regards,


    -QS

    I would not spend too much time on the double-sleeve approach. It is not one of the most effective ways of using grip, with the exception of a few world elite-class athlete, who each particular qualities mere mortals usually do not have such as incredible explosive force and grip strength. "Mere mortals" rarely excel in double-sleeve grip. It simply makes the tsurite movement too difficult. Focus on the rest instead, and come back to double-sleeve when most people in your club address you as master and sink to their knees. That's the same point in time one can generally start thinking about kûki-nage techniques ...


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    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
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    JudoStu

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by JudoStu on Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:21 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    JudoStu wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    ccwscott wrote:How much do you focus on being able to fight from both sides?  It seems quite often at high level play, that even right handed players will end up in a left handed grip.  The way I was always instructed was to have one or two throws from the left side, but is it common for high level players to be nearly as proficient on both sides with all their throws?

    No, it is not common at all. It's actually extremely rare. Most successful competitors who master a couple of techniques to the other side have done so for a particular reason, such as:

    - injury forced them
    - the particular technique rather than really 'right' or 'left' is somewhat neutral or facilitates doing it from the opposite side (for example, yoko-tomoe-nage)
    - a strategic planning in the case of exceptional rivalry between two champions with the outcome of the match difficult to predict (Frank Wieneke's left seoi-nage on Neil Adams in the final of the LA 1984 Olympics in the -78 kg class)

    Angelo Parisi was one of the exceptional jûdôka who regularly displayed highly technical throws from both sides. Particularly his seoi-otoshi was known to be devastating irrespective of whether it was the right or left version. But even Parisi, did not master half the gokyô from both sides with the same level of skill.

    Do you encourage students to practice throws from both right and left sides and if so do you only start doing this once they are at a certain level?
    I ask as throwing left sided has never really been encouraged in my club but, now that I am 2nd kyu, I am trying to practice both sides equally.

    No, and it is not recommended to teach jûdôka directly from the start techniques to both sides. It is confusing. In one of my clubs, years ago when I was away people were taught a number of throws (sasae, hiza-guruma) from the left. I am still struggling with the consequences, i.e. even some black belts not knowing which version is left and which right. There is scientific evidence as to why it is discouraged in judo to do so, and it has to do with motor skills. I encourage judoka at a certain level though to start doing techniques from the other side. That is usually when they have reached a certain limit in learning techniques from the gokyô. At one point jûdôka will know most of those techniques in a sense, but can't really throw with several of them, whereas others exceed the level of their technical ability (that is nearly always the case with kûki-nage techniques, which virtually no jûdôka can do). At that point introducing techniques from the other sides is as if you are offering 'new' techniques.

    I am not addressing the case of children here. that is a special case as one has to take into account issues with growth and development and prevention of unilateral development.

    My understanding is that one is expected to perform both right and left handed versions of throws when doing the technical part of your Dan grading with the BJA. With that in mind would would you agree that 2nd kyu is the appropriate level to start. That said, I am in no way proficient in all the throws in the gokyu as yet.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:52 am

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:

    The whole switching grip thing is discouraged in "modern competitive Judo", although I switch grips in randori (don't compete anymore so far...) quite a bit..didn't do it so much in competition, though.

    Most judoka who train seriously for competition will have a system for dealing with left vs right situations and won't willingly give up gripping on their preferred side, which can make for some lengthy kumi kata exhanges interspersed with awkward looking attacks from odd angles.

    Regarding the handedness of samurai/warriors/et al., I imagine it might have been as it is in Judo...left handed writing perhaps but right handed sword handling, or as in Judo a lot of lefties are right handed...most, in fact. But as in Judo, one would of course have had to be ambidextrous in terms of attack/defense or pay the price...

    BillC wrote:Yes, I think it is important to differentiate between left-sided techniques and use of the left hand.  Further, dealing with attacks by opponents adopting a left posture versus challenges from truly left sided players are somewhat different.  What I guess I am trying to propose, is that use of both sides does not make one ambidextrous, and that a pool of technical skills can still be one-sided in posture and still deal with attacks from both sides?  Does that seem about right?

    Yes, I agree, use of both sides does not equal being ambidextrous I suppose in the "normal" sense. Of course, demonstration is one thing, application in randori/shiai is another. I can do a lot of left sided throws from a right handed grip to demo or teach, but not nearly so much in randori or shiai (especially). I can even do a fair rendition using a left grip for standard throws. So it's best in my experience, as you suggest, to be have  preferred posture (migi or hidari) and learn to attack defend to/from either side.

    BillC wrote:It's actually a common posture on our mat, someone recently said "I like to come here because there are no lefties south of your club."  Our best players were trained from childhood to play lefty, and so they are.

    There is a dojo in Vancouver, BC...the sensei is a lefty. He seems to basically teach left sided Judo.  So they have a lot of lefties there, way above average. Same sort of thing...I had to train my students from early on to deal with lefties (or attempt to...and these are STRONG lefties).  I still rib one of my shodans about how many times he landed on his face/head from the "blast through the inside grip left uchi mata", which of course have no other intention other than to rip you do the floor face down.

    BillC wrote:You are in my way of thinking correct Mr. B&R, the defender does not necessarily change his stance and invert his brain to deal with opposite handedness.  In fact, with all due respect to Mr. Natural, a standing rule in our club is not to do so ... that a black belt on the dominant side becomes a green belt on the not-so-skillful side ... and I guess we have enough lefties, and the difference obvious enough, that the backwards person is rewarded with flying lessons.  Instead, we do train different kumikata for kenkayotsu and aiyoutsu as you note.

    One day you will explain why NBK is "Mr. Natural"...does he have an awesome 'fro or just a lot of natural talent? LOL! I think that for learning judo it's best to stick to one dominant side but learn to turn both ways. I've had a lot of success with that approach with myself and my students. But I've explained already...

    I switch back and forth simply because I get tired of kumi kata with awesomely strong students who I have taught (apparently) fairly well how to do "competitive" kumi kata. Plus, I do it to help train them to deal with kenka yotsu. I can't throw that well left in a randori situation from a left grip, but my left kumi kata is pretty good. I don't encourage switching grip, but there is room for experimentation in randori for sure. I just make them aware of the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

    BillC wrote:Exceptions exist and are wonderful in their place ... the "exit-entry" against a collar-gripping righty by use of left ogoshi for example.  And certainly some people are superhuman even standing on their heads.  It is cool to (very) occasionally pull a left osotogari out of ... thin air ... and flatten someone who is usually above one's league, but my guess is that if it became habit it would be dealt with quickly and the advantage of surprise lost.

    One of my younger students, who just won a silver medal at Canadian nationals, is very good at O Goshi/Tsuri Goshi/Uki Goshi. He has an awesome "exit entry" type of entry for those throws (what happens depends on circumstance) to the left. He likes to go for the belt grip for RH throws as well, but I have had to discourage him a bit from dropping his tsurite. He has pulled off some incredible RH O/Tsuri/Uki Goshi though, and tends to switch to an belt grip Osoto Gari upon meeting resistance...   In any case, there is a fine line between long term development goals and dis/encouraging creativity and initiative.

    So I'll reiterate my point of view in case people got lost in all the verbage and Mr. Natural comments.

    Have a dominant/preferred side, but be able to turn and throw from your normal grip to the opposite side easily. Know how to deal with kenka yotsu (opposite grips) from your dominant side, attacking, defending, and kumi kata (all the same, really). If you can turn easily to the opposite side, that is what matters, not that you are equally facile from standard sleeve and lapel grips  with all throws.

    Not all of us can be "Mr. Natural", but if you have that talent, you are blessed for sure.
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:05 am

    ccwscott wrote:How much do you focus on being able to fight from both sides?  It seems quite often at high level play, that even right handed players will end up in a left handed grip.  The way I was always instructed was to have one or two throws from the left side, but is it common for high level players to be nearly as proficient on both sides with all their throws?

    At high levels of competition, if you can force your opponent to take a grip opposite of his normal dominant grip (make a righty into a lefty, for example, by controlling the sleeve strongly) then you have basically won the match. One goal of kumi kata in competition is to achieve just that...and that is why you see so much "grip fighting" in high level competition.

    I don't recall seeing too many high level judoka fighting from a non preferred grip (switch sides) willingly.

    When you say proficient, I would say in competition situation, no, they will not be proficient on both sides with all their throws. They have tactics for most if not all the common gripping situations (and relative score, position on mat, time remaining, etc) they might end up in, and if something odd happens the best can improvise their way out of it, sometimes spectacularly.

    My approach as noted earlier is to be able to turn well from your normal preferred side, and have a throw or two (forward etc) you can do to that side from your preferred grip. For higher level competition you have to cover all the bases, plus plan for specific opponents.

    But what most of us can do is work on turning opposite (tai sabaki) until we are "Mr. Natural" at it, then the forward throw(s) to the opposite side are a lot easier, as is defending opposite side attacks.

    I suggest lapel side Ippon Seoi Nage and Tsurikomi Goshi, with the "exit-entry" type of belt grip koshi waza BillC noted, plus lapel side Hiza Guruma/Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi and ashi barai.

    That will keep you busy for most of your Judo career.
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:14 am

    JudoStu wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    ccwscott wrote:How much do you focus on being able to fight from both sides?  It seems quite often at high level play, that even right handed players will end up in a left handed grip.  The way I was always instructed was to have one or two throws from the left side, but is it common for high level players to be nearly as proficient on both sides with all their throws?

    No, it is not common at all. It's actually extremely rare. Most successful competitors who master a couple of techniques to the other side have done so for a particular reason, such as:

    - injury forced them
    - the particular technique rather than really 'right' or 'left' is somewhat neutral or facilitates doing it from the opposite side (for example, yoko-tomoe-nage)
    - a strategic planning in the case of exceptional rivalry between two champions with the outcome of the match difficult to predict (Frank Wieneke's left seoi-nage on Neil Adams in the final of the LA 1984 Olympics in the -78 kg class)

    Angelo Parisi was one of the exceptional jûdôka who regularly displayed highly technical throws from both sides. Particularly his seoi-otoshi was known to be devastating irrespective of whether it was the right or left version. But even Parisi, did not master half the gokyô from both sides with the same level of skill.

    Do you encourage students to practice throws from both right and left sides and if so do you only start doing this once they are at a certain level?
    I ask as throwing left sided has never really been encouraged in my club but, now that I am 2nd kyu, I am trying to practice both sides equally.

    I teach to turn both ways as soon as possible. If I wait until everyone is second kyu, they are too set in their ways...

    So, left from right grip, right from left grip, whichever is the preferred side (right or left natural). It works well, and when started soon enough becomes more or less "natural" feeling to students.

    Plus, everyone gets to take ukemi to both sides all the time, a big plus and something lacking in many judoka. This is also a big safety issue.

    As an example, I had one female adult student throw another, larger, female in a shiai with a left seoi from a right grip...uke had to be carried off because she did not know how to take ukemi for a left sided throw! These were similarly ranked women, not a big overmatch in skill.

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    contrarian

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by contrarian on Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:53 am

    i'm a natural righty, but in judo, my primary stance is left.
    it just happened that way, and i was not conscious of it happening to me.
    my first judo coaches never brought up left or right stance, and my first club was very small, with only 2-3 more adults, who were bigger than me and all righties, and to fend off their strong lapel grip, i had to push them off with my left leg advanced.
    i also had an injury to my right shoulder/clavicle, which forced me away from any randori for 2-3 months and i focused only on one handed left seoinage uchikomi with rubber bands, which really refined my technique. i later suffered a broken right wrist, so i was practicing more and more left techniques.

    interestingly enough, i tried wrestling for a couple of years during university, and i found that i could not wrestling left!!! i had to wrestle right, because my defense when i was a lefty sucked. my base was much stronger when i wrestled right.

    and now i do a lot of double sleeve grips. i find it interesting. i had a friend who was amazing with the double sleeve, but that was back in the days when pistol grips were allowed. too bad for him, as double sleeve sode was his tokuiwaza.
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    BillC

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by BillC on Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:21 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Plus, everyone gets to take ukemi to both sides all the time, a big plus and something lacking in many judoka. This is also a big safety issue.

    Man, ain't that the truth. A huge safety issue. They get thrown unexpectedly to the left side while in a right grip ... they just wanna stick that left arm out. Best shoulder separation I have ever seen ... end of the humerus popping up under a guy's skin about nipple-high it seemed. Lots of screaming that day.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:40 am

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Plus, everyone gets to take ukemi to both sides all the time, a big plus and something lacking in many judoka. This is also a big safety issue.

    Man, ain't that the truth.  A huge safety issue.  They get thrown unexpectedly to the left side while in a right grip ... they just wanna stick that left arm out.  Best shoulder separation I have ever seen ... end of the humerus popping up under a guy's skin about nipple-high it seemed.  Lots of screaming that day.

    Ouch! You mean dislocation, though? I did a grade 3 separation 2 years ago (not because of an ukemi failure) and my humerus was still in place.

    And no,it wasn't funny!
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    BillC

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by BillC on Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:41 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:

    Ouch! You mean dislocation,  though? I did a grade 3 separation 2 years ago (not because of an ukemi failure) and my humerus was still in place.

    And no,it wasn't funny!

    Where's the smiley for :cymbal crash:?

    Dislocation, subluxation, separation, annihilation ... sounds like the lyrics from an old Moody Blues song ... whatever the medical term is for "end of collar bone broken off and the arm bone no longer connected to the shoulder bone."

    Richie retired from judo as an ikkyu at that point. Moved away, married a gorgeous gal in Malaysia, now lives in Australia where he has, like Mr. Natural, taken up riding speedy motorcycles ... which of course is waaay safer than judo.


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    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Regarding left and right handedness

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:23 am

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:

    Ouch! You mean dislocation,  though? I did a grade 3 separation 2 years ago (not because of an ukemi failure) and my humerus was still in place.

    And no,it wasn't funny!

    Where's the smiley for :cymbal crash:?

    Dislocation, subluxation, separation, annihilation ... sounds like the lyrics from an old Moody Blues song ... whatever the medical term is for "end of collar bone broken off and the arm bone no longer connected to the shoulder bone."

    Richie retired from judo as an ikkyu at that point.  Moved away, married a gorgeous gal in Malaysia, now lives in Australia where he has, like Mr. Natural, taken up riding speedy motorcycles ... which of course is waaay safer than judo.

    Only because we can't wear helmets in Judo!

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