Stong Side VS. Weak Side? – The Self Defense Company

Stong Side VS. Weak Side?

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    • #10718

      I have a question that I would like some input on. In many martial art and fighting systems we are told to lead with our left if right handed, and keep the strong side back, of lead with the Right is left handed. Now I have put this in posts before, but I only have my left eye and the right eye is prosthetic,and I am right handed, now that does make it a bitch at the range and for pistol I shoot right handed and for rifle I shoot left handed which is fun depending on what type of carbine I am firing.

      So for those who have done this system a lot longer then I have. Do you think I should concentrate on leading with my strong side which is my right side or lead with my left? Just some thoughts on this please.

      Now in stand up I am fine and judge distance well, but for ground fighting I have a hell of a time with judging distance and getting my kicks right but I keep training and in time will get used to the distance. When I go to Krav class they rush at us when we are on the ground so we can kick and get used to the distance,but I tend to kick too early or too late and end up doing a job on my knees by over extending, ground work is new to me since there was not a lot of it in most of my years in Kung Fu training and teaching, that is one area that their systems do not pay too much attention too

      Any advice would be great.


    • #13171
      James Goolsby


      Let me ask you this: what do you prefer and/or what is more natural?

      I don’t mean to sound like I’m taking your question lightly, but who gives a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks? One of the problems with martial arts, and even so-called combat systems like Krav (and I, too, trained in Krav Maga; it’s just no longer my “go to” like SDTS) is that they often emphasize one way to do things, or what they consider the “right” way. But why should you have to adjust your methods to accommodate them? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? If my body cannot perform a particular technique, does that mean I can’t be effective? (I once had an instructor refuse to promote me to the next belt level because I refused to do a forward roll in a straight line due to my neck problems. I rolled more diagonally across from one shoulder to the opposite hip and he said I was doing it “incorrectly”. My response was, “What is the goal here? I got out of the way, didn’t I?” Needless to say, I wasn’t with that school much longer after that.)

      One of the great things about SDTS is that there is no “right” way. Damian teaches principles, not techniques. Sure, he may demonstrate a technique for a particular dynamic, but in the end it’s up to you to decide what works best for YOU. For example, there is this concept of throwing an opponent’s head back and creating a whiplash effect on them. Does is matter if we do this with a chin jab, double chin jab, edge of hand, etc.? Hell, if you can generate enough force to get the same effect, I say slap ’em on the forehead like the ol’ “I coulda hadda V8” commercial! Laugh That’s the genius of his system. It works around you. Damian himself even says that he only uses about a half-dozen or so “techniques” out of the entire system; he has found what works for him. You just need to do the same. And note, your 5 or 6 may or may not be the same as his 5 or 6… and that’s okay.

      Whenever you have a question regarding technique, just analyze it like I have here. Begin with the end result in mind. Ask yourself, “What are they trying to achieve with this particular move?” Then, after you have figured out what they are going for, see if you can adjust it to fit your particular situation. It may be something as simple as switching from strong to weak side or vice-versa.

      We actually have a Sergeant in my department who wears a prosthetic eye much like yourself. And, interestingly enough, he doesn’t “fight” like anyone else. He has had to figure out ways around it. Even more interesting, however, is that this often gives him an advantage: the bad guy really doesn’t see it coming. His style is so unorthodox that dirtbag is expecting one thing and he gives ’em something completely different. He has turned his “disability” into a strength. But he did it by being willing to work outside of the box of what is considered “proper” defensive tactics.

      Just do what feels natural for you. If it is “wrong”, well, so be it. Maybe that’s just the edge you need. Smile

    • #13174

      Great points James. David just do what is natural. I’ve trained mma, Muay Thai and a little krav. So I’m used to and comfortable with my strong side to the rear. I’ve even noticed certain combos just feel better weak side forward. So yea it’s really what works for you there is no right or wrong. Just keep training and train honestly!

    • #13226

      Natural…yes….always the first approach.

      Now…I have people ask me about Strong vs Weak side. My response? Train till there is no difference. I can hurt a person equally from either side.

      So how do you do this?

      Easy…..Make sure you train to hit in all directions. Make sure you can strike from Strong side forward and “weak” side forward.


      Cuz you may hit the person…. they move….and not always in the way you would guess. They may require you to take 1 step forward. Now guess what…if you were strong side forward before….you’re weak side forward now aren’t you? Pad work with a partner is the best for this. Your first shot is your favorite side/strike, etc….but then. the partner moves (especially if you hit him hard)….now it’s not so comfortable. Get used to that.

      When we say to train to instinctive…that means to be able to hit from ANYWHERE. See closest target, hit with closest weapon, repeat till clear, run like hell.

      So yes…train both sides, train from weird angles, train in low light, in the cold, on ice, in the snow, right and left handed. Get creative. Crank up the stereo so loud you can’t think and do a 3 minutes barrage on Bob.

      Wanna have real fun….Practice being on the ground, getting up, hitting Bob 3-5 times, dropping down, kick kick crab, and repeat. Do that for 3 minutes. You won’t have a strong and weak side anymore. You’ll have nothing but Drop step body weight strikes….and you’ll then start to feel what it’s like to be “balanced” in this system.

      There’s no art to this, but you can be good in SDTS. Or…you work and train and teach others…. and become DAMN good in SDTS.

      Ask any of us who have been doing this for a few years…or teaching….at some point you can pretty much do whatever you want from any angle….and the whole Strong vs Weak side really falls by the wayside.

      Challenge yourself …especially with the ground fighting…with people bigger and stronger than you. PUSH yourself.

      Even though there is a “strike from what is comfortable for you approach”…don’t take that to mean that that’s ALL you have to do.

      Do this till there is no “strong” vs “weak” side.


    • #13228

      I really appreciate all the advice and it helps. I have decided to train in both sides and do what I need to do and what works for me. I still study Krav and my instructor is pretty cool and realized that I will end up doing what works for me Will I end up advancing most likely not, and at this stage of the game i am there to get experience and well we have a great time there and when we do the drills where multiple attackers come in I seem to float towards use SDTS because it works, gets me out of there and does what I need it to do.

      It really was not hard making the transition to SDTS from Kung Fu, other arts and Kung Fu because it is really effective and one does not have to follow rules as such, and I find it much easy to pull off SDTS techniques in a pinch so all is well and al I can do is keep training and making this work for me.

      Thanks all appreciate the advice and help.

    • #13241

      What I’ve recently started was my ow version on the three count chop. I changed it up to a three strike combo. Two short edge then rear tiger claw, from there immediately go from tiger claw to EOH on the same arm then another rear tiger claw. This works both side but start off slow with it then to multiple sets then for time. It’s essentially the same combo we learn in Mod1 but you just keep on going.

    • #13242

      Good combo, and I have been working on some. The possibilities are endless, and the more we make instinctual the better all we are.

    • #13532

      I keep this very simple. In the streets there are no “stances” You never know what position you are going to be in and what tool will be available. Train both sides until you can react instinctively and convulsively.

    • #17044

      Sorry guys i posted a similar post b4 looking thru all the previous posts and you guys have already answered this topic.

      Daren Williams

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