One of the more disciplined forms of fighting in martial arts training is known as kobudo. When you are getting professionally trained, it's important to practice on your own and master the skills. As a left-handed fighter, adjusting to the tutorials can take longer and require more patience, as training and weapons are often catered to a majority of fighters that use their right-hand.
If you're a left-handed fighter, here are four tips to follow so you can learn properly and increase your kobudo skills without a natural disadvantage.
Punching Bag Training
A lot of kobudo training is done with a partner, but it may be hard to train with someone that is right handed. Instead of making mistakes or possibly causing injuries, a punching bag can act as your sparring partner.
When using a weapon like the four-foot staff Jo, you can easily work around both sides of the punching bags to help learn ways to reach specific points and protect yourself at the same time. Some training facilities may even offer special bags catered to kobudo training.
Kama & Tonfa Weapons
A staff weapon like the Jo is one of the first weapons used to train in kobudo, but there are multiple weapons that can cater to using both hands instead of one. When upgrading to these weapons, you will have the same advantage as someone who is right-handed because both hands are used at all times.
The Kama is a sickle styled weapon that is gripped with each hand. The Tonfa is a nightstick weapon that features a small handle and is trained with in pairs.
Right Hand Training
Learning to become ambidextrous in kobudo can have a lot of huge advantages. It will allow you to switch weapons, master advanced techniques, and improve muscle build across your whole body.
To help adapt to right-handed training, it's a good idea to wear a boxing glove over your left hand. This will prevent you from naturally keeping a weapon in your left hand and force you to rely on your right hand more. This type of training will require a lot more practice, but can help you adapt in a variety of ways.
Other Left-Handed Fighters
As you get through the first classes, it will be a good idea to team up with any other left-handed fighters. This can help build a flow and create a natural pattern as weapons cross and sequences are worked out. This will also help when creating looping sequences that continue to move. Knowing the other fighter is left-handed will make it easier to understand where their movements will come from and land.
Not only will it help you work together, but you can share tips with each other that other right-handed fighters may not understand.
Contact a local kubodo training facility, such as Tanaka's Martial Arts Academy, to access more information on left-handed training and the ability to use these tips.