Right-handed vs. left-handed: the wrong fight – By Fred Evrard

At birth, a child is neither right nor left-handed. It is only following a short but efficient conditioning that the duality appears. Most of today’s martial art schools do not take the left hand into consideration, and only few of them still teach the efficiency of asymmetrical exercises necessary to balance the cerebral hemispheres.

The ancient schools of martial arts used those mystifications in order to train new students (strangers) in just a portion of their art (exoteric teaching), therefore developing the left intellectual brain hemisphere only and making the right side of the body their primary weapon, in order to protect their most advanced concepts from spies and other schools. Educating their students in right-handed techniques only and justifying these mystifications with logical intellectual explanations, they purposely prevented the students from developing their intuition and creativity. Students would train most of their life focusing on one side of their body, thereby ignoring half of their physical and mental potential, as well as the awakening that results from the balance of those two. Many warriors solved this problem on their own by combining martial arts training with the inner search of Zen, Buddhism or Taoism.

As martial artists, we should focus on developing our weaker side: right-handed can spend a day as if left-handed and vice versa. We would then eat with our left hand, brush our teeth with the left hand, try to write with the left hand, etc. When the two sides of the body are mastered, we can start training in “real” martial arts. Unfortunately, asymmetrical exercises, multiple simultaneous hits, broken rhythms, the balancing of our two brain hemispheres, etc., are very rare in most systems, only revealed to 6th Degree Black Belts and above. I’ve seen with my own eyes, in a so-called “super-advanced” martial arts seminar, where 6th, 7th and 8th Dan Black Belts were learning for the very first time sticky hands exercises (Chi Sao), asymmetrical exercises and the broken rhythms that anyone can learn in their first classes of Filipino martial arts, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun or even Western boxing.

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