Big Stick Combat, Left-Handed
Reader ‘J’ recently purchased the Big Stick Combat book (available here) and e-mailed me with questions about how the style applies to him, a natural left-hander.
Let me outline the basic strikes, an X pattern, from a left-hander’s perspective.
Most right -handers, particularly if they’ve played baseball, are comfortable with this stance. It is like a right-handed batter, only the shoulders are square to the opponent.
This is the number 1, the bread-and-butter of the left hand dominant fighter. The left foot forward allows the fighter to twist and get his hips, plus the torque they provide, into the strike.
Underleft. Once again, right-handers have no problem with this strike. It’s like a homerun hitter’s swing. And the twist of the hips helps power the swing.
This strike will feel awkward, but if you practice it on the bag you can hit very powerfully despite the seeming crossed position of the hands.
This is where most two-handed styles fall apart. This strike is hopelessly crossed up and weak. The left leg is also in the way.
How can we solve this? One solution is simply not to do this strike from the underight.
I think there’s a better way.
Notice the left-hander draws the left foot back and swings low. This strike works, even though it’s one-handed, because it is with the left hander’s dominant (strong) hand, and it comes in low, where the opponent can’t grab it.
By gripping with the strong hand at the pommel, reach is maximized.
If you learn larga mano or ever must fight one-handed, or even just swing one-handed because you’re caught off guard, this is the strike and the grip.
GM Estalilla prefers this stance. (I feel really awkward posing for the picture, but I hope you get the idea.) It’s good as a ready, but not threatening, stance.
This is the close-range, in-fighting stance of Big Stick Combat. Once again, I feel like I’m not really modeling the stance as well as I should.