Southpaw vs Orthodox

Southpaw vs Orthodox

If you’ve trained in a striking martial art, you have studied the differences between a southpaw vs orthodox fighter. It is extremely important for your development to know how to fight and defend against both fighting stances.

That’s why we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the southpaw vs orthodox fighting stances. Going over the differences of the stances and how to deal with fighting against them.

What are the Differences Between a Southpaw vs Orthodox Fighting Stance?

Just from looking at the two fighting chances, anyone can clearly see the differences between a left or right-handed fighter. But let’s go over the differences between a southpaw vs orthodox stance.

Feet Placement

The two stances are reversed from the other and are like a mirror. An orthodox fighter keeps their left leg in front and their right leg as their base leg. A left-handed fighter is the opposite where their right foot is in front and their left leg is in the back.

Hand Placement 

Just like with their feet, the hand placement is also different between a right and left-handed fighter. A right-handed fighter has their left hand in front and their right hand in the back. Southpaw fighters are the opposite with their right hand in front and their left in the back.

Power Hands 

Fighters will traditionally stand where they have their dominant hand in the back to produce stronger power punches. That is usually why righties have their right hand in the back and lefties have their left hand in the back.

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The Movement of a Southpaw vs Orthodox Fighter

Due to the foot placement of southpaw and orthodox fighters, the two move quite differently from one another. A southpaw fighter is more comfortable moving to their right, while an orthodox fighter is more comfortable going to the left.

Which Stance Do I Choose? Southpaw vs Orthodox

Before someone begins to participate in a striking class, they’ll often wonder which stance they should choose? Here are the two things that you need to remember when choosing which fighting stance that you’ll use.

What is Your Dominant Hand?

The first question that you’ll need to answer is what is your dominant hand? Meaning which hand do you predominantly use like writing or throwing a ball.

You may be more comfortable first learning boxing by staying in the stance that matches your dominant hand. This will enable you to learn the mechanics of striking first and develop a good base.

What Type of Techniques Do You Want to Use?

You will also need to ask yourself, what type of strikes do you want to use? Depending on what you want to land will dictate which stance you use.

For example, if you’re right handed, but can kick hard with your left, you might want to stand the southpaw stance. Staying in a southpaw stance would enable you to throw your left leg harder than you would if you had it in front.

Another good example is a fighter may have better jabs with their power hand than their lead hand. This may lead them to put their power hand in front to land fast and stiff jabs on their opponent.

How Can an Orthodox Fighter Beat a Southpaw Fighter? 

Southpaw fighters can be tricky to fight, but they are beatable. Here is how an orthodox fighter can gameplan to beat a southpaw fighter.

Be Wary of a Southpaw Fighter’s Experience

Before you spar with a southpaw fighter, you need to remember one important thing. A southpaw fighter has more experience fighting in an open stance against orthodox fighters than they would have.

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There are statistically more orthodox fighters than southpaw fighters that train and fight. Which means that more than likely, this will be the case when first going against a southpaw.

If an orthodox fighter understands the likelihood of this, it’ll be easier for them to solve the problem ahead of them.

Keep Left Lead Foot On Outside of Opponent’s Right Lead Foot

Winning the foot battle is everything in the southpaw vs orthodox fighter battle. A right-handed fighter must keep their lead-left foot to the outside of their opponent’s lead-right foot.

By winning the foot placement battle, the right-handed fighter can land strikes with both hands. They also limit their left opponent’s punch selection as they’re only open to throwing their lead hand/leg.

But be mindful that your southpaw opponent isn’t just going to give it to you. You will need to either walk into it, punch your way in, or slip your way in. Whichever you choose will depend on the situation and what type of fighter your opponent is.

Reactions to Watch Out For

If you’re able to successfully win the foot placement battle, your southpaw opponent will fight to get it back. Doing either one of three things.

  • Run 
  • Pivot In
  • Punch In

A lefty can only go backwards or forward when they’ve lost the foot battle. Some may choose to back up and run in an attempt to break the control of their orthodox opponent.

Pivot in their right-handed opponent is another option a southpaw has. They can step to the inside of their orthodox opponent to make them throw their right hand.

When they do this, they can slip their opponent’s right and break their control. Allowing them to then try to regain control of the range and set up their combos.

How Can a Southpaw Fighter Beat an Orthodox Fighter?

How a southpaw fighter can beat up an orthodox fighter the exact way as mentioned above, but in reverse.  Here is how a southpaw fighter can beat an orthodox fighter.

Win the Foot Battle 

Just like we mentioned above, to beat an Orthodox fighter, you have to win the battle of foot placement. To beat righty, a lefty must get their right foot on the outside of their opponent’s left foot.

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When they’re able to do this, it allows them to control the range of the fight and limit their opponent. The southpaw can then hit their opponent when their right-handed opponent can only hit with their lead hand. 

Beware the Right Hand

Any striking coach will tell you that to beat a southpaw, an orthodox fighter has to land their right hand. Southpaw fighters are well aware of this and cannot let them get in range to land it. Once an orthodox fighter finds a home for their right hand, they will control the fight.

Reactions For Southpaws to Watch Out For

A southpaw fighter will basically have to watch out for the same reactions as an orthodox fighter would.

Orthodox fighter’s will also try to break their left-handed opponent’s control by doing the same strategies.

  • Run
  • Pivot
  • Punch In

Which Fighting Stance is Better to Use: Southpaw vs Orthodox

Between these two stances, one is really not better than the other. A southpaw fighter can beat an orthodox fighter just as easily as an orthodox fighter can beat a southpaw.

Whoever wins an open stance battle like this will depend on primarily three things.

  • The Fighter’s Ability
  • Who Has The Better Gameplan
  • Who Is Able To Connect With Punches

Whichever fighter is able to do one, if not all of these things will most likely win the fight.

The Benefits of Switching Your Stance

As fighting has evolved, we are seeing a huge difference in how fighters strike. More fighters than ever are now favoring switching their stance instead of staying in a fixed stance. 

By learning to fight in both an orthodox and southpaw stance, they have even more possibilities to mix up their striking. They can use various types of strikes with both hands from different angles.

It also can completely stifle an opponent. They’re being hit with so many things from every angle, they will struggle to deal with a fighter who switches stance.