One of the concepts taught by the late Professor Remy A. Presas was ambidexterity.

Professor Presas was a natural left hander who also trained his right hand. His left hand was his “ace in the hole” as he fought. He found through experience that the vast majority of FMA fighters were right handers who did not know how to counter the left handers. 

So when he moved to North America, he insisted that his students learn to handle the stick with both hands. To this end, he introduced various drills and techniques designed for a player to gain proficiency with the left hand.

The above video by Master Chuck Gauss is a nice illustration of this concept. He switches from the right hand to the left hand in demonstrating two different techniques.

What happens if your dominant hand becomes injured in combat? You are doomed if you don’t possess any skill in your non-dominant hand. It is wise to practice both hands. For this reason, Modern Arnis heavily emphasizes ambidexterity, starting with the four basic sinawali drills. It takes a considerable amount of time to become proficient with a stick in your non-dominant hand. Patience and lots of repetitions are key to gaining proficiency in ambidexterity.

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