Most martial artists and boxers fight from an orthodox stance, meaning they use their right hand as their dominant hand. When an orthodox fighter squares off against a southpaw, who uses her left hand as her power hand, the orthodox fighter is often at a disadvantage because of the rarity of southpaw fighters. If you can comfortably fight from a southpaw stance, several punching combinations will help you defeat your opponent.
Jab, Cross, Jab, Hook
In boxing and martial arts, a punch doesn't necessarily have to land to be effective. Often, a punch that fails to meet its mark is enough to change your opponent's stance or hand position, allowing you to land a power shot. Throw a jab at your opponent, followed immediately by a straight left hand and another jab. The three punches will often force your opponent to slide her hands toward the front of her face, which allows you to finish the combination with a left hook to the side of her head, which should now be exposed.
Jab, Pivot, Hook
The more you face a fighter, the more you're able to gauge how she'll typically react to your punches. Aggressive fighters often move in after you throw a jab, which can allow you to throw a combination that will catch them off guard. If fighting an aggressive opponent, throw a jab and watch for her to step toward you. If so, quickly pivot to your right side and throw a long left hook. Because she's stepped forward, she'll be in range of the hook and if she follows your pivot, you should have an opening.
Jab, Cross, Slip, Cross
Counter punchers rely on you to make the first move, and then try to hit you when you're not in your guard. Upon identifying an opponent as a counter puncher, begin your combination by throwing a quick jab and cross. As you throw your cross, she might sense an opportunity to throw her right hand. When you see her right hand coming, slip the punch by leaning backward and counter her counter with another left cross.
Counter punching is an effective way to cleanly hit your opponent in any fight, but when you're a southpaw, your opponent won't be used to counter punches in which the left hand is the power hand. When your opponent throws a jab, jab over it with your right hand, which will often put her off-balance. Once your jab lands, throw a left hook to the head or the body, depending on where her right hand is positioned. If her right hand is high, hit her low, and vice-versa.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.