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Massad Ayoob: The Mirror Image Match

Massad  Ayoob posted a piece on shooting a complete IDPA match (along with several of his buddies) using the non-dominant hand.  Maybe next time when they do it they could also have an even number of stages with half the courses of fire and target placements be a mirror image to the other half.  That way they could notice some of the (unintentional) ‘bias’ of stage design too.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Southpaw; thus, speaking as a member of the minority of next-evolutionary-step hominids: Good for Mr. Ayoob.  I know Mr. Ayoob’s purpose for his ‘mirror match’ was done for ‘tactical’ reasons (imprinting skills, overcoming the injury of the dominant hand, etc.) but as the only thing made for the ‘Sinistre’ are toll booths, I say, “Welcome to my world.”

Not to say that I disagree with the premise, I’ve shot complete matches right-handed before.  Actually, I did it for about three or four months, (unsupported even – Cowboys call it ‘Duelist’ style) about 10 years ago following the injury of my left hand.  While it was braced and healing, I continued to shoot matches  just about every weekend with lots of dry fire practice during the weekdays. I remember how odd it felt at first, but also how quickly I adapted to shooting with my right hand.  Then it felt odd that felt so natural.  The Man Upstairs did a fine job of designing the human body.  Not only do we have an amazing ability to heal but an outstanding ability to adapt.

In the years since then I’ve tried to make a habit of training ‘to both sides’.  I didn’t retain the ‘natural feel’ when shooting right handed but doing so now doesn’t feel unfamiliar either.  I partially accredit this to being left handed to start.  Being forced to adapt on a daily basis to a right handed world may have given me an advantage in this regard.  That’s the way I choose to interpret the experience anyway.  I’d like to say I have an advantage in something for having to deal with single sided safeties, can openers, scissors, cork screws, books, pie servers, ice cream scoops, and nearly ever other darn tool I’ve ever had to use.

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