Standard procedure for most right-hand dominant fighters would suggest that they adopt an "orthodox" stance where their dominant hand is typically "in the back". But what if that same fighter is blind in their right eye?

It seems that a disadvantage to an orthodox stance would put their healthy eye closest to their opponent whereas a disadvantage to south-paw style would mean the fighter would need to tuck their chin into their shoulder more dramatically to get full view of their opponent. Maybe the chin-tucking isn't necessarily a con and could actually promote good defensive posture?

2 Answers 2


I prefer to be left hand forward, if I am hit in the right eye (and it swells/vision blurred etc.) I feel able to carry on. If I lose some vision in my left eye, I struggle much more, I have to turn my head to favour the right eye or even switch stance.

Now given that the way I spar encourages kicks from the front leg and the jab, this all ties in heavily to dominant side at the front. Styles that prefer kicks from the back leg and the cross will prefer dominant side at the back.

So what determines which is our dominant side?

In my teaching experience the weaker eye has generally been on the weaker side of the body -> which I have assumed is down to the ability to see and practice that side (and thus confidence). So I have only dealt with one scenario - dominant side having the better eye - and I always teach that dominant side to the front (because I'd do that anyway). So after giving it some thought on other styles:

What about severe sight loss/blindness in one eye?

Cover your left eye - how far to the left can you now see? - if your good eye is at the back - a small step to the backside of you and you wont be able to see your opponent anymore (limit of back eye peripheral and neck turn). This is obviously very dangerous to you and also not the case with your good eye at the front.

So in that instance I say good eye at the front always.

As Ali said "the hands can't hit what the eyes can't see"


Now this is a very interesting question that I personally have experience with. As I have a large cutting scar on my left eye, I can't open my left eye. The eye works, but I can't open the eyelid. I use a left forward stance, even though I am left handed. However, I don't do boxing. But it doesn't matter. The eyesight isn't that much different when 1 eye is closed. It just needs a bit more adjustment. If you look at the range of sight 1 eye has, you will notice that a big portion overlaps.

Now keep in mind, you don't have one eye at the back. You face your opponent, no matter which of your hands or legs is in front. Rather than adjusting your stance based on your own sight, adjust it based on your opponent's quirks.

For example, if your opponent is likely to use right hooks, and your left eye is bad or blind, you might benefit from changing your stance. But in a different way than you might expect. It's not as simple as changing which leg or hand is in front. When I fight, even though my left eye isn't able to see, I put my left leg in front as well as my left hand. This allows me to make up for the lack of eyesight by shortening the distance to the opponent's attack. This works especially well if the opponent is right handed. If my opponent is also left handed, I switch to something more orthodox. I do keep my left leg and left hand in front, but I angle myself differently. Instead of facing my opponent directly, I angle myself more towards their dominant hand. Yes, this creates a bit of a blind spot to my entire left. But this is where mind games come into play. Fighting isn't purely strength, technique and reflexes. It's also mind games.

They see a very easy to strike area for their right hand. But since their stance is right foot front and dominant hand back, they can't utilize it properly. In the time they use to decide whether to take the chance or not, I strike. Confuse your enemy with your stance. Don't change it to benefit yourself, but to disadvantage your opponent.

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