Whips & Whipping 101, Part 7: The Real Thing – The Single Side Shot

By Jim the Whip Maker and Dick Carlson

Part 1: Bulls, Snakes & Other Scary Critters
Part 2: Swing & Target Practice
Part 3: Long Whips
Part 4: The First Crack
Part 5: The First Shot – The Full Overhand Shot
Part 6: The First Useful Shot – The Pick Up
Part 8: For the Whip Top – Dealing with Your Whip Bottom
Part 9: For the Whip Bottom – Dealing with Your Whip Top
Part 10: A Word on Cuts for Whip Bottoms

There is one more, related, shot that I will describe which will probably give you enough scope for some time to come. This is called the Single Side Shot.

This is the classic bullwhipping as seen on TV. It can be used on the masochist while he is vertical, perhaps with his hands hauled up by some rope. The target should be side-on facing left if you are righthanded. (Teddy will need to be shown this.) This reproduces the alignment of the whip to the masochist’s body that we had before.

When totally competent with this shot, you can try it straight on, but the rules regarding accurate ranging apply just as much as before.


Begin with the pick up shot; the first part is exactly the same. Pull the whip back at the hip or a little higher, just as you did before. Now, instead of going forward at the shoulder as in the pick up, the hand should remain low and turn over, palm up, as you extend to the rear. Now, as you make the forward stroke, keep the hand below shoulder height and palm still upward. As you reach full extension to the front, you must turn your hand to point forward as usual however, with your palm up, you must turn your hand to the side and forward rather than over the top and forward.

The effect is for the whip to travel alongside your hand, not above it as in the pick up. This will project the whip to the side, causing it to swing out and across. When it cracks, there is still quite a sideways movement, right to left, which is why this shot is used on an upright target.


This shot is the hardest to master so far, and needs plenty of practice. You should be very comfortable with the pick up before perfecting this shot. I recommend you wear head and eye protection when you first try this shot. Mis-timing this one can wrap it around your head.

This shot has the same degree of control as the pick up and the same technique of aiming off should be used, except, of course, you are now aiming to the side. If you aim close, the masochist gets a good hit; a foot away and it’s almost nothing. Yet either one looks and sounds just as great. An unknowing observer would not be aware of the difference, which is why Tinseltown likes to use it.

If you crack on the skin, then this is a real hard lick and it cuts. You must practive first to get it dead right every time.

I will finish this part by saying that new shots and basic practice must always be with an inanimate target, if Ted will excuse the expression. Always.


DungeonMaster33This article first appeared in DungeonMaster magazine, Number 33, September 1987 published by Desmodus Publications and edited by Fledermaus (Tony DeBlase).

Jim the Whip Maker and Dick Carlson taught this material as a course for the now defunct SandMutopia University, which was founded and operated by Tony DeBlase.

DungeonMaster was published from 1979 to 1992. After Tony DeBlase bought Drummer magazine in 1986, DungeonMaster became, in some ways,  the little brother of its more popular stable-mate. Articles published in DungeonMaster were sometimes later reprinted in Drummer. In 1992, Desmodus Inc., which then included Drummer, Mach, Tough Customers, DungeonMaster, The Sandmutopia Guardian and The Sandmutopia Supply Company, was sold to a Dutch corporation headed by Martjin Bakker, the owner of RoB Amsterdam stores and galleries. Tony DeBlase became Editor Emeritus and passed away in 2000.

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