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Thread: are lefties welcome??

  1. #1
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    Default are lefties welcome??

    hopefully not too much of a dumb question - most demonstrations I see are performed right handed.

    I wondered if this is trained or down to choice? I am a leftie and the idea of wielding a blade right handed worries me a bit so wondered if Iaido for instance is taught purely right handed or if I can choose for myself and still be ok. I know from Karate that techinques are learned both handed and also Judo which is fine - granted most partner work is done right handed but we do learn both, just curious if this is the same with the sword arts.

    I have seen dual wield arts which makes me believe that they are taught both handed to allow for that flexibility and when you reach the dual wield level you've already got the skills but i'm assuming rather than knowing

    any fellow lefty swordsman out there??

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    Hi Sam,

    I am left-handed and had to learn to do everything right-handed. The only time I ever saw this done differently was with a very senior practitioner of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu in Japan who was re-learning everything left-handed but as a learning process not because he was left-handed.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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    ah drat.

    how did you find learning did it come easier than you thought or harder?

    I guess it'll be fine, i mean i've never tried handling a sword anyway so i'm not having to unlearn anything other than playing with toys as a child

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    One of my kendo instructors told me he had no problem instructing left-handed, and there's nothing in the rules against it. However in 30+ years of practice the only left-handed swordsmanship I've ever seen is one guy who occasionally did gyaku-jodan and me, screwing with my students' heads by farting around in gyaku-chudan.

    Basically you will have to learn right-handed, especially koryu.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    I know it's a strange thing to say when a Japanese sword is powered by the left and guided by the right but being left handed in Japan is frowned upon. I have seen mothers wrap the children across the knuckles for trying to write left handed. If you write kanji you would be pushing a pen on strokes instead of pulling it. Also many years ago using hashi (chopsticks) with left hand was discouraged.

    So if you used your left you would have to wear the blade on the other hip and also move forward with the other leg. Add to that the fact they dont make left handed saya. The kurikata needs to be on the outside.

    I have known left handed kendoka but it doesn't seem to offer any special rewards.

    Thing is if you live in Japan it's a conformist country. Getting more relaxed by still generally conforms.
    Last edited by hyaku; 1st April 2016 at 14:50.
    Hyakutake Colin

    All the best techniques are taught by survivors.


    http://www.hyoho.com

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    ah well right handed it is

    as i say, never tried so would have to learn from scratch anyway. challenge is good for the soul so won't bring it up and just learn what i'm taught

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    Take up Western Fencing. Lefties are tricky!
    Ed Boyd

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    You might find this interesting.

    Sinister Swordsmanship.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

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  10. #9
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    wow thanks for that, didn't understand alot of the terms but the post seems to be very encouraging! i'm glad to see someone at the other end of the spectrum

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hudson1984 View Post
    ah well right handed it is
    I was worried in the beginning that I'd have trouble going "right handed" in kenjutsu, but my sensei told me that I might actually have an advantage, because -- as mentioned above -- the left hand is the power hand, and righties tend to use too much strength in the right arm in the beginning.

    Also, since the katana is mainly a two-handed weapon, left- or right-hand dominant isn't as much of an issue as, for example, writing with the "weak" hand.

    Now, after some years of doing it "right handed," holding the sword the other way around feels strange to me.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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