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Thread: Left-handed bushi?

  1. #16
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    Wayne, it's all a matter of perspective, but I've been saying that for years!!

    And I think the in the picture posted above there's a "T" missing isn't there? Shouldn't it say "Tosu" (Japanese for "Five-fingered shuffle of death")?
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

  2. #17
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    There must be about 10% left handed samurai if the figure of 10% left handers in humans is correct. Using the sword with the right hand at the tsuba is of course neither right or left-handed, it's just the way everyone uses it. What's more important, back hand as power or front hand as control? Or do we all convert to Musashi's theory that the long sword should be used one handed except where it's used with both for more power?

    My sister is a lefty yet she writes with her right hand (was the last generation to be forced right handed writing) and curiously enough, slants her writing left anyway.

    All aprops not much I suppose, except to suggest that using the sword with one hand or the other forward on a two-hander may not be related to handedness while bias against lefties may be wider than China and Japan.

    One theory I heard years ago on handedness (and of course a silly one as most are) is that right handers dominate due to the heart being on the left and so further away from the sword wounds suffered by right handers compared to left handers. This assumes one handed swords in the right hand with the fight being right foot forward of course. Having trouble imagining that many dueling deaths to affect that much genetic drift... the streets must have ran red with the blood of pre-adolescent duelists!

    Kim.

  3. #18
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    The Kanshin-ryu has a kind of left hand trust. Nice one!

    Here in Germany, the left hand is the evil one.
    Michael Reinhardt

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Taylor View Post
    There must be about 10% left handed samurai if the figure of 10% left handers in humans is correct.
    It is likely that there were fewer lefties back then, as left-handedness correlates with the age of the mother at (the lefty's) birth.

    Using the sword with the right hand at the tsuba is of course neither right or left-handed, it's just the way everyone uses it.
    So why, exactly, is this the same way everyone holds baseball bats, cricket bats, and golf clubs?

    One theory I heard years ago on handedness (and of course a silly one as most are) is that right handers dominate due to the heart being on the left and so further away from the sword wounds suffered by right handers compared to left handers. This assumes one handed swords in the right hand with the fight being right foot forward of course. Having trouble imagining that many dueling deaths to affect that much genetic drift... the streets must have ran red with the blood of pre-adolescent duelists!
    The real problem with this theory is that while the sound of the heart is located in the upper left of the chest (due to the way it pumps) the actual location of the heart is right in the middle, well protected by the sternum. Why do you think CPR is performed there, and not on the left side of the chest?

    The truth of the matter is, human beings are almost all right handed. And in virtually every culture, this was considered "normal", while left-handedness was considered "weird", and from weird on to ill-omened, evil, and bad in general. Japanese swordsmanship, just like any other two-handed activity, naturally took as a given, the right-handed way of doing things: dominant hand for fine control, non-dominant hand for gross power.
    Josh Reyer

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

  5. #20
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    Default Agreed....

    I think Kim and Josh pretty much put this one to bed. Unless we want to comment more on the OSU! poster, or something.

    Wayne Muromoto

  6. #21
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    Like most left-handers I actually have a good degree of ambidexterousness: I write with my left hand, swing a baseball bat left handed, etc. But I use right-handed scissors, shoot a rifle and a bow right handed, and so on.

    When I first picked up a sword I did so "left handed" and was quickly corrected by my sensei. Now, the "right" way is the only way that feels natural, but it did take some time.

    (I did a bit better than my fellow students of the bo and jo, however, since those are used ambidextrously in my system.)

    BTW, did you know that "ambidexterous" means having two right hands? Or that the Latin word for left is "sinister"?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  7. #22
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    "Dexter"= right

    "Sinister"= left

    We use words based on these Latin names. We say someone is dextrous or exhibits remarkable dexterity.

    And then we refer to something as being sinister... "something is not quite right or proper"... Negative undertones.


  8. #23
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    Default Where wolf? There! There wolf!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Owens View Post
    Like most left-handers I actually have a good degree of ambidexterousness: I write with my left hand, swing a baseball bat left handed, etc. But I use right-handed scissors, shoot a rifle and a bow right handed, and so on.

    When I first picked up a sword I did so "left handed" and was quickly corrected by my sensei. Now, the "right" way is the only way that feels natural, but it did take some time.

    (I did a bit better than my fellow students of the bo and jo, however, since those are used ambidextrously in my system.)

    BTW, did you know that "ambidexterous" means having two right hands? Or that the Latin word for left is "sinister"?
    Hello Brian,

    Wasn't being ambidexterous in the classic horror movies a telltale sign of The Werewolf?

    Please report back to us after August 24th.
    John McPartland
    Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!  I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senjojutsu View Post
    Hello Brian,

    Wasn't being ambidexterous in the classic horror movies a telltale sign of The Werewolf?

    Please report back to us after August 24th.
    For a couple of decades I used to dress up on Holloween as Count Dracula, and hand out candy to the Trick-or-treaters. I had become somewhat of a neighborhood institution, and was seeing former child visitors coming by with their little ones in tow. (When I moved away my nephew took up the snap-on fangs for a while, until he too moved away.) So I always figured I was a vampire, not a werewolf.

    On the other hand, every 28 days or so I do seem to go through a lot of razor blades.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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