playing sword with left hand

sabre, sword, spear, etc

playing sword with left hand

Postby danmitrut » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:26 am

hi,
It is possible to practice the sword forms with his left hand, for those who are left handed? It is not about competitions, but personal practice.

sincerly, dan
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Re: playing sword with left hand

Postby Audi » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:50 am

Hi Dan,

I have heard three reasons why practicing the hand form on the "left side" might be inadvisable. I did not hear these reasons from people who spoke with clear "authority" or certain knowledge, and so I have filed them away in the mental corner I reserve for things waiting further clarification. Two of these reasons would seem to apply to learning and practicing the sword and saber forms using the left hand. On the other hand, I have also heard some "authorities" specifically recommend learning and practicing certain non-traditional forms to both sides.

I once heard Yang Zhenduo respond to a question about practicing the sword form with the left hand. From what I recall, his answer was something like the following. "In China, we learn and practice the sword in groups. In groups, it would be impractical and even dangerous for some to practice in one direction and others to practice in the opposite direction at the same time. That is our tradition. In America, you like to innovate. Maybe you will figure out a way to have some people practice with the right hand and others with the left."

What I took from Yang Zhenduo's statement was that there was no theoretical barrier to practicing with the left hand, but that it was impractical in the classroom setting.

I personally think you can do what you want in private practice, but that most people that stay with Tai Chi will eventually want to practice along with others. There are also some links between the sword and saber forms and the hand form that might be obscured if you practice them to different "sides". But then, I am right handed and so maybe biased.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: playing sword with left hand

Postby danmitrut » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:25 pm

thanks for feedback, Audi

I understand your reasons set out in response and you are right about concerning group practice.
I would like to expose the following issue which depends more on the technique effectiveness to fight. I thing using left hand is more than a matter of habit; is related to the brain. A left handed swordsman will learn the technique, also for the right hand, but the finest executions will have everything on the left hand. It takes practice to achieve the same mastery with the right hand, while for the left hand, neural connections are already formed.


I would like to tell me if what I expose is a false problem or the practice has a small part of importance.

sincerly, dan
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Re: playing sword with left hand

Postby Audi » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:51 am

Hi Dan,

I agree that you will clearly be better at the sword with your left hand and could practice it that way. I also think you could learn to use the sword appropriately with the right hand. After all, Push Hands training is usually done equally to both sides. With the left hand, everything will be much easier, at least initially; but it may be harder to find traditional teaching or training support. For instance, I do not know of any two person drills that work with one person being left handed and the other being right handed.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: playing sword with left hand

Postby Wu Jin Hua » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:31 am

Hi Danmitrut,

The sword is part of the Yang family curriculum, and this is to help practitioners to built their inner strength to move along while one of the hand handling
the sword with another forming the sword fingers to counter balance. This helps the inner balance of your body and mind with both hands synchronized and harmonized.
The sword routine not only relaying on the hands, but with the legs, body, hands and the eyes (Intents)。 上下相随, 内外相合 which means that the upper &
lower body should follow in every steps, while the intents and the external movements should harmonize and synchronize into a form.
The sword, traditionally based on the right hand and you have no choice to practice it with your right hand first before switching it over to your left hand.
Because you need to have the whole sword form condensed into you, than can you reverse the process to the side. If you are not good with one side, you will also not doing well on the other side. This is part of your training and if everything is going on fine, then you may consider the other side.
Hope this will give you an understanding of the sword tradition, this rule apply s to all Chinese customary or tradition.

Peace Be With You
Wu Jin-Hua
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Re: playing sword with left hand

Postby danmitrut » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:18 am

thanks for all tips
sincerly dan
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Re: playing sword with left hand

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:52 pm

Dan,
I practice sword, saber and hand forms to the left every chance I get.
It's a personal preference of mine.
I do not do so in a class setting due to the danger of striking a fellow student, but once I get home I practice every movement in both directions.
So far, it hasn't harmed me in any way.
I know of one left handed person in our group who does this as well.
I think it balances me out better, but that is a personal feeling and not a fact.

Bob
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