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LH-fighting-msg – 1/4/04


Techniques for left-handed fighters.


NOTE: See also the files: Fightng-Small-art, f-fighters-msg, melee-tactics-art, Shield-Balanc-art, quarterstaff-msg, armor-chklst-msg, Chalngs-Boasts-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: alchem at en.com (James Koch)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: fighting left handed

Date: 1 Sep 2003 18:00:30 -0700


"Jeff Simpson" <jeffsim at telusplanet.net> wrote:

> Just wondering if the left handed combat fighters (sword) can pass on any

> tips and tricks ???


As a fencer I was informed that I had a natural advantage being left

handed. This is due to the fact that 90% of my opponents are right

handed and I get used to fighting them, while only 10% of a right

handers opponents fight left.  Unfortunately when I started fighting

SCA heavy I preferred to fight right handed and gave up the advantage.


Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)



From: hew at northernelectric.ca (Hew)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: fighting left handed

Date: 1 Sep 2003 15:13:50 -0700


Okay, so I'm a newbie rapier right-handed guy, and not rattan fighter,

but here goes...


Richard Tucker <nitecrawler7 at worldnet.att.net> wrote in message news:<3F3A34BB.99E97EAA at worldnet.att.net>...


> > Why would rattan move "lots faster than steel"?  The weight isn't that

> > much different, if you build a rattan piece properly, but the

> > cross-secton of rattan is much worse.

> >  Ewen


> I think it has to do with the density of the material. All I know is that the rattan

> accellerates much faster than an equivilant mass of steel, aerodynamics doesn't seem

> to enter into the 'equation' that much, considering the low terminal V developed.  We

> did a video to test this, the rattan only took three frames to move through 90

> degrees of arc, the steel took five frames to travel the same path.  Go figure...


2 cents worth - I can't think why you would often need to swing a

rapier tip through 90 degrees of arc that quickly, unless you're in a

melee and were engaging a new fighter (or two of them). Wide swings

are not economical and leave too many openings. (I should know - I

keep making them. Grrr!)


back on topic...


The day I authorised (single rapier) I was in a pickup fight with a

very good lefty, and on a whim I switched to the left after 30 seconds

or so, with the notion that even lefties find it harder to fight

lefties. Then, I switched back to the right hand, and finally managed

to get him with one or two cuts, but none fatal. Clips from "Princess

Bride" dancing through my head. After he killed me, he asked why I

switched back and forth. I said "it seemed like a good idea at the

time". He admitted that he was confused for a bit because he thought

perhaps I had forgotten to call a disabling blow to my right arm,

switched to off-hand, and then later forgot that my arm was supposed

to be disabled. I didn't and it wasn't. I was just messing with him. I

still died pretty quickly though, but he *was* the previous year's

Baronial Champion.






From: "Hassan C." <baharroth2000 at hotmail.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: fighting left handed

Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2003 02:29:48 -0400

Organization: Georgia Institute of Technology


My only actual experience is in Olympic-style fencing, but I imagine that

the lesson crosses into the other sorts as well.  This is certainly very



> As a fencer I was informed that I had a natural advantage being left

> handed.  This is due to the fact that 90% of my opponents are right

> handed and I get used to fighting them, while only 10% of a right

> handers opponents fight left.

> Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)


But its important to remember that he only real advantage you're getting is

novelty. Left handers aren't intrinsically better fighters, its just that

people aren't as used to fighting them. Much like someone using an odd

weapon combination, that gives us an edge. But while that edge might help

you beat less experienced fighters, eventually you're going to run into

someone who has not only fought plenty of left handers, but also fought

better ones than you (Unless you end up being The One of combat, heh).


In other words, being left handed helps, but it isn't something to rely on.

If you count on that novelty to carry the day, you can end up in real

trouble when someone knows how to handle it (as happened to me, actually).

Work on skill and form, and the novelty will just be a bonus when it



- Hassan



From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: fighting left handed

Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 18:53:51 GMT


On other point to note is that there are essentials differences, not

between left handers and right handers, but between a fight that either

left against left or right against right and a fight that is left

against right.


One of the less fortunate differences is that, fighting left against

right in a reasonably closed stance (shield side towards the opponent),

leg blows usually come in at the front of the leg rather than the back.

If the blow is below the knee (which it shouldn't be but sometimes is)

that means shin, which is an unpadded bone, rather than calf. At the

knee it means kneecap rather than back of knee.


Which is relevant to what sort of leg armor you wear.


Also, a body wrap right vs right comes in at the back. Right vs left it

comes in at the front, which includes the solar plexus. I first made

body armor protecting the solar plexus after discovering that fact in a

bout with Richard Montroyal, miscalled the Short.





<the end>

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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org