by A. Daniel Chiu-Sheridan
My right hand was crushed in a car accident a couple of years ago. Although I've undergone some pretty serious rehabilitation and training, I'm totally unable to hold a Shinai, Boken or Iai right-handed. I have no trouble, however, holding these left-handed.
As such, I've contemplated switching hands, but have only had completely unhelpful people around me!
Please help me find information on this - are there any clubs anywhere in the world that will allow me to do exclusively left-handed Kendo during training?
I'm willing to re-locate pretty-much anywhere, and just want as much information as I can get.
Looking forward to your assistance,
A. Daniel Chiu-SheridanAnswer:
Thank you for your question and sorry to hear about the accident.
I am not sure what you mean by holding shinai by left handed. Do you mean holding a shinai with only the left hand?
If you cannot use your right hand, you can hold your shinai with only the left hand. There are tons of people doing that. I have a student who only holds his shinai with his left hand only because he cannot use his right hand.
But I do not think you can practice iaido because you have to hold your sword with both hands properly. If your right hand does not work, you cannot pull out your sword. Even if you switch your drawing hand, if you cannot hold the sword properly, it is too dangerous.
But these opinions are based on the info available here. I am not sure what you can or cannot. If you give me more info, I should be able to tell you more.
Hope this helps.