Monday, June 26, 2017

Swordsmen, Axe wielders, Huskarlar, and Hoplites, read, and heed!

Extremely tight quarters, with a central supporting pillar that is very, very thoroughly in the way of your right arm.

However, several predominantly left-handed families did turn their handedness into advantage, among them the Kerrs / Carrs, a notorious Reiver family along the England-Scotland Borders, by building their fortress staircases with a spiral the other way 

Wider, less steep designs tend to come later once castles moved away from being fortresses to simply noble family homes with the advent of gunpowder.
Try fighting your way up this staircase with swords or axes.  Instead, pack the base with gunpowder and blow it all sky high.

Bodiam Castle in Sussex used to have a right-angled bridge so any attacking forces would be exposed to archery fire from the north-west tower on their right side (ie: sword in the right hand, shield on the useless left side):

A left-handed hoplite or housecarl simply couldn’t fight as part of a phalanx or shield wall, since the shields were a mutual defence (the right side of the shield covered its owner’s left side, its left side covered the right side of his neighbour to the left, and so on down the line) and wearing one on the wrong arm threw the whole tactic out of whack. 

And, just for the heck of it, there's this, a modern semi auto, which of course ejects the spent rounds to the right.  Left handers get the brass right in the kisser.


  1. Right handed, but apparently left eye dominant. Pretty girl; too bad she's so tatty.

  2. Right = Dexter
    Left = Sinister

  3. She needs to spend less time on the ink and more on the plink. Bring the gun to your eye, not your eye to the gun...

    1. I am one of those right-handed, left eye dominant shooters. With a rifle I am okay because it forces me to the right eye (20/20 in that eye). With a pistol I have to adjust so that I can shoot aiming with my left eye (20/15) as it takes too long to consciously switch. Since this runs in my family I have to guess that it is genetic.

  4. Pretty sure that I remember from Basic in '69 that the early model M-16s ejected to the right rear. Made it interesting on left handers and left eye dominate folks. regards, Alemaster

  5. In college, just for fun, I took epee and foil classes. As a lefty, I had an immediate advantage over most of the class since the basic moves taught just assumed a righty against a righty. Of course when I faced off against another lefty I was back to square one.

    There's quite a few things I do right handed, even though I'm strongly left hand dominant, just because I initially learned it right handed. I imagine back in the day they forced young boys to hold the shield with their left and the sword with their right. No regard for the child's dominant hand because, like you mentioned, one lefty would screw the whole line. Over time the lefties would simply learn to fight right handed.

    I imagine that in individual combat, being a "switch hitter" provided a good advantage.