So which way should you start?
This has come up a few times in recent times and for me it's a bit of a puzzle as to why it does. Akechi Deneki started to the left, so does Osada Steve (長田スティーブ) and so do I. Akechi Deneki was left handed which will be a contributing factor, Osada Steve learned from Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼) and I learned from Osada Steve. (Just as a side note I used to start to the right until I had a lesson from Osada Steve). Kinoko Hajime (一鬼のこ) starts to the right and is right handed.
So the first question becomes, does is the preference the result of chance, the handedness of the person teaching? Did they consider this question and decide on some other criteria?
Personally I am not in any position to speak about any of these masters motivations and sadly the person who's opinion is probably most relevant to this question Akechi Denki has passed away.
So that being the case, what is this post about?
I've thought about this a few times but not really in huge depth. I started to the right when I began tying because that felt natural. I changed to the left because Steve taught it that way. At first it felt strange but soon it became very natural. I don't notice any more unless I'm thinking specifically about it. The reason this resurfaced for me particularly was that recently I had the opportunity to learn from Yukimura Haruki (雪村春樹). On that day I had to again start to the right.
For me it brought up interesting questions about physical physical habits and comfort. Questions that, if you will forgive the expression... make you think about what you do without thinking. Do you do what's best or what happens anyway. Sometimes it becomes necessary to break existing habits and form new ones. Which way is best and why. Are both equally good? Does one hand have an advantage over the other, if not does using one hand leave you in an advantageous position after this movement?
When applied to the start of the non-reversing style of TK my original instinct was to start to the right. I have learned to start to the left. Having tried both ways, thought about it, analyzed the outcomes and feelings I personally feel that starting to the left is better for me.
So why is it better for me? Because I feel that feeding from my left I feed into my dominant hand for the longest contact whilst handling the rope in contact with the models skin. OK so the effect of this is marginal, but when it comes down to making a difference between good and great bondage every tiny margin makes a difference.
It's certainly worth thinking about these things and not making assumptions.
NOTE: All of the above pertains to the 'non-reversing' style of TK. I was tempted to consider looking at those that use other styles of TK or Gote Shibari like Naka Akira (奈加あきら) who appears to be right handed but starts left or Nureki Chimuo (濡木痴夢男) himself who appears to be left handed and starts left. There are many others but as they use 'reversing' ties at all times I don't think this question exercises people so much given that half the tying is in either direction.
Please also note that where I have mentioned specific people's tying it is for illustrative purposes and because their work is so often cited as the source or learning or inspiration for others. I'm talking about the subject in general and it would be wrong to make any assumption about anyone else's reasoning. Where I have said that X person appears to be Y handed this is because this is the appearance of handedness from observation and not stated as a fact.