Sunday Kyudo…in a distance place.

7 04 2008

“The correct practice of Zen centers on ellimination of all attachements, including attachment to the correct practice. The True Follower of Zen, simply does Zen”…TaMo

A few days ago, maybe a week … or so, I thought about looking into other Kyudo schools in the area. There were several I found all linked to a Federation or Assoc. out of Japan. I figured why not check it out. There were a couple of things I noticed in Japan that were not happening when I attend the current class. I wanted to see where there was a difference.

It was a beautiful Sunday , warm Northern Ca day!! Wow great, Hills are covered with sades of green, and splashes of spring flowers. I have been, I think more grateful for these moments of clearity. Maybe the sitting is changing my mind… I digress

It was a pleasant hour drive in light traffic to meet the instructor. There were parts of the sky that looked like rain. I got a real sense of being back in Hawaii with all the green mountains and clear to dark skies I got to enjoy. I arrived at his house on time and meet his wife. He was playing the flute, and reading the music. I was impressed and for a flash I thought hmmm flute lessons. I did snap back to Kyudo after the flute was put away. They instructer S and the wife, seemed nice. I meet the cats, they were very shy. I was told that if the weather was good, he taught at the park and rec center, if it was not. We would shoot at home.

Since it was questionable on the weather Instructer S (IrS) deciedes we will stay at his place and shoot. Ok,…I’m thinking garage, in the back yard.. nope.. in the living room, Whoa, He has the equipment and, so after a few mintues of assembly we are ready to shoot with the Makawara Straw target. I am intrigued so little space can be use.

IrS is a knowledgable guy, 6 Dan certified in Japan. I pickup some interesting tips and corrections. There was only the two of us. He checked me out to see what how little I know and were my weakness are to be worked on. I do a couple of shots. He gives me some tips. I also ask about how to do the proper entrance to the floor and I am shown. We work mostly on my draw and grip. after some explaining and my identifing some of the same things Shisuk had said about when doing Tai CHi, what I was told sunk in more. I could relate it to something I was doing and was told to practice more of anyway by Shisuk. I also related some of how the bow grip , is similar to a mantis grip in Kung fu. One of the differences in this style, there is not much, is that they start the draw from high in front of the face. Where are thee other style starts more from an angle and tlit. I remember now Onii-san from the tiger school Said about one is the fighting or warrior style the other is the court style. I am more comfortable with the court style. It is the same as a Tai Chi opening. My body already flows to that position.

I was also run through some of the three kneeling positions and explained the sitting one. It was painful and interesting. I will need some losing up, interestingly again in another spot Shisuk tells me I need for my Tai Chi to improve, more horse stance. Hmmm ok, so I really need to work on those drills Shisuk showed me, I get a two win thing happing.I understand how Tai Chi helps my Mantis & Shaolin Fists. I did not expect it with the kyudo. Not only with the flow of the breath and chi but also the expanding end contraction of the body use of the body structure to be totally in the shot as in total in to a push or a punch Having that structure in place to support the push , the punch , the draw, starts in legs, the feet…

So over all, after I relaxed ( I’m nervous, with new people) the lesson was very good. I was shocked when I was told there was no charge!!! Whooa!! With me not working I was not going to insist and ruin his gift. So I just said that you & bowed. He said he enjoys teaching people the art Kyudo. I was impressed with his heart. My Japanese side said I need to do something for him, a gift… Too bad he lived so far, I thought to myself. I could come more often… the gas right now,…och…I was informed there was another dojo, of his style organization in my area I should look him up.


I was welcome to come back anytime…arigato

So which school do like better? Not a matter of like better. There is clear wisdom in walking a path that is mirrored in Nihon…with Nihon to be your path…

…however for now:

The True Follower of Zen, simply does Zen”…TaMo

What I did find lacking in this class and I also found in Nihon is there is no meditation in the opening. I had heard this was something the Sensei from the Tiger school added in. No matter. I am glad I found that one first it gave me a direction to go with my Kung Fu Class and training. It really helped my mind focus on adding that part into my class and training. I enjoy doing the meditation before doing activity , Yin before yang. I am also looking forward to the Retreat at the Zen Center, with the Tiger group. Even though the princess will be there and treat me like a invisible person, the style of Zen mediation practiced there is different from the one I practice, the style of Kyudo is different from the one I may end up doing…No matter

The True Follower of Zen, simply does Zen”…TaMo




One response

27 03 2009
Jean Murphy

I enjoyed hearing about kyudo from a different perspective. Thank you for sharing your experiences.


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