Raccoon Crap Kyudo Dojo…

14 02 2009


A funky name for a cool place. It was a cold rainy night in Vallejo on Mare island. Mare Island is a former military installation which is now open for public commercial use. My Onisan works there on the island. He was able to luck into a place to practice Kyudo distance shooting. I think it is 20 meters the regulation length. The place that he and another classmate set up is the mezzanine of an old warehouse that use to build submarines. Now it is used for storage of misc stuff for the business there. It is cold, a little leaky, dusty, but Kool! The Dojo mezzanine has been cleaned up and setup nicely, still a bit rustic but in a Kool way. The guys did a great job. The name comes from the fact that as it is an old warehouse, in a open rustic setting there are raccoon that get in and perhaps live in the roof. From time to time, they visit and make use of the dojo, but not for Kyudo 🙂

As said it was a rainy night for me that just added to the koolness  of it. Listening to the sound of rain on the roof, which mostly stayed outside…mostly. Oni-san had setup a kerosene heater, which added some warmth and a bit of rustic Japaneseness to the setting.  I’m glad I planned ahead and dress for the cold, I was comfortable, and the little bit of heat add to the comfort level.


There were three targets and three of us. It was perfect. We lined up to take the first shots. it had been a while since I did the opening postures for distance shots with the salute. So I followed along and did not give much thought to being exact with my shot or body alignment , etc. I just shot. Thwack hit the target! , ok, no biggie I thought, second shot, Thwack! right next to the first! Still did not think much about it, until, Oni-san said you should take a picture! I’m thinking, huh?? then I looked at it closely, wow, those were good shots! We joked , that I should quite now, take some pictures and go home.


Those were my best shots of the night. from there it went down hill. The rest of the evening was spent, thinking, postures, alignment, stance, breath, twist, expanding draw, corrections, do not drop the arrow ( doh), brace it against the stomach. Not in the “Zen” zone.  The first shots reminded me of what and old Shifu would say to some students. Stop thinking so much about what you are doing and just do it! ( this was way before Nike )


It was a cool time at the Dojo and great to get some practice in. I was invite to again. I will! Right now we are close only about 20 min. Once we move it will be further. I’m thinking I can at least add it to my monthly journey training.


I go to Shifu’s ( 1 hour plus travel) once a month, advance Chan ( 45 min plus) I can do this minimum monthly also. It will be good for me.


It helped greatly with my spirit going to practice last night, after the ordeal with the Apt. A release of all that stress and washing it away with the sound of rain




3 responses

15 02 2009

Reminds me of my son who is always reminding his sister of the wisdom he got from the great master – Yoda, who said “Do or do not, there is no try.”

15 02 2009
Rick Matz

Outstanding place! What a wonderful place to shoot.

15 02 2009

I’m glad you took pictures! Lucky shots? I don’t think so!!!

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