Kyudo… Latitudes and Attitudes

30 07 2009

water kyudo

Here is the thing, if you are good, I’ll talk about your goodness, with praise. If you are funky, and think your stuff does not stink… I’ll open the windows and put your stink out on front street…

I had no idea what I was going to be getting into when I asked to visit the San Jose Kyudo school. I thought oh, simple I’ll just politely ask for permission to visit their class and see how they run things there. I’m getting the opinion as nice as the Southern CA people are the Northern CA Renmei group seems to be very elitists. Two of the three contacts I have had with them have not left me with pleasant impressions. Even the third parting was questionable. Maybe it has something to do with being at this Latitude. Radiation waves or something…

Sigh, of course it could be just me…that is always something to consider…let me think on that…

…hmmmm ok, It’s not me 🙂

Let’s look at the latest encounter. I wrote to the San Jose group and asked only to watch a class. I was told where they were, etc. Then I get an email back that says. They do not do “zen archery” I should contact blah blah blah. I replied Are you saying you do not teach Renmei style? The other person teaches Chikurin-ha.

Which was followed by, from him. Yes we do , but we are a Martial Arts Dojo not the feel good wanabe enlightenment zen archery school, finishing with:

“It is not zen archery i.e. shooting will not make you enlightened.
If you want to study zen then you should study zen.”

“with an email tag of shaolin.zen I think you’re going to be a lot happier with L’s group!”

Wow! What the Fudge! Very judgemental based only on my email address. I was not asked what I was looking for, only judged by my email address!! Nor did I say I wanted Zen Archery. I just asked for permission to watch their class.  Now in all fairness, I understand, the need to filter deadbeats. I do that myself, however I do give them the opportunity to say what it is they are seeking. Then I may blow them off. 🙂
All I asked here was to watch a class. So now let’s replay the contacts here in the North, I have one teacher who says:

“If you can not comment to attending every class I do not want to bother with you.”

Another who when I emailed about “kyu” ranking and tests ignores me.

And this new person who I ask to watch a class and m told because of my email address I would be happier someplace else.  Wow!

Even in Japan where I was obviously an outsider, from a different school, and one that was not respected at that, I was still taken in and treated with respect and every courtesy. If these Northern Ca people want to emulate the Japanese way of the Bow they should also emulate their manners as well. Manners and courtesy are BIG with Japanese. On the other hand, maybe they are just too low on the power pole…and have not learned, acquired that …skill. Or miss that class session.

As helpful and accommodating as the Southern Ca Sensei was the Northern Ca folks seem to have an attitude on the other end of the spectrum. At least so far as been my contact with them. The added thing is, it is not just me, I heard things from others concerning the group.  This is sad. It is not like the USA Kyudo community is a large body of folks. We are a small number here in the states. Yet with the elitist attitudes that I have come across from the Northern Ca Renmei people I can see why it stays small. Shibata Sensei’s group maybe of a New Age Feel good enlightenment kind of group, maybe not teaching true ( according to them) Kyudo  but they are polite. Not that they are without problems as well, that is to be expected when people are involved. Our egos are our biggest roadblock and always bring things down to us vs them. We as a people have problems relating to our commonness on small things, no wonder we still struggle with big things.


To be one with the One, we seek similarities in our lives, not differences.

We are same in our hearts, only differ in form





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