Kyudo Season: Uchiokoshi…

17 12 2009

…the movement in which the bow and arrow are raised above the head before drawing apart the bow.

Kyudo Alliance NorCal Seminar

The long awaited day had arrived. The Kyudo Alliance delegation was here. It was a cold a rainy day, and we heard much about the coldness from one of the group throughout the weekend. (^_^) Our Mare Island Tanuki Dojo as an old unused warehouse has no central heat, in fact NO heat. So like Japan we had to use a kerosene space heater, and like Japan I brought a pot for tea, which came in very handy. Introductions were made all around and the visiting Marcus Sensei of the team 3M passed out memorial t-shirts for the occasion, whilst we dressed and tried to stay warm close to the heater. Did I mention it was cold?

Friday day one, we did our introductions and settled in for the day. After over coming some obstacles with power and what not, we got down to business. The KA (Kyudo Alliance) is a Renmei based group, however they are about Kyudo the Art, a Kyudo is Kyudo stand. One of the things we needed to do for this gathering was work from common ground. So the first day, Ed Sensei had us gather in a circle, we talked about the spirit of Kyudo, his background, etc. Then he had the other Godan, “M” lead us in warmups.  “M” explained how important it was to work into the warm ups and prepare the body for the next phase of practice. We went through about 20 min of warmups and light stretching. I was right at home from doing some variation of the drills already.
To start off the shooting, the visiting Sensei’s did a full Renmai Sharei. It was impressive. The formality, the harmony, the shots. Shin Zen Bi.

Next up, Ed Sensei wanted to see everyone shoot. Since we were split even with Renmei and Chikurin-Ha, 3 and 3, we did two group. Chikurin-Ha, starting first. The Sensei’s watched everyone shoot , and made notes. I shot with the Renmei group, not feeling at my best, nervous and stumbling through Tai Hai, which I do not do that often. I however made it and did ok with my shot. wheww

So for our next section we gather around the heater, have hot tea and have our judgements given (^_^). Ed Sensei, made his recommendations on things he observed. Things that he was uncertain if it was style he asked about. Other wise he spoke on general terms of good Kyudo. We also touched on Harmony of breath – Ikiai. One of the main points he and the other Sensei stressed on the Renmei group was not to rush through the 8 steps (Shaho-Hassetsu). Be in the moment more, do not be in a rush to release the Ya, what we in Zen practice call being mindful. Give completion and purpose to every moment.It is not about the next step it is about the one you are in.

Next up was the individual shooting and the Sensei’s giving guidance, aid to each person. There was so much information I felt almost over loaded. I picked a few key things to make sure I retained, on my Tenouchi, Griping the Ya ( trust the Kake), elbow travel on the right arm. I made notes as soon as I got home. The visiting Go-dan were very free and open with their giving of help and correction. One of the points they made on several talks was Kyudo is Kyudo even though they are teaching Renmei Style.

Last up for the evening was a mini shooting tourney. A smaller than usual target was place up. Everyone got to shoot two Ya’s at the target. The winner got to sign their name inside the target. Everyone competed, except for ht the head Sensei.

The target was hit two times only through out the shooting. One was the visiting Godan, the other was the signer of the target, the one who beat the GoDan by a fraction…me!  awww yeah !  (^_^) whoot!

We left after that to go eat Chinese dinner, everyone was in good spirits at the end of a very cold, rainy day at Mare Island, 28 meter Tanuki Dojo.


The Kyudo Alliance, Inc. is a private organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of
Kyudo as a Budo, the lifelong practice of martial arts for character development.

The Kyudo Alliance fosters excellence in Kyudo through demonstrations, classes, seminars, tournaments, and cultural exchange.

The Alliance just does advanced training. Membership is open to anyone.

All Japan Kyudo Federation Certified Trainers




4 responses

17 12 2009

“being mindful”… this should be taught at kindergarten! Great stuff!

17 12 2009

Hey….im not just M im m3 Marcus – Michi & Miwa Bossett she gets a mention too …hahahah she was better than me with the cold Miwa didn’t cry 1 time hahah lol … i did …hahahaha

great trip

great people ……i would freeze you them again any time ………..M3

17 12 2009

Hahaha, Yeah M3, how about clearing your eamail in box so I can send you some picture (^_^)

17 12 2009

Hi Zen,

congratulations on your victory!!
I always knew you were a genius : )
nice to see pics of people training, seems like a really nice atmosphere
all the best,

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