Kyudo Season…Hikiwake

19 12 2009

…is the movement of drawing apart equally to the left and right after the bow has been raised to the position above the head. This stage in the shooting is central to determining whether the quality of the shooting is good or bad.

Sat, Day 2 of three. Everyone is pretty jazzed up today as it is the opening day of the 60 meter dojo. Thankfully it is a warmer day, even though there is still rain expected. This is my first time viewing the new range. It is impressive in it’s size.

However the tingler for me was the heated restroom. Yup simple pleasures, do it. One walks into this restroom, and the warmth of the heater flushes over you like a wave on the beach. Nice. The rest of the building is cold, not like RSD but cold.

The advance lads have done an excellent job of getting things set up. Target, spacing etc. We brought along an propane heater today , but turns out it has the wrong fittings needed to run it. Oh, well. We made do. So we finally decided after much discussion to formal suit up and get busy. Several of the lads were straining at the reins to shoot 60 meters. Like kids on Christmas.

Master Marcus from team M3 was to be the first as honored guest and the strongest shooter to go the full 60 meters. A couple of the other guys, who could not wait to shoot had done a few warm-up shots at 40 meters.

However MM was to take away the 60 meter virginity.  Once we had Rai’d in and did our warmups for the day, with yours truly being ask to do the honors, we got down to business.

After Master Marcus’s gallant and stylish attempt at the full Monty, Ed Sensei had the rest of us, take two shots at the target. Everyone got a a solo shot and picture at the line of the valley.

I’ll call it a valley, because like standing on the ledge of a valley you got a time lag from the sound of the Yumi to the sound of the Ya hitting down by the target. It was impressive.  This was not an easy undertaking. First one had to find the distance, which for the rest of us with not as strong a Yumi as the master’s, who shot with a monster bow, we had to adjust the height for the travel. This meant the old ways of sighting, with the half moon, thing, went out the window. One had to take several shots and be consistent each time to judge the correct trajectory.

After all had done their two ya’s it was open shooting. I came close but no hit, even though I made the distance I hit high a couple of times. Others came close as well , but only one maybe two did a hit before I needed to leave. I do not recall who that was.  There was a incident, a injury during the target assault.There were a couple of other Ya’s damaged in the shooting, though none as dramatic as this …

It was not a day of lengthy instruction, we did receive some direction and things to remember on Hikiwake and Kai. There was no formal displays like on Friday.

It was much more of a freestyle shoot and test of distance skills. My time as well as team M3 , Ed Sensei’s, and one other was limited as we had plans to go to SF to pay respects to the Chukurin -han Sensei .

After the disappointment of some of us stopping early we took a few group shots before packing up.

Camera at 60 Meters, group at 40 meters

Sadly we head off to SF, as the rain broke from the morning down pour. I had the unpleasant surprise of finding my car window down and my seat wet from the morning deluge. Lucky for me I had my somewhat water proof jacket to sit on and turned on the seat heater. Still it was not that comfortable sitting in the traffic jam to get into the City.

Our visit to the Chikurin-Han school was short as we got there late due to traffic. We watched a few shots and the Sensei’s chatted.

From there we went to Japan town which was around the corner. There we spend the rest of the evening. A large part of it in a noodle shop taking Kyudo. Once the others arrived from the Enteki we went to E Sensei’s room and spent the rest of the evening, going over Kyudo Philosophy and theory.

It was a different day from Friday, the company was good and the food was good,  it was more of a scholarly day than a warrior day, at least for those of us who left the Enteki early. However still a good day. Sunday was deemed as a full day of being on the line.

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