Kyudo: Reality

8 02 2010

“Everyone tries to shoot naturally, but nearly all practitioners have some kind of strategy, some kind of shallow, artificial, calculating technical trick that they rely on when they shoot. Technical tricks ultimately lead nowhere. Shoot without shooting…Awa Kenzo

I am, I believe pretty good at keeping my ego in check and being realistic about things I do. Modest, Humble. Hmm I wonder does saying one is humble and modest about things, make one not humble and modest. Anyway, I having been shooting I believe fairly well as of late, Yes Mark, for my level. Tomorrow I will do a percentage check on my shooting. Anyway, I thought I had figured out the the tenuchi. I needed to hold on better and was still working on holding steady and not letting the Yumi slip then using my lighting fast Mantis reflexes to catch the bow (^_^). Anyway I was was told by Sensei, my grip was still wrong, I need to focus on that. So my two main tasks at hand are holding the bow correctly and not letting my hand drop when shooting.

I figure for what Sensei was saying I need a monkey claw fist to hold the Yumi. That is the best way for me to relate to it, in Kung Fu terms. Monkey fist shape and not my mantis grip , which puts way to much grip on the bow. I get a good lock, but too much so. Ok, this will take time. Which is to be expected. On the other side of things, my draw has improved. I still need to recall to drop my shoulders but I am making progress.

Sensei gave me a verbal quiz at the end of class. That is starting to be his habit with me. Which means I need hit the Kyuhon more as well as the dojo. This is a good thing it will keep me in balance and ready for Japan.

The basis of our Great Way is Nature. We often hear talk of becoming one with nature. Every religion teaches this. If you can truly comprehend nature, then the Bow will be easy to master”… Awa Kenzo

Sensei had something interesting to say in class about Japan Kyudo vs American Kyudo. In Japan they are about hitting with touches on the spiritual part. In America we are about the Spiritual part with touches on the hitting part. This is for the most part speaking. Those who read this know I was put down for being to “zen” by one Sensei. Interestingly enough I am reading a Book called Zen Bow, Zen Arrow/ The life and teachings of Awa Kenzo. It is said by a certain group that all the stuff in Zen and the Art of Archery is just misunderstood translations by the German guy. Master Awa was not a student of Zen, he never had formal Zen training. After reading this book, I do not think they are correct in their assessment. One do not need to have formal “Zen” training to become enlightened, or opened to our connection to the Universe. One only needs a “stamp” when belonging to one sect or another. The Zen mind is not about a sect, it is about and awareness and experience. In Christian terms it is about a personal relationship with God. You do not need a “church” or temple to have it.  So in short, just because Awa did not have formal Zen training does not mean he did not have a Zen mind. Zen is just a word, it is just a finger pointing to the moon ( yes I’m back to that Mark). I find it interesting also that due to his change in mind from target Kyu-Jitsu to Kyu-Do he was put down by many, yet he was still a Master Archer, the only thing that changed was his mind. Perhaps even a raise in his skill, Now he could shoot without trying to shoot, hit without trying to hit, Be one with everything , without trying to be one with everything.

There will be a mini Seminar coming up this weekend. I have been invited at no charge to me. Nice. However I am a bit concerned about keeping the separation of styles, we all know how important it is not to mix styles.  Some would say that even practicing together is taboo. I think that is going to far. It should I’m thinking not be that difficult to keep separate at this point. for a weekend. As the Chukurin-ha group does not do Tai Hai, other wise the Shomen, Shamen is the main difference. Once in Daisan, the rest is the same. I should be able to handle the separation,  As doing Chu Tai Chi and Yang Tai Chi. Kai is Kai, Hanare is Hanare, Tenuchi is Tenuchi.

“Masters do not rely on subterfuge”…Awa Kenzo

I will have something to post later, maybe after Japan, maybe before. Depends on my mood about the two faces of American Kyudo. I have touched on it before but I something more to express on bring out about my disappointment/disgust  with the two face dealing of those who speak of virtue development from Kyu-Do, yet do dirt in the shadows. They are of course just people. However as they say , that is another story.



Well now that my little ego and confidence has been totally stepped on by Go-Dan M3 , I will be going out to practice my Tai Hai today at RSD. Seems I need A Lot more work if I hope to pass San-kyu…Yosh




4 responses

9 02 2010

That target looks awfully far away!

9 02 2010

Ha, yeah, 197 ft

22 02 2010

Interesting quote at the beginning. I do have my own technical tricks, and even though my arrow hits mato, my shoot is neither smooth nor elegant.
Lately I’m trying new type of practice. From uchiokoshi I am closing my eyes, hikiwake, eyes closed, kai, eyes closed. I am focusing on technique, leaving aiming away. And I feel the difference.
Open your eyes as late as possible, just to be sure to hit the right mato :).

22 02 2010

I will give that a try, on my next solo practice. Maybe even one with eyes closed the whole time after the frist aim. That maybe interesting….

Thanks for dropping by and dropping a line.
It reminds me of “blind sailing” a Zen sailing drill.

Removes the distractions of sight. This is why the Soto Zen people sit in front of a wall and we of Chan sit with eyes closed.

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