Gingko Kyudojo @ the BoneYard

15 02 2010

It was a cool, as in chilly and Way Froggy day ( Japanese speakers that means, it was very foggy) this first day of the Chinese New Year. Not what I was expecting for the day, but it had it merits. I was up early in order to help with the setup out at the BoneYard. This was the final day of the Seminar I was only staying for the morning session, then heading for other appointments.

The Bridge crossing into V-town was amazingly foggy, but it was nice in it’s gray-scale tones. Perhaps only an artist could get into it, and it was not bad enough that one could not drive without problems.

Once there I started right in with our projects. In no time at all for the most part we had things setup and ready to go, with only minimal problems. The “others” showed up just as we were putting the wraps on things.

We bowed in and got right down to business, no warm-ups, meditation, lectures, just shooting. The lines formed and I was with the first group up. While getting ready I’m telling myself, Chikurin -ha, Chikurin -ha, Chikurin -ha, that was my mantra. It went ok, …at first then I notice some things I had forgotten in the two Ya shooting. Patterns, oh-boy I thought, I can follow but I do not want to do this much, it will whack my brain. I got through the first round, then busied myself taking pictures.

I did want to shoot again so I let others go ahead then when I could get in the back of the line I switched glove ties ( that was the official signal )and went to the “dark side” 🙂 and did Renmei at the back of the line. That went ok, it was also when the first incident happened. I thought my shoot missed the target, went under the net and hit the wall behind. As it turns out the Ya went through the net dropped to the floor and slammed into the wall. The first victim of the day, the sacrifice.

The rest of the morning I took pictures and video. The light was good, so I was in artist mode. everyone was enjoying the shoot (ings). It was a smaller group than what was at the Friday gathering, but no matter. One of the things I noticed when doing the video was the mindfulness people had when shooting, the being in the moment. We were told by a couple of Go-Dans from the Kyudo Alliance, slow down… do not be in a rush to shoot. Do not rush to Kai/Hanare. While doing the video I was able to really observe the moments, the mindfulness, who was rushing, who was making the most of each moment building the release. Who is interested in the foreplay and who wants to just wants to release. It was an interesting view of things from the camera with folks going at their own pace, from the same start.

There is a mind difference in shooting target over Makiwara, even if one does not do it conscientiously. You place less focus on the form of shooting and think more of hitting. I tired to do both today. Shin Zen Bi.

At lunch time the group headed off to eat. I chose to stay and practice in the solo space. I said my good byes and got some advice from Don Sempai on my shooting. He said he could see my work in progress but do not dip when in Kai, before Hanare stay tall. Yet another piece to add to the memory banks.

Once all had departed I had at it, I worked on Draw, Kai, Stance, Aim, Tenuchi. The Tenuchi is getting more comfortable. I stopped being concerned with the Yumi turning and thought only of the correct grip. The turn will take care of it’s self I figured. As usual, when making changes my aim changes. Yuk! M3 says at my level showing form, spirit, etc is more important than hitting. Ok, fine. Well I hit nothing all day, I came close, but not target. I did however manager to destroy another Ya. I do not know how it happened, but when I pulled it out of the net it was shattered! It is a good thing I have this trade agreement on Ya with Sempai J. It could cost me a lot of money for the repairs and replacements of Ya. Another victim of the Bone Yard for the day. Two dead arrows, no hits. Not a good shooting day. However I think my Hikiwaki was better as was my Teniuchi and I did not smack myself in the face a couple of times with the string.

Results from Friday…

As I said in the other post from Friday, I made a video of my Tai Hai. I asked another Sensei to view it for some different feedback.  This is a Go-Dan from The Nanka Kyudo Kai, M3 considers him one of the finest teachers in the country. I had my visit with him months ago on the LA adventure. Anyway, I got helpful feedback from him. Some of it was a repeat of what I had heard a few days earlier, some of it was on the same items but more of a reason , root of why. It was helpful. This is a lot of work testing. One really has to have the mind set for it. For the amount of time I have been doing Renmei if I can pass Sho -Dan it will be a feat. Much more than people in the beginning came off it to be. Even if it is just basically passing potty training.

It is kind of nice with the Chikurin-ha style of no testing, no pressure. Yet, there is a certain , hmmm , not sure of the word here, sense of challenge to complete the test, like doing tournaments. The feeling of accomplishment and pleasure of release once the build up, testing it is over. Hmmm kind of like sex. The good part is that the things I need to polish can be done without having much room. I can do Tai Hai at home. No need to even use a Yumi, just in the living room, standing, kneeling, turning. The clock is ticking…Ganbatte Fuu-kun

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