Nihon Chronicles 2010…testing

2 05 2010

…day 4 in Tokyo, Meiji Shrine

I was up early on the big day. I had been unable to do Tai Chi for the last couple of days on the grounds at the shrine. Rain and mud put a big damper on that. Still the walk to the dojo was great. 10 min via city, tall buildings, cars, noise, down a side street next to the train, then zip up in the park, Nature and green such and amazing transformation.

We had to re-register for test day, we had the same numbers but needed to check in once again.

The energy was high on testing day, which was needed because the temperature was low. Everyone was trying to stay warm. Some people were even jumping up and down to stay warm. There was the speeches at the opening and a demo. Standard stuff by now, everyone knew what to do

Then it was show time. The Tai Hai and shooting was first. My number was 52. The day before I had been moved from Omae to Nimai ( yeah I already said that). There was one late comer on Thursday to join the group in front of me . She was number 18 so everyone had to shift back one and relearn their position. I was actually please not to be the lead person,#2 is easy my favorite. Yokatta! That was less pressure on me, to set the pace, timing the line, count when to knock, all that. All had to do now was follow and keep myself together!! Sweet! There were a few other additions at the last minute but they all got placed on the end so no one else had to shift. Then…it was on, the lineup started. Everyone kept on a jacket or sweater until the last minute. We had to line up our groups which were of five in a staging area with rows of three groups and sift over when each group went out. Kyudo chairs… It was kind of like musical chairs with no music.

I was not that nervous, I was more cold than anything. I had spent several moments ( like 30 min) upstairs in Zazen while waiting so I was centered, but cold and even that was not too bad, I stayed wrapped up until the last moment I could. I still ended up with the beginnings of a cold that night, the only bummer of the trip, well other than the cold.

My group finally went out and getting up from Honza the guy next to me ( the one who hit my Yumi) stumbled twice getting up from Kiza. The rest of the shoot went well. I did not think at all on hitting and did not, but did not care. We had been told it was all about how we did the corrections they gave us over the last few days. So that is what I was about, form. Then bam, it was over! I crossed the line leaving the dojo with no problem, under the watchful eye of a Sensei. Wrong step and you failed! That was one of the things they were like a hawk about, I could see someone watching always, after doing the proper Yu. I was done with that part, wooohoo. I took a large breath then went upstairs to hang out with the rest of the finishers.

We had a two hour wait for the written test. Everyone chatted, milled about, some ate, some read the Kyuhon. I chatted with a few, then read the book to refresh my memory for whatever questions they asked. I found a quiet spot and did more Zazen for about 30 min. Then I hear we had been called, I hustled to the testing room, then left as quickly I forgot to bring a pen. A quick visit to my backpack and I was seated. The person giving the test was from France, he made a few jokes as he explained things. Then he gave us our question. He said this time the Judges where being generous and asked only one question. A quality answer was better than a long answer, but there was no right or wrong. The question was…Why did we start Kyudo? When finished we turned on our papers and bowed out of the test room to wait… This was another hour or more.

Again more chatting with folks. I went back to my quiet spot and had lunch now that all was done. JM from the SC Kuydo Renmei and a fellow blogger came over and we chatted for a while. After eating and hanging out some with the RSD vets we heard the results where in and we all joined the crowd at the posting board!

It was done and I looked for my name while asking what does the red circle mean? It meant I was told that those people passed. I looked for my name and it had the red mark, YATTA!

After note: While talking with LZ afterward she says, Nogomi Sensei said he was not sure if they still held the Mushitei test, he said, I should get Shodan, but he thought I should rank more like Ni-dan or San-dan!! LZ said she did not want to say anything about it to me so I would not be nervous!! So now I have been asked several times if I will be in Minn. testing next year. That is a big hmmm, do not know. My whole trip about this test was so I could train in Japan. Now that I have made a solid connection with Nogomi Sensei and do not need a rank to train, but have one…why put out the extra money to go to Minn., also the following year testing is in Ca I heard.

Anyway money is the big factor. Right now it is all about money. 😦 Once I can get working maybe I’ll do the Minn. trip. There is one thing about having rank of Yondan, you can wear a kimono when shooting and be stylish 🙂 But really if I’m not teaching, or voting in the AKR or going to the banquets (only upper ranks can attend), and just learning for my personal development, what is ranking about for me. We have no ranks in Kung Fu. I suppose if I am to have any serious relation with the International Kyudo Renmei rank is important. However once in Japan I can test more often. Anyway, We’ll see what the tide brings.

What a relief to get that over with. I was thinking the group would have some kind of get together. However no one said anything. Oh well, I went to my regular routine now, Back to the hotel, shopping at the Depato, shower, dinner this time with some champagne I brought in from the states, feeling grateful and buzzed I went to sleep, relieved to be done. The tournament the next day I did not really care about or expect to place in so I had a clear mind about that, it was just for the experience of being at the 1st Kyudo World Cup. I figured I’d shoot then head back to Osaka early enough to catch an acquaintance at her niteclub gig. Interview her, chat, maybe get to sit in a bit an Jam with the band. That would have been outstanding, the musician is always ready to come out and play, but …

Next up Taikai.




3 responses

4 09 2010

So… I hope you are leaning towards MN in 2011. You know it will be fun.
(Sorry we didn’t get together after the test… I had to catch the train to Kyoto immediately afterwards. The US seminars seem a lot more relaxed and social in the evenings. I missed that in Japan.)

4 09 2010

I’m planning on seeing you there!

4 09 2010

It’s a “date” then! I look forward to seeing you! 🙂

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