27 08 2010

I went down to the dojo last night, as my Chan group is on break I took the opportunity to get some Kyudo practice in. Sensei was going to have me help with a few new students however they did not show. I therefore got to receive a check over myself.

I was in a group of relative beginners. They had just started shooting. I was last in the line. It had been awhile since I sat Kiza and even longer since I had to wait that long! OMG! The new guys had a hundred corrections, I was dying! Also having a foot injury did not help. It was brutal. I have to make a point of doing regular Kiza practice even if I do not get to shoot.

My draw over all was not bad there was a couple of small adjustments. My Tenouchi on the Yumi needs work still. I was not holding it flat enough on my palm. Also when Uchiokoshi I am tending to straighten my arms too much. I am returning to an old habit. When doing the scooping. I need to maintain the mind of Tai Chi. We do that same motion as part of the opening but the scooping throws me off.I need to reach with my back and shoulders not the arms.

The big problem I had for the evening and my first real conflict in teaching instructions. Nogami Sensei a Hanshi told me when I am in Daisan my left elbow should be down facing. Arm straight , elbow facing down. This Sensei here a Rokudan is telling me my elbow should be facing out to the side which gives my thumb more leverage to push…
Great!! This maybe one of those things I need to practice as two styles and use whichever is needed at the time.

Nogami Sensei is the more experienced teacher however, I am not there in Japan now…

Finally there was also a bit of suggested politicalness  that I found disappointing after class. Not really much of a shock though… just makes me very sad. The correctness of the act I understand.  The ignored otherwise, but drawn into this part, is disharmonious to my spirit, or maybe it is just my ego. I will be doing some serious meditation on this for a while. There is a certain mount of Giri I need to do, regardless. Like those old Samurai movies, duty to the clan sort of thing. These things are just part of the larger training and life journey, a form of test to my commitment. Anyway, I need to maintain my focus and be the Bamboo…Yosh!

Almost Famous

26 08 2010

My mother in law sent me a couple of magazines from Japan I ordered.

Karamatsu-San had told me my picture was in the Official Renmei mag. But I was surprised to see how many. Kind of a nice treat after being ig’d here.

The AKR has a new website there is a section for members only. Since I got all my news about them from Facebook I was pleased to see that I was admitted to that section when I signed up. So that means I am in good standing …I had no idea as I said before.

I saw they have several stories from members about their trip to Japan, which they asked to be submitted…

Ok so now I know about the website, thanks to Facebook posting, now I can keep up with what is going on in the organization. Mainly the next international test, which will no doubt be posted on Facebook as well. The AKR should setup a Facebook page. that would be helpful.

There is a perhaps larger ( than the Nor-Southern Seminar) Kyudo event up-coming in January on LA. It is not AKR santioned so it most likely will not be listed. It is supposed to be via the Kyudo Alliance the rouge AKR group. It is being promoted more as a tournament both 28 meters and 60 meters than a seminar. Yet there is a senmenar with the program and that is about shooting 28 and 60 meters. I would like to plan on attending but…

anyway I am not really interested in the tournament. I am more interested in the learning experience of the seminar than the competition .

My Chan group is on break the next couple of weeks so I will be helping Sensei at the dojo with his new students. Another form of training for me. The next test seems like a long ways off …these thing roll around pretty quick depending on perspective. I hear it should not be until summer, but I hope it is around Spring. Testing Ni-dan is not that complex I hear but I still need to polish more what I know. Now that I know more of what to expect I can relax more at the testing.

Friday Kung Fu with Shifu is back on however I will miss this month. It will be however good to get back onto the swing of Fu things. I only have another couple of years training with the group left before I sail off into the sunset.


Tanjoubi Reflections…2010

14 08 2010

The day started like any other day way too early at 4:00am. A bit more thankful to be working and healthy as I grow nearer to retirement with the hope that the government foes not take it’s lack of management ability out on on the seniors and mess around with social security. That would tragic and a disgrace besides being a major bummer!

No big plans for the day, it will be a quiet passing of time. Hard to believe so many years have passed in this short life span. Considering the shape of the world I did ok with a lot of help from my spirit guide, to be even where I am. It is not where I planned back in the day, but it is a lot better than it could be and it is luxury for many. For that I am deeply grateful. I starting this post from work on the iTouch, how cool is that ! I love this thing. After getting off work I will be going to get some long over due Kyudo practice.

The article on the Nihon Kyudo magazine came out. I was shocked to be on the cover!! I ordered a copy for memories, Okasan was surprised to see the big write up about me. She was impressed and showed it to her brother. I guess in the Kyudo world now, at least in Nihon I’m some what famous. It is like the thing with musicians here in the states, Jimi Hendrix and others had to leave the country to get respect. I sure got very little here at least from the head organization or the local one for that matter. No congrats on my win, no mention on the national website. Not even an invite to the northern/southern Cal training seminar. Maybe it was lost… maybe it was my blog comments (^_*) . Kind of sad though does not really make me feel a part of the organization. Just for the record I have met some very nice individual people from the Assoc. Maybe this is why it is so small here in the states, not much inclusiveness that I see. People like to feel a vaild part of something bigger than themselves. I’m just saying…However, what do I know…I know little about the big picture, I am , a lowly Shodan…a just nobody, well, a nobody with a world cup Taikai bronze metal (^_^)

Anyway Kyudo Nihon magazine wants me to do another article I am working on it now for the next issue. The magazine comes out four times a year. This is good ground work for my relocation, nice I will be appreciated somewhere. I wonder if Nogami Sensei was shocked also about the magazine.

I had this cool idea the other day for a Kyudo ritual when I do my passage. I will shoot three arrows as a ceremony. One entering the Pacific Ocean,  at the Golden gate bridge. Another one crossing the equator, the final one entering Nihon waters. I’m hopeing to have my Sandan by then.  Then after some training with Nogami Sensei test for Yondan in Japan. That is of course if I pass the next two seminars here in the states. Also if I’m allowed to attend, I have no idea of my standing with the  AKR or the NCKR/NCKA whatever it is called. I really am in the dark as far as my membership. No one has never said so much as boo since I joined. No welcome, no your dues are yearly due on this date, no these are our rules, zip! Maybe my dues expired and that is why I received no invite to the  local seminar. Hmmmm maybe I’ll be an outcast and have to join the rouges in NC. Yet another Ronin. Am I being to dramatic ? Haha a Leo trademark and it is my Tanjoubi (^_^)

I was over at the Zenamaran yesterday. It still feels alien. It will take some time to settle into the new feel of things.

I had my final Kung Fu class for the season with the Parks & Rec dept last night. When I arrived at class the room was all decorated with balloons and the like. I Thought oh no they found out about my birthday, how and I’m shocked they care. I was wrong the students were shocked as well, the party was for the county staff. However it did make for a good backdrop for a group picture.

This was my best class group in a long time. Most of them caught on to things fairly quickly and those that did not stuck with it and tried…good for them. There were also a couple of funny people in the class so over all it was a light hearted group that did well. I hope to see them back next round. I’ll break with my tradition of holding just basics for a while and give them a form for a bit of a challenge and help my senior student and me review.

I’m off work in another two hours and I will be able to enjoy my day. We’ll see how it turns out in part two…

Part II

The afternoon, was peaceful. I went to the Kyudo Dojo and got in some practice. Over all I thought it went well. I feel like my stance is stronger. I practice doing Ashibumi at work I think it has made a difference. I did not go through my personal workout as I did not have that much time. So I just did standing shots. One Ya for each of my decades. Then as repeat with Tai Hai. I was pleased with the results, not great hits, but it felt good. I just used the pair of Arrows I tested with in Nihon. So just doing pairs took a little longer. I have another good set of practice arrows ordered from Japan. I was hoping they would be here for this, but I’m still waiting. I hope they do not take as long as a couple of people who said they would send me pictures from the TaiKai. I’m still waiting for those…

Next I head home, LZ had made me some Oiishi Thai food. Yum! I ate all of it!
From there off to Help with Chan class for the evening. It started out with just my three Chan sisters and myself but soon another couple of students showed up. It was my night to start them on Tai Chi as a suppliment to their sitting practice. After some warm up drills the first thing I started them on is Taiji walk, not the form just the walk. What is that you ask!!

The roots of the tree that grows deep and reaches high. It is to Taiji as belly breathing is to sitting Chan.
After we finished we did a bit of group meditation. Once done with that I took off early I wanted to go sit on the Zennamaran our future home next year, feel the floating of watering and the sense of the night with a bit of reflection and prayer.

Thankful to have survived and even thrived on some levels in dark times. Allah be praised! _/|\_

It was a good year, We went to Hawaii, Japan, I got a bronze metal, my Shodan, permission to train with a hanshi, my picture on a national magazine cover, several new jobs, traded my boat, ..and can now sit in a full Lotus !! Whoot! Not bad for an old guy.

Holiday Kyudo

2 08 2010

I am behind on my blog post. I write some on my iTouch however I get caught up in other stuff and do not get around to posting… Oh well. This will continue for a while There is lots going on right now.

It was special I had only a half day to work, but got paid for six, very cool. It was also nice I had the whole weekend off to do whatever I liked. Which was work on the boat for change and get some practice time in.

So Monday after work I headed over to RSD for some kyudo practice. I stopped and had lunch by the water front in Vallejo on the way to the dojo. It was was good to get some quiet time. Once at the dojo after cleaning up some from a/some disgruntle Racoon(s) I started my practice. Since I had the time I went through my whole session starting with some Zazen.

Next up was some Taikyuku doing Sigung’s Taiji palm. It helps warm up the knees as well as the shoulders and chest area besides building the Ki

Once finished with those two items I felt more centered to do Kyudo. I recall the last time I got to practice I did not feel quiet there, er with it, in the connection of balance with the bow. This time on my first shot it felt better, far from perfect but much more centered than before. I went through twelve shots with standing form, before taking a break. After some tea and fruit I went on to the next section , the sitting / kneeling form was next.

I took few deep breaths and had at it. Considering the time without a full practice I thought it went well. It got better as did my shots after I got more centered. Mostly I worked on form, recalling things I was told in Japan, more than going for hitting. I did notice as my draw and form improve so did my hit rate. Again I did six shots, tea then six more before calling it a day and heading home. So in all I had a good three hour practice.

So for the holiday weekend I did get to work on the boat and practice some of my arts. It was a productive and restful weekend holiday, the first in a while and the last for another while.