Conflict

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!

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3 responses

29 08 2010
karamatsu

Yes, I think different instructions from different teachers is just one of those things… We have three kyoshi at our dojo and depending on who is helping you that day they sometimes give conflicting advice. As a teacher yourself, I’m sure you can imagine. They’re all trying to work on what they perceive to be the most important point right now, but especially with beginners that might differ from day to day, or the teachers may just have different priorities, or know different ways. Essentially what I do is try whatever the teacher in front of me suggests, but will drop it if the person I consider my main teacher prefers a different way. I did have a sort of “Herrigel Moment” one time after a teacher I didn’t know volunteered some advice that seemed really good (at least as far as hitting the target went) when we were alone in the dojo, but then when I shot the first two arrows the next day with my main teacher (both hit), he just got up and left. So I suspect there is a line that one shouldn’t cross, but honestly I’m not sure where it is.

Still, you are in the US now, with your main US teacher, so I’d go with that. All these things come together into a whole that the teacher envisions somehow or other, so I don’t think this is the time to pick and choose. It may be that by following your main teacher’s pathway now you will arrive a the same place Nogami-sensei wants to take you, just by a different route. It’s a journey in any case! No doubt there’s a good sailing analogy, prevailing winds or something.

For what it’s worth, at daisan my elbow is just wherever it naturally is, maybe pointed down at a 45 degree angle or so (just because of the way the bones are), but either (a) as I move into kai, or (b) once I am there, as part of tsumeai, I do that thing where I twist the elbow to align the bones of my left forearm. I’m not sure which is best. The one problem I have to deal with in this is that it causes my left shoulder to come up a bit, so I have to consciously stretch it back down. I should probably slow the twisting motion down and try to keep the correct form throughout rather than overdo it first, and then fix it. Hmmm… much food for thought today!

Hope you find a good path with whatever else is percolating there. One of the nice things about being here is that I’m so far down on the totem pole that nobody even thinks to involve me in politics. Ha!

5 11 2010
Chris D.

Hey Zen. Maybe you don’t remember me, but I met you once while you trained with Stephen Scott Sensei. I live in China, but I am from the Bay area. Anyways, didn’t know you had a site. Just wanted to keep in touch. We can talk about different Kyudo experiences around the globe. Also wanted to help you: “tenouchi” is spelled incorrectly.

6 11 2010
Zen

Hao ma! Hao jou bu jhin. I remember you from your visit. Are you back in China now?

Thanks for the spelling tip, I noticed that the other day 🙂
I have lots of spelling errors and typing on a iTouch does not help.
xiexie ni!

Yes, this blog has been here for a while, I cover different stuff from Kyudo to Kung Fu to life in general.

You are teaching Kyudo in China right?

Thanks for the note!

Yes let’s stay in touch.

Zai Jhin!

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