LA – Kyudo, Kung Fu, Music, part II

28 10 2010

Sunday Day II

Sunday morning I was up and doing my morning routine early. I was off to visit another Kyudo school’s, Nanka Kyudo Kai, Sunday open practice for any style at Rancho Park Archery Range.

One of my problems for the weekend was being turned around with the map and directions. Today was no different I was an hour late. However I made it for the last portion and able to get some shots in. Rick ( Jyozen-san) Sensei was kind enough to help me with my form even though I came late and had only a little time.

After watching me shoot, he said I had made good improvement since he last saw me. He then explained to me about vertical alignment. Reaching for Heaven and Earth, same concept as in Tai Chi. Not just about being grounded and using the Tan Tien but also about stretching the spine. Being held by the golden tread we say in Tai Chi.  Using the vertical to help the horizontal line. The large cross. Not just relaxing down, sinking the Ki/Tan Tien, relaxing outward to the target in the left and right directions.
This in turn flowed into another discussion. I had mentioned about being told about my dropping my left and the suggestion I was given about correcting it. Jyozen-san relied, yes, that is understandable. There is another path it has to do with what we just discussed , he said. Expanding inner space. The vertical line extended in two directions, also extending the horizontal line in two directions. As when you do a punch in Tai Chi, the punch is two directional. When expanding your inner space ( Ki) to the target in front also expand to the “rear”. Turn your face to the target of the left hand, turn the back of the head to the target in the “rear” 180 degrees from the target, the right hand. The support of the horizontal, from the vertical, interdependance of all things. This will keep your left steady from the support of the right, the expanding of the line. This principal is also shown in Aikido with the unbending arm drill, Ki is extended from the Tan Tien outward into the arm and beyond, In the grounding drill Ki is extended not just into the ground below or space above the head, but beyond in both directions.

Another point, the shot does not end on the release of the arrow,   the striking of the target, or Zanshin …no beginning, no end. The end is when you replace your Yumi in the rack…or does it…

The world is our Dojo.

I have restated most of this into my interpretaion and paraphrasing but this is the base of the talk.

Jyozen-san is one of my favorite instructors/coaches ( please visit his blogs). As a Zen priest and a marital artist he explains things in forms that take on many levels of crossing over to me. The non-duality is there. So when he says things in/about Kyudo it relates in with my Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Chan. Kyudo is Tai Chi, Tai Chi is Kyudo. I have a article preparing for Nihon Kyudo magazine on this topic…for now as they say that is another story, it will be here as a blog post.

Jyozen-san also helped explain the conflict I was having with elbow up or down position in Daisan. It was an excellent session greatly apprechated since I do not get to get much instruction these days with my work load. I’m doing good just to get in some shooting practice.

The session there at Rancho Park was short but the icing on the cake of the weekend. I was invited to come by and practice with him at his home whenever I could. I will be sure to make a visit to So Cal at least a couple of times before the test in MN next year for my NiDan. Then there is the SanDan test 2012 before heading to Japan. That is my big internal Kyudo goal before leaving the states, to be skilled enough to pass. Not only for my Kyudo development, for my Tai Chi and Kung Fu development. I can already see the change, influence in my teaching level. Which was part of my desire for learning Kyudo. Helping to understand the Non-duality of Chan (Zen), Kyudo, Tai Chi, Kung Fu and being able to express that in my teaching. The balance of the body, mind and spirit.

My next stop on the way back north was to visit an old band and Shotokan Karate classmate. It was a quick visit before heading off to Monterey for a short hangout with the Tokyo Delegation. LZ and I’s other Blasian compadres.  I had an unplanned dinner with them before hitting the Hwy back from a very full, relaxing but busy weekend.

It was good to go, it was good to be back.

After the drama at work the following week I was extra glad I went to LA.

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One response

29 10 2010
karamatsu

Thanks! Now I know what I will be working on tomorrow. The part about zanshin also reminds me of Kushner’s book, where he points out that zanshin carries forward forever, essentially… the need keep the mind of the dojo/zendo throughout everything you do. The monks also emphasize this when they say, “The time between meditation sessions should be meditation sessions.” And indeed, sometimes those are the best.

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