Kyudo Chronicles: MN Seminar 2011- I

10 08 2011

It was another early start day , not quite as early as my standard but it was still early. I did not mind too much I wanted to get my Zazen done and organized for the day’s practice. First thing was find the cafeteria for breakfast. As I made my way on the campus grounds I encountered another doing the same. We chatted for a while as we tried to find the correct location. Finally after a couple of wrong turns and backtracking we arrived at the cafeteria. We were the first!

Little by little others showed up. After greeting old friends with chit chat the doors finally opened and we lined up for breakfast. There was a large selection of items with several locations from which to choose. It was an impressive spread. I used some will power and did not over do it on the food…eat 70-75 % full…Chan training.

Being early for breakfast naturally flowed to being I was finished early so headed to the gym. It was a bit of a hike, but not unpleasant as it was a little overcast . The grounds were beautiful and the gym was impressive. The hosting MN Renmei group did a outstanding job of setting things up. It was an impressive and comfortable venue.

Little by little the attendees showed up and made ready for the official start.

In attendance were Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Canada as well as the US chapters. It was a good turn out of about 120 entries. It was interesting being a new guy yet experienced at the same time. I had been to the big event in Japan but I had not been to a local event with so many stateside attendees.

We did the opening ceremonies and the masters did the opening sharei, before we sat for the daily lecture. They showed us how Kyudo is suppose to look…

The first lecture was on equipment. The leader was Satake Sensei. I had seen her shoot in the past and I was impressed with her. She was also my group leader …

I had a picture taken with her in Japan but did not get to work with her there. This time she was in charge of our section for the first day. I  found her charming and funny I got another picture with the Queen…

Next up for the group was the individual shooting. This was the part where we shoot for the visiting Sensei’s so they can see what they have to work with. Another way of saying would be receive  Judgement.

It is said that what you fear the most will find you. Here is where my demon surfaced. This is where I fund out I am Omar (?), last in the line up of five. This means for those who do not know , I have to stay in Kiza the longest time! While the other four people in front of me stand, shoot, get corrected, lecture, adjusted, I have to be in Kiza! (argggg)

It is fortunate for me I had been practicing extended Kiza posture at home. As painful as it was I maintained. Kiza is the horse stand of Kyudo. I did it with that mindset. Breath, go beyond the pain, keep a mind of no mind, detachment.
I was pretty pleased with myself for making it through. That is until I saw someone older than myself, who look like it was a challenge to even sit and stand made it through in the same position. I was impressed with him, I was a wimp! I also saw this same elder person hold Shiza during the opening ceremony . Much respect Oto-san  _/|\_

One if the more interesting parts of this seminar was the spread of ages. There were a lot of cute young things and those of advanced age bending with the weight of life and age. All here for the same purpose, all finding peace, challenge, fellowship on the same path. Different yet equal.

I was feeling fairly good about my shooting when Satake Sensei only had a couple of small easy to fix adjustments on my shooting form. That made me feel more confidant about the upcoming test on Friday. I did not know that each of the visiting masters would be evaluating our form personally over the next few days, during a rotation of Dojo’s. My ego would be taken down several steps!

That evening there was a scheduled, Tai Kai. I had considered entering it to get some practice time in. However weeks before I had heard there were 75 people after the 60 spots in the Tai Hai, so I blew it off. I find out that day that there was a waiting list and everyone on the list was taken. Oh well I missed out of that. Not really a big deal I was not out to win anything, I just wanted to shoot. I did not go to the event that night I opted for staying in, doing some reading, resting and Kyohon study. I think it was a good choice. I ended up taking a nap once I got back to my room, for a peaceful evening.

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