Kyudo Chronicles: MN Seminar 2011- Hanare

14 08 2011

It all comes down to this“…Miyatani Fuu

Another early morning, the open window and the backpack over the a/c vent has made a difference in the room for sleeping at night. It has been more comfortable over the past couple of days. It was a good plan, I would have died (being dramatic) from the cold if I had not come up with the idea. It was miserable the first night. Lucky I did not catch cold. Had a runny nose on the way here to MN, and I had some concern it was going to get out of hand but, it faded away … Yokatta!

At the gym today it was the finals. I went to my spot, did my stretching, Tai Chi, and meditation. The energy was different today I could sense the nervousness in the air, hang like a invisible fog. More people were active in their warmups today. I did Tai Chi, a fast version three times.

Finally it was show time. We had the opening ceremonies as usual and received our testing instructions. The Master did a Shooting demo.

I did not bring the good camera 😦

My concern today, beside passing the test, was I was unsure if I would have my test results before leaving however as it turned out I would be ok. My group had our written test first then the practical exam. If things went well I would be done by lunch and have the results shortly after.

My first stop was the written exam back in the classroom of the big lecture. One had no way of knowing how many questions or what they will be. One just has to be ready. My questions were. 1. What is the attitude one should have when doing Kyudo? The second was what is the Shaho hessetstu and describe Yoshiokoshi.  I was expecting three questions. We had only one in Japan, they gave us a break then.

Whewww not bad I was ready for those and gave a short paragraph answer to both. Then headed back to the gym. Two of my buds were testing , they were 85% nerves. I tried to give them some reassurance. I myself was a bit on edge being concerned about my Tenouchi change. it cost me alot to get here. It would be a costly shame if it was for nothing. Not really for nothing… because I did learn a lot but still my goal was Nidan. In a sense it was a double edge sword. Wanting it, yet needing to be non-attached to the outcome and just ganbaru (do my best).  This is what I wanted to convey to my buds, yet I had my own desires, attachments to deal with under the surface of still lake…this is one of those carry over, mirrored in life Kyudo Philosophies.  Do your best (in everything) but do not be attached to the outcome. “every shot is training“…for the next.

Sometimes when you lose, you win …Wong Lam Ling, Tai Chi Praying Mantis Master

Mine was the last group before lunch, I think, maybe almost last and it was now showtime. It all came down to this…we lined up.

Photo by Jean

We had to show our stuff in front of the Masters. We had the same lineup as practice during the week. I was not concerned about holding Kiza I already knew I could do that and since there were no corrections it should not take long. It did however take longer than I thought. Everyone was in slow-mo trying to do things right.  och och och…

Finally it was my turn to stand and deliver. I was nervous and uncomfortable. It was not a piece of paper disturbing my spirit, it was the piercing eyes of the masters, the judgement. In my head I ran through the list of the things to watch out for and correct. I was too tense on my first shot. It hit high and to the left. I have done better. Even though at my level I do not need to hit, I felt the shot itself was poor…yuk.

The next round I relaxed more, and lighten up my Tenouchi grip. In Kai I relaxed, held and did a more expansive Nobei. The arrow took flight with more of a sense of purpose. I missed the target again by this time by only a few inches. The shot itself was stronger and had a good sense if energy when it hit…BAM! My only concern was that I had opened my thumb a bit on release. I felt it raise in Disan but corrected it, but was unsure if the correction held when I went into the zone.

I did my exit from the shajo and saw all the judges eyes watch my steps as I exited. You can have done a perfect shoot but if you step out of the dojo wrong,  fail on the spot!! I did not.

Now it was all down to the waiting. Perhaps the hardest most tension filled time. The unknown zone. Right after I finished my shot and left the floor a Godan approached me and said your second shot was awsome! I felt better… that is until I heard from a couple of others about my mistakes. 😦

The waiting continued …

I packed up my stuff for the trip home, also giving as much comfort as possible to my still to be tested nervous buds.

I had a peaceful lunch perhaps a little oversized in celebration of being done!! About 1:00 pm the results from the first series was post. I looked at the posted list for my number 63 with nervous anticipation.

Like the character Hiro from the TV show Heroes, when I saw my number I exclaimed…

YATTA!!!

…next Zanshin

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4 responses

14 08 2011
Nikki @ Euphoria Luv

Yatta! Congrats. Happy for your success

16 08 2011
Zen

Thx cutie!

15 08 2011
karamatsu

Omedetou!

And now zanshin…

16 08 2011
Zen

Arigatou!

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