2011 – The last shot

4 01 2012

New Years Eve 2011, it was great I had off for the weekend. I did plan it that way and turned down some work with the sailing school that came up. I needed to have a break, so I took it.

New Years eve was the RSD’s 3rd annual 108 Ya New Year’s shoot.
I was up on the early side for a day off. However since we wanted to be ready to shoot at 10:00 it was needed for me to rise early if I wanted to follow the training I had in mind.

I was up at 7:30 not 7:00 as I planned. I got my Zazen in first, then found a spot just behind the Aikido dojo on the property, and did some Tai Chi and Qi gong. It was a little in the cool side however I was dressed for it.

My breakfast for the day which I had afterward wad lite since I had planned on a simple fast. I had four or so nuts and a green drink. Other than some green Tea that was to be my meal for the day until sundown.

I arrived at the Dojo a little late but it was cool since my Senpai were not ready yet as well. After setting up the heater,

chatting , dressing we made ready to shoot. We did not do the meditation and chanting this year, so I’m glad I got my morning drills in early before leaving home.

We selected on going 8 shots to a set. I borrowed a set of four from a Senpai and we had at it.

It had been a couple of months since I shot so I had a few concerns. My left hand would it hold up or get cramps like last year. My right shoulder had been painful for the last couple of weeks , would it hold up? Would all those unused muscles for a couple of months, be pissed off and revolt the next day.  I had the extra challenge of using mismatched Ya . So every two shoots I had to adapt the shoot to a different flying arrow. Four ya were bamboo and another four were aluminum. The bamboo were all one set and matched, they were borrowed. The aluminum were from two different sets since my set of four was not to be had due to a shipping malfunction from the past summer seminar, due to my lack of mindfulness and forgetting to bring home the ones I shot with for my test. I was too excited about passing.

I was not overly concerned about my hits but more mindful about my form and going the distance. I was very mindful of making sure all parts of the form were proper so as not to hurt myself it was to be a long day. My right hand had a bit if a problem. It felt a bit tingly when holding the ya. This was coming from my shoulder pain. I persevered and after a while the discomfort went away.

Most of my clusters looked good. Once I settled into shooting and adjusting to each pair of arrows I started working on my aim. With the San Dan test coming I need to start working more on hitting. I was averaging about one center shot per set, not bad but I need better for the test.

I was able to self correct some of the things I was slacking on. I still need work and practice but overall I did ok. Nothing to blog about, but ok.

We started about 11 and finish about 4:30 ish which include a couple of tea breaks. It was s good session for our final  108 as a group. Next year I should be on the way to Japan and one of the other two sempais will be relocated to the East Coast, so in a sense this was our last shot.

Akimashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!



One response

11 01 2012

Happy New Year! And well done. Just doing that and not getting hurt is an accomplishment. I totally forgot about the idea, but then our dojo was closed for the holidays anyway. I did find out, however, too late, that the shrine in a nearby town keeps its dojo open all night. There’s a midnight yawatashi and then I’m not sure if the program is fixed after that or if people can just shoot as much as they like. Maybe I’ll try that in 2013 if the world doesn’t end first. Nice that you could use bamboo arrows.

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