As the arrow flies…

27 05 2012

The biggest challenge right now, well, other than money, marriage, lack of sleep,  the soon up coming boat passage is the even sooner Kyudo seminar.

Other than casting off this is the big outside challenge for the year. Yet, at the same time in the big picture it means nothing. The world will not change, I will not change, no matter if I get the new piece of paper or not, afterward it is back to another day of training.

The annual Tai Chi Mantis Kung Fu events are up coming. However they are not a concern as there is nothing I have to do, other than just be there. I do have two students competing this year in the tournament, doing taichi. That is kind of nice since it will be my last event for a couple of years until we get resettled.

My Kung Fu and TaiChi classes will be ending ether Aug or Oct. Kind of sad I do not have a student who can take over and keep the classes going. I have one long term student who helps teach now and then but she can not maintain a consistent attendance. So the Bay Shaolin school will be completely dissolved here and reborn in Japan like a phoenix.

Over the last couple of weeks I have put in some extra Kyudo time. Solo practice, gone to class and this last Sunday went to the range with Sensei. Then another solo practice yesterday on Monday. The results are showing. I feel like I made a break through on shooting I am back up to 50% or better on my hits. I am therefore feeling much better, sometimes, about testing in Aug. Of course I will not let up on the practice. I want to be very comfortable (hahaha) for the Aug trials.

I do need to watch how much I travel do these days, thanks to the increase again of the fuel prices. It is about 1 hour drive, some times more to get to the dojo. That adds up quick at almost 5.00 a gal.

I have discovered the truth of setting up the form correctly the arrow will hit. That set in over the last couple of practice sessions. The thing is to be 100% consistent on one’s foundation. That is the challenge .

One disappointment for Aug is the Chan retreat has been changed to July. I was looking forward to doing the Kyudo the intensive for a week then follow up with a few days of Cha’n to unwind.
Now the Chan will be two weeks before the Tai Hai. Can I carry that “space” for two weeks? I should not need to, it should be on-call… More training, yosh!

I have picked up a new goal for next year. It is doubtful I will be ready to test for Yondan in Japan next year. However I would like to attend the Kyudo event in Hawaii. It is outside of the ANKF program. It would be fun to get in about a week of Kyudo and Zen training, even better in Hawaii. After 6 mo on the water it should be fun…if i can pull it off money wise. I do want to get in a few days of practice when we stop there on the way to Japan. That would be cool. I wanted to get some shooting in on our last trip there but that did not work out. Sometimes things roll like that. Or in this case that is how the arrow flies sometimes.

Another thing that has opened in Japan…
I wanted to do some ceramic work again and I was hoping to find a connection once there. As it turns out Yoh Sensei is good friends with a potter who lives in the mountains there in Osaka. I will have an introduction and a visit to him once we relocate. So I have my Zen connection, ceramic, Kyudo, and sailing connections. A new life waits. These were the main things I wanted to do in Japan other than play with a band. Even there I have a small connection with a couple of musicians. Things continue to look up for the move once there…the thing is just getting there.

One step, one arrow, one mile, one moment at a time

The path to Aug…hope

12 05 2012

I went to Kyudo class on Thurs. It had been a while, so I figured I needed to go. Especially with the scores I have been having as of late with my solo practice.

There were not many in class and just one new guy who had done other MA. I did not get much in the way of instruction, Sensei was busy. I went through tai hai with the group. I also did some internal work on my draw. Sensei said there was nothing standing out wrong and asked how my distance shots were doing. Not that well I say. I told him about my self analysis. He said you are at a level were you can self correct. It is just easier with someone there. He said if I can manage a Sunday he could go trough some 28 meters with me. Cool I am off for the next couple of Sundays so I can go to the range. This will help in Aug.

Oh yeah, I did get called to the front on the class, for this:

Monday; I went out to RSD to practice after work. It was a nice spring morning. Perfect for some practice. I planned to make a full morning practice out of the session, not just shoot. I generally start with Zazen, today I changed up. I did Tai Chi first that was my phyical warm up. This how we do in Chan class. The warmup Chi Gung then sitting.

Then I did Zazen. I do not know if made any difference but I seemed to focus better…maybe. I figured Kyudo is more like sitting Chan at times than moving Chan behalf on some level Rai Chi will help the sitting , the sitting will help the Kyudo.

The first round was not impressive. The second was an improvement. By the last round out of 5, I seemed to have worked out the kinks. Including my right hand Tenouchi. I decided I was not releasing smooth enough because my grip was too tight possibly cause the arrow to jump…or something. I change that and my percentage went up. On the last round I felt I was going to make 4 of 4,  however the last shot was just as the sun was shifting and I had glare right in my eye and could not focus. Otherwise I was rolling on the last group.

I left feeling it was a good day of practice , there is hope. Maybe even worth it not to go see the Avengers that day. I will do that next week.

Last Kyudo…in April

2 05 2012

I was to meet up with my Sempai to do some Tai Hai and target practice. I was late due to visiting friend in the early afternoon. I didn’t get to the Dojo until 5:00 instead of 3:30 or so.

When I arrived both of my Chikorin-ha Senpai’s were still there. Not having seen them in a while we chatted for a bit, before I started shooting.

It was mention that one of the Sempai was cutting down on his Yumi collection and was I interested in buying one. I have been wanting get a new Yumi one that is stronger than the ” princess”. At the same time the fiberglass one that I traded my bass for is useless to use for anything but a wall hanging. So I still need a Yumi to travel with as I decided that I want to do some shooting on the way to Osaka. There is a dojo in Hawaii I would like to shoot at for a couple of days. Then I also thought it would be nice in case I came across a couple of local Dojo’s in Japan  to visit on my way to Osaka stopping at ports/villages. That would be kind of cool to do and something interesting to write about for a Kyudo mag. or something. Even a good series of blog posts. So the plan is to get this second Yumi which is a little heavier and ship that to Japan with the freight stuff. The current Yumi will go with us on the boat. I’ll take some precautions and wrap it in cloth, then cover it with plastic. I will not shoot with the new one until after the test. It will be my Yon-Dan training bow…yosh

Back to the moment…

I was not going to put a lot of effort into hitting today and follow Karamatsu-san suggestion and just work on my form. One thing I had been giving sine thought too was I notice my right elbow dropped some times. Today I was going to work on Nobei and what Jyozen Sensei had said about pushing, expanding  in two directions on the arrow line. Also focus on my Crosses. So first shot, bam a hit. Second a miss, no matter it was still a good shot.

This is how it went for the most part the rest of the day I was hitting about 50%

After the last few practice days I was happy with that… Yatta!

The seminar is only four months away… Yosh!