Archive for July, 2009

This video depicts the flight path and rotation of the arrow and explains the rotation.

Read Full Post »

2010 IKYF Seminar in Tokyo

Proposed dates of the 2010 IKYF Seminar in Tokyo

B Seminar (Up to Sandan): April 20-22
B Seminar Testing: April 23

International Tournament: April 24 and 25

A Seminar (Yondan and up): April 26-28
A Testing (Up to 6th dan): April 29

This is un-official information. Please check with your sensei for confirmation and updates.

Read Full Post »

The more you practice, the more the”spirit of the thing itself” will reveal itself to you. You must understand your responsibility to the art and to yourself. They are one and the same.-The Book of Five Rings- (Book of Water) Miyamoto Musashi

It occurred to me just the other day, that it is roughly three weeks until the start of the 2009 ANKF Kyudo Seminar of the Americas. In 2008, it was great to have attendees from Argentina join us. They will be returning in full force. Their numbers have quadrupled from last year. The Canadians will also be returning. In addition, this year for the first time, we will have kyudoka from Mexico participating. It is an exciting time in the world of Kyudo!

While preparations are in full swing on the logistical end for making this seminar happen, we need to be mindful of each doing our individual part to make this seminar one of the best ever.

Individual part? What is my part?

It is our responsibility to practice and be ready. This sounds simple enough. Or is it? How much are you practicing? Are you going to the seminar with a goal of only passing a test, or are you going with the intent to be the best you can be?

With three weeks left, if you are only practicing during class time and only going to class on Sunday, for example, you have three chances to shoot before the seminar. If you go to class three nights a week, that ups your shooting opportunities to nine. Better yet, if you shoot every day, as you should be, then you still have twenty-one practice sessions. Now, if you want to give it that extra push and shoot twice a day you have a nice little window of opportunity to work out those trouble areas and fine tune the others.

As I have heard Sensei say, “the way is in the training”. I also recall hearing, “train as if you are testing”. So, however you put it, “the way is in the training”, “the way is in the practice”, “the way is in the doing” or any other way, the time is NOW if you aren’t already practicing as you should!

Read Full Post »

NHK production video discussing modern Kyudo.

Read Full Post »

This video includes information on making of bamboo yumi and ya, along with history of Kyudo. (NHK Video Production)

Read Full Post »

This video introduces the hassetsu and tai hai. (NHK Video Production)

Read Full Post »

Saying It Another Way (Ikiai)

A different way of viewing the breathing…. you decide. For me, the whole heaven-earth thing fit in with the yumi connecting heaven and earth and dozukuri, stretching the verticle line.

Retrieved from: http://headintheclouds.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/breath-without-breathing

It is said that when you breathe out you contact the Root of Heaven and experience a sense of openness, and when you breathe in you contact the Root of Earth and experience a sense of solidity. Breathing out is associated with the fluidity of a dragon, breathing in is associated with the strength of the tiger. As you go on breathing in this frame of mind, with these associations, alternating between movement and stillness, it is important that the focus of your mind does not shift.

Let the true breath come and go, a subtle continuum on the brink of existence. Tune the breathing until you get breath without breathing; become one with it…

– Zhang San Feng (widely accepted as creator of “Taijiquan”)

Read Full Post »

You tube comments indicate that this is a clip from the Japanese “NHK” channel on satellite tv called Beyond the Human Eye.

Read Full Post »

I recently ran across a picture of myself from not so far in my kyudo past. The captured image showed my right hand midway through hanare. Yikes!!! They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

While I am aware that I am still far from where I need to be, I would hope that I have made some slight improvement since then. Otherwise, I should hide my head in shame. But, in all honesty, I am still not aware of the exact motion my hand is taking at hanare.

Along with finding this picture and reading a recent blog regarding the use of mirrors in the dojo, it set my mind in motion. How really aware are we of our own body? The article (http://acmebugei.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/smoke-and-mirrors/), points out the connection between the martial arts and body control and whether the use of mirrors is a true asset or a detriment. It raises the question of whether we are learning to control our body through the use of our eyes or whether we are learning to actually feel our body.

We live in our bodies continually, or most of us do. The body is a material object to be controlled by our mind. Ultimately, in Kyudo, we are expected to bring the body, mind, and bow together as one (sanmi-ittai). How do we go about doing this?

How many times has sensei told us of physical corrections that need to be made? Logically we know what he means, but making our body do it is a whole ‘nother can of worms. This brings into play what I have been told by a well meaning friend, that I should be aware of my body, learn to feel it, feel my breathing and practice this throughout the day. Through intense focus and practice, we will bring the body, mind and bow together.

Sensei tells us, “the way is in the training”. I take this to mean we should be “doing”, “practicing”, every day. Only in this way do I ever hope to bring it all together.

Read Full Post »

Shin, Zen, Bi: Saying it another way

Excerpt of article from the Oxford Brookes University website
(may be accessed through Kyudo Articles/Documents-What is Kyudo?)

The highest ideal of kyudo practice is the realization of shin, zen, bi – truth, goodness, and beauty. These values are not simply cultural but are really understood more as something spiritual (naturally inherent) that finds form in human expression. This is important because shin, zen, bi is not simply something to cultivate and see as self-created but as the expression of qualities that emanate from our deeper self.

Shin means the absolute truth of things as they are. Although the form and conditions may appear to change, truth does not. Practice must be based in a trust and faith in truth. Zen means moral goodness but in kyudo it also means the honesty of purpose to seek for the “rightness” of action that emanates from truth. When action is based in shin, with the purpose of zen, then it has a dignity and quality of appearance that is appealing and beautiful to observe. This is the expression of bi.

Read Full Post »

The South Carolina Kyudo Renmei (SCKR) will be hosting the 2009 All Nippon Kyudo Federation (ANKF) Seminar in Spartanburg, SC beginning July 27th and through August 1st. It will be located on the University of South Carolina’s Upstate campus. More specific information can be found at http://www.sckyudo.com

Kyudoka from coast-to-coast in the US, as well as those from Canada, Mexico and Argentina, will be in attendance. We extend a hearty welcome to all!

Read Full Post »

Shaho Kun

Principles of Shooting by Master Junsei Yoshimi

The way is not with the bow, but with the bone, which is of the greatest importance in shooting.

Placing Spirit (Kokoro) in the center of the whole body, with two thirds of the Yunde (left arm) push the string, and with one third of the Mete (right arm) pull the bow. Spirit settled, this becomes harmonious unity.

From the center line of the chest, divide the left and right equally into the release.

It is written that the collision of iron and stone will release sudden sparks; and thus there is the golden body, shining white, and the half moon positioned in the west.

Ref. Kyudo Kyohon Vol.1 Pg xi

Read Full Post »


Record of Etiquette – Truth of Shooting

“The shooting, with the round of moving forward or backward can never be without courtesy and propriety (Rei). After having acquired the right inner intention and correctness in the outward appearance, the bow and arrow can be handled resolutely. To shoot in this way is to perform the shooting with success, and through this shooting virtue will be evident.

Kyudo is the way of perfect virtue. In the shooting, one must search for rightness in oneself. With the rightness of self, shooting can be realized.

At the time when shooting fails, there should be no resentment towards those who win. On the contrary, this is an occasion to search for oneself.”

Kyudo Kyohon Vol 1 pg. 24

Read Full Post »