Banpaku is the first Kyudojo I visited in Japan. It is where I met Nogami Sensei. It take a bit of effort to get there, and it is not as modern as the Dojo within walking distance, Shisenkan. I feel more like it is home base for me. Perhaps because it is where I got my real taste of Japanese Kyudo. Perhaps because of the people, most everyone greets each other when they come in.
I went there today for my practice. Nogami Sensei usually shows comes in on Tuesday, today he did not, too hot. Heat kills here in Japan. I heard there have been more heat deaths this month than the whole summer last year. At 90 yrs old it is best for him to stay in a cool place. I know my Sempai, K. was disappointed . He came in today to see Sensei. He is testing this weekend for Renshi and has been hoping to get some correction/guidance from Nogame Sensei. Sempai K, was sent to train with Nogame Sensei by his Sensei at the other Dojo. That says a lot about Nogame Sensei! I thought he is a Hanshi Dan, today I found out for sure he is.
Today I again planned on working mostly Makiwara. I did for about 30 min. Then I took a break. Just before that I was shown a different way to hold tenouchi on my right hand, by a couple of Sempai when I asked about cleaning my glove. This new way was also repeated by one of the Sensei there today.. I had been placing my thumb in the joint of the middle finger. I was shown to place the middle finger just on top of the thumb. That helped with the sticking issue and gave me a smoother release.. I was concerned about where to place the ya, but that turned out to be a non-issue once I got the fingers correct. I still have to be careful not to twist the ya. That is something that throws my shot off. I think that is what happened the other day at Shisenkan dojo along with the sticking.
Speaking of shots. I was requested to join Semapi K. In a line up to shoot, tournament timing tai hai. Thinking I can not say no, and it is just practice so off I went. However it turns out it was the viewing of the day by the Sensei’s who had arrived. I felt the testing pressure, sort of, but blew it off…mostly. I was not as nervous as the other day. Still I was not feeling 100 % with the new tenouchi. My tai hai I feel comfortable with so that was not an issue. Still I have not done it with a group since leaving CA. My only mistake was cutting off too soon leaving the floor, I was called back for that, but everyone was smiling so it was not a big deal. My shots…the first was just a bit off, but the second was center! Yatta. I am improving my sighting.
The rest of the day’s shots where not as good, but that is ok. I know I am capable of doing it. Also my form feels better. As I get more tired my shots go off, that is natural, more so after such a long break as I have had. Today I did not go until exhausted, but I could tell my quality dropped as the day went on.
One thing about the Banpaku Kyudojo is nice is the breaks. It reminds me of the Nankai Kyudo club in LA. They take a tea break together. As does Banpaku, I did not see that at the other Dojo. This is perhaps one of the qualities of homeyness that Banpaku Kyudojo has over Shisenkan Kyudojo .
We will be moving to our new part of town and home on Sept 1st. So I will only have a few more days of shooting left here. I will cut down to once a week at both Dojos, to conserve money. The fees are very reasonable, however since I will not be testing until Nov and starting a new Dojo next month I will conserve on our limited funds. Even though small it is an outlay. We really need an input source for some funds to really settle in comfortably. The job market is really limited here for a foreigner and the hoped for work in the yacht field turned into just so much air. As did the music, and doing minister at weddings thing. I have signed up with a couple of modeling agencies, who knows maybe even a little work from there will happen. I am not in bad shape for an old dude, I hear they need all ages and types.
The work focus now will be my setting up some Tai Chi classes and some on-line work. Also finding a few students who want English convo classes. I have been contacted by one guy already, if he follows through on his interest that will be a small start. There is the outside chance that a friend who is a CEO /President/ something head of a couple of businesses can get me some misc work or has a connection. Currently he is still out sailing, but is heading back soon. His girlfriend has a band, so maybe even something might come of that, we are supposed to Jam together once he is back in town.…yosh!