2014 Kyudo season is officially started…for me. It was a cool, …hmmm er, no a chilly, hmmm no it was a cold yet sunny day here in Osaka. I bundled up and made ready to make the 10 mile bike trip to Kishiwara Kyudojo. I was not especially looking forward to the trip, to the practice yes, to the trip, not so much. It had been a week just before Christmas my last bike trip there. Lucky for my legs and knees I have been doing some local riding, so I was not out of shape for the trip. After making ready, some zazen, breakfast of miso soup with onions, seaweed and rice. I mounted up and took off.
Have I mentioned i am really tired of winter. It is not just a matter of being cold when one goes outside. With no central heating in an old wooden house, one lives in a state if perma-chill. It sucks. In-door, one dresses like being outdoors. well at least you do if you want to save on fuel cost. Although it could be worse like if I lived in Northern Japan. However if LZ was from Northern Japan we would not be here, no way , Jose…(or Jose-san since this is Japan ).
The ride was fairly chilly, it was good I did the layers thing. The down vest was great. However as the sun was full and i was working the pedals, the inner fires started building and after about 20 min or so it got rather warm. I made a few clothing adjustments, adjusted mentally as well and made the trip without too much effort.
It was nice I was not on a time-table. I have found the best time for me is to arrive just before the Senseis go to lunch. That way they see me and i can get a quick check over. Then while they are at lunch i can get some practice in on my own without adjustments. After their lunch then again I am under their eyes. So I can get the best use of the time there. Usually I am alone or near alone during the lunch period. I like it!
After I did my warmup on the Makiwara, I went on the mato floor. I figured it was good to do the full Tai Hai not only for practice , but some kind of personal ceremony for the first shot. I took it as a good sign for the year that my first shot hit. The rest in that set no, but the first did, so I was pleased. I was able to get one hit per set of four, which in itself is an improvement I noted mentally.
Once the Senseis returned I received some adjustment advise on my Daisan. This is one of the differences as i stated before from learning in Japan and learning in the States. Details. Angles crosses, etc. it is more than just hitting the target, it IS the finger pointing to the moon. Or the journey not the destination. I guess the destination will take care of itself, if the journey is correct, that type of mind.
So much little things, and one part of my problem in Dai San is my shoulder. My range is limited without some pain and tightening up. No way will I get or can afford to get and operation. Doubtful if it really needs it, that is extreme. I can get motion, although sometimes painfully, until it warms up , still it is difficult to relax all the muscles in that area. It is like bursitius which all they do is give you a shot or go in a scrap. Forget that, it is not that bad, Nor getting worse. I should start using Kung Fu players secret, Tiger Balm. I do not have any Dit Da Jow (Chinese herbal kung Fu medicine) made. what I had was lost on the boat. I do have some old herb here I should start a batch, still that takes 90 days to be ready to use. That or buy some, orsettle for Tiger Balm. My other choice is to locate a local acupuncturist. I hear my government insurance will cover that here, unlike in the States. Yeah, that is a good plan see an acupuncturist.
Anyway with all these details I wonder if I will be able to be ready by Summer. Also with this much for San-dan, Yo-dan must be hell. Well anyway I need to remember the training is the important thing, making the journey. As I was told the tests are just sign posts, markers on the path. Yosh.