La de da de de…
I liked Sunny n Cher back in the Day. Not so much their music but they were funny, and Cher was a cutie. None of this has to do with this post, just the title. So moving right along…
I did some Kyudo practice at the Bamboo Mantis on Chinese New year Day. I followed the lead of Karamatsu-san and tried filming from the Makiwara. The first filming from the Bamboo Mantis did not turn out so well. There was something closer to the lens so it focused on that. I could not tell until afterwards. Oh well. I did however do a second film from the side as well, it turned out better.
I decided afterward that I would send it to a Sensei that first helped me in the states when I was making the transition to Renmei. He gave me some helpful feedback. I thought it was good to get since I miss some of what is said in Japanese. It was a good plan for him to view the First Shot of the year of the Horse. There were a couple of small things he mentioned that perhaps if I was having a serious practice perhaps I would not have done. On the other hand it was a reminder, all practice should be done seriously. Mindful as we Zennies say.
Today’s practice was more mindful. I tried the filming again as a test after most had gone to lunch or just gone. Once from the Makiwara and another from the Mato floor. The one from the floor was taken after I had been advised from the Kaicho about my right hand Tenouchi. How my wrist was bent wrong. I had been told that before but this time, I understood. So during the shot I took a moment and checked my hand angle. Going into Daisan.
I had been struggling with how to pull with the body and not the arm. I could not get it. I understood it mentally, but when i tried to do it…fail. Finally today I think I got it. One of the Sempai was watching me shoot. I was asked by the Kaicho to shoot so could have my picture taken. Turns out it was for the new Dojo webpage update. I am the token Gaijin. 🙂 Don’t care, good advertising for me, as long as I am not looking the fool like Bobby whats his face.
Anyway afterward Sempai made the motion that my arching was good. Combined with what the Stateside Sensei said and others about pulling from the elbow not the arm, plus arching, plus etc etc, it felt like it clicked in today. It was also less stress on my shoulder. My hit ratio was down for the day, but that is to be expected when adjustments are made.
Ok, so overall I am feeling better about my whole study. A lot to remember, a lot to adjust, but that is why it is a challenging art. Refining the subtleties, mindfulness in stillness and motion. Sublime Art. So far I have 14 hits out of 56 shots. Not great but I am relearning …everything! I have this iPad app to keep track of things. It is kind of cool , does ratios and all, graphs, tracks the years and months. Hard to beat for free!