Tripping/Trip’n : A street word meaning; to contemplate deeply on something, a topic, an action, a situation, person, sometimes to the extreme. Which causes actions or words, which would appear to be “weird” under perceived normal controlled conditions.

I have been giving this whole Kyudo San-dan thing a lot of thought. Perhaps too much. The rank thing in itself is not a biggie. Even more so, less of something to trip about, thinking of it terms of san-dan is really just a purple belt rank in Karate. been there , did that.
However the thoughts go beyond that and are of, what do I want from this, where should my training go, how should I train for the next level. Which is really training for the next two levels. I can see what my other Martial and Chan arts do for my Kyudo, but what is it doing for those others in return. Maybe it is too early for that at purple belt level.
Part of my reason for doing to Kyudo was to better myself as a Kung Fu and Chan teacher. Here in Japan with none of my Shifus around my external martial/spiritual guidance is limited. So I question ( myself) am I getting there ( expanding lessons from Kyudo into Kung Fu teachings ) or I am still working on foundation. I sense this next training period is about refinement. Refinement of technique is a given. How about refinement of spirit. More meditation…sitting or standing. Of course a balanced answer would be why are you separating them. Both equally, as the balance is needed in Hikiwake, the balance is needed everywhere, everything is training. This section of the Kyudo path ( San-dan) could be viewed as Hikiwake.
Sho-dan – Ashibumi/Dozukuri
Ni-dan – Yugamae/Uchiokoshi
San -dan – Hikiwake
Yon-dan – Kai
Go-dan – Hanare
Renshi – Zanshin

Perhaps I am being too philosophical about all this. On the other hand this is part of why I study this and not just go to a gym to keep Physically fit .Well by the time I become a Renshi and write my book it should all be in focus.

like this:

The Spiritual Path of Japanese Archery

“In anyone’s life, there exist many problems and a mountain of unresolvable contradictions….From no matter what angle we look at them, today’s civilization and culture are all filled with danger. That being said, it comes from having progressed without paying heed to the fundamental kokoro (heart/mind/spirit) of a human being. However, if one returns to what is essential and looks within the very root of their kokoro, anyone will find burning there the wish to resolve one’s contradictions at all costs. That is the cry of true kokoro. When one listens to the cry of true kokoro, letting nothing come in the way, no matter what, the determined kokoro to fulfill this wish will be made possible. And that burns uncontrollably like oil on fire. This kokoro, for a human being, is the most sacred thing they possess, and becomes the source to resolve the contradictions of self. In both ancient and modern times, no matter how wise or foolish, there has been no other way to fulfill self than to pass through this kokoro. It goes without saying that for our school of Kyudo as well, this kokoro must be made the foundation….”
From “The Cry of True Kokoro” by Satoshi Sagino Shihan

I watched the film One arrow, One life. I found it interesting. Nicely filmed. So I thought. It was interesting to hear of the technical factor, then those seeking the spiritual quest side as well. The “Zen Kyudo”. I was told early in my career, I would not fit in with a certain group, because this person deducted my whole character from my eMail address with Zen in it. This group was a martial school not a “zen” dojo. Ok, so what is the difference, only thing I have seen is there is no formal meditation time or formal tea. Otherwise the external training is the same.
Yeah, I have said this before, which shows I still have attachments, which says I need more meditation. Yeah I know. I never said I was not a work in progress…
Digression aborted…
So yeah, the part in the film about Umeji was interesting. How unfortunate that temple is so far away. I will though make it part of my Yon/Go-dan pilgrimage to visit there. Perhaps there is even some kind of weekend package or camp. Their group reminds me of the Zen mtn Kyudo retreats. From what I saw on the vid also it reminds me of the two different school I trained at in the States, both outside the Federation like Engakugi. I do like that kind of environment and training, however I do see the value of the Federation “Do”. To be complete and balanced, both sides left and right should pull equally on Hikiwake. I have heard it said “that the pull, the expansion of one’s core, is not just left and right, but also up and down.” Earth and Heaven, we are suspended in the center, merging with a bow, to release Ki into an arrow point.
It reminds me of internal Kung Fu and External Kung Fu the supposed division between Kyudo and Zen Kyudo. In Chan /Zen terms, it is like the Form and Formless faces of Chan practice.
So in Chan terms form and formless are the Kyudo training styles, paths. I at this point need to refine the form. I am lucky to have good teachers around me. I will continue to work on merging with form. The formless still requires the more subtle training, so it will bleed into the form from the bones. I am speculating, that as I continue to work on the principals, the breath, the empty mind of my Tai Chi and Chan training, it will become more known in my Kyudo practice. Eg: Tanten breath, focus on the Hara, spine stretched. Suspended between heaven and earth, mind, calm, alert but attached to only the moment. These are common principals in Tai Chi and Chan ding ( Zazen), which are also in Kyudo.
This deeper training as it is stated in the vid, is the part that will carry back, across into the other Art forms, the formless taking form. That is the quest. I think I am closer to it, that I think I can understand the principal, but can not “name” it. I can not see it, but I can sense it.

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