Kishiwada Osamei Kai – 2014

The weather has been cold and very windy as of late. Today I wrapped up like what people do in the winter and go out, and walked to the train station. I was off to Kyudo the end of the year Kai. I was expecting a fair amount of people. However it was to me on the small side for a turn out. However it did not dampen the event at all.
I was second of two people there early, way early! The other person left as was coming in. She said somethings about us being early and some other stuff then left. I was alone.
A plan was born, I would change to my Kyudo gear then, do some Tai Chi on the side. Man plans, Heaven ordains. That plan quickly faded as some people showed up and started to clean even before I finished changing. No matter, those who adapt survive. I changed and did some warm-up stretching as little by little peoples started to trickle in.
Soon it was time to start. They did some opening announcements, of which I had no idea what was being said, and did not really matter. Afterward we bowed in and the day-kai began. First came Watase Sensei doing a opening sharei.
Next people started getting ready to shoot. There was a line up list. I looked and did not see my name. Hmmm oh well, I just watched. I figured someone would tell me where I needed to be at some point. After a while a Sempai says, ehh Fuu -san blah blah? Then she took care of it, I was put on the list. I did not know one had to pay (100yen), so did not. Anyway it was arranged and I was told when I was up. This is still pretty new to me so made a few mistakes on starting, entering, walking, heheheh. It was explained so bit by bit I got better with each turn. Oh, I was leading my group as Omai, not following someone, so that made it more difficult to hide my mistakes. Oh well, no one really cared, and having the Gaijin card comes in handy 🙂
My shooting performance was not great but I did make one hit each set of four. I am still figuring my targeting and also working with some new positioning I was told by the Kaicho from the last session. Bringing my elbow higher and back more. It feels like I am bring my elbow behind my head but, looking in the mirror I am not. Also standing more upright. This also feels different like I am almost going to lean back but really it just brings me straighter.
Also I have changed my targeting. I notice most of my shots go lower right corner outside of the mato. I see that the new elbow position changes that some. So any adjustments I make to my aim needs to be slight, because small adjustments make big changes in the ya hit. Big changes make huge changes in the flight path.
The day-kai progressed well. I took pictures and was put on the scoring controls for the lights for a while. Part of my orientation to the “wa”. It was a good day at the dojo. Everyone enjoyed except for the cold. Everyone complained. However I could not help think about what the Kaicho said the other day ” it is much worse at the other outside dojos”. 
There are two more items on my Kyudo list for this year. One is my pilgrimage to my old dojo this week, where I met Nogami Sensei. I will make this an annual event to honor my Sensei on the anniversary of his passing, I will go there to practice for the day. Lastly the Kishiwada Christmas, New Year’s party.

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