Different day same training – Kyudo, the long and winding road…
I have been working on items, tenouchi, not dropping the left arm, not twisting my body on Hanare, etc, etc. the unending list of details. Kyudo looks so simple, like Tai Chi Chuan, but also so complex. To me kind of sorta the same thing, Tai Chi with a weapon. The set, the form starts when you pickup your Yumi and step up to the dojo floor entry. Hmmmm wonder what is the name for that?
I happened across an interesting blog by a guy studying ( at least he did no post for a while) Kyudo also in Japan. He said the breath in this part of Kyudo is reverse breathing. Expand the belly on exhale not shrink it. I recall this being called Taoist breathing. This guy had some things to say about Nobiai, which correspond to my thoughts. So maybe I do understand.
It is interesting reading another Kyudo blog on the same level as me. Also him a foreigner, although sounds like his Japanese is really good, unlike mine. That give him a better experience, nice! There was another blog from someone about my level, we have the same dan now, ( you JM ) but it has not been updated in a while. Life happens. As this guy on this, just found blog says it is one of those knock downs, stuff happening that take you away from Kyudo, for a time. The standing up is getting back into it. A person on one of the FaceBook Kyudo sites. Said in reply once to a post I put up “who really gets knocked down 7 times and will stand 8?” I let it go, because it was not worth it. However since this is my blog, I’ll say; It happens daily. Knocked down does not always mean being physically hit, beat down. The lost of my Graphic Design position, was a big knock down, The lost of our Condo, another, the lost of our savings, another, the lost of our boat, Zen and all that was associated with that, serious knockdowns. Still, we ( LZ and I) carried on, restart, reboot, stand again to continue, Kyudo study and advancement, starting a new life in a new country, new jobs, new fields, give birth to new dreams, a garden now replaces the flowing water at out door. That is standing again, 8 , 9 , 10 plus times.
Breathing in Kyudo is timed with the movement like in Tai Chi and Kung Fu, however, at times different. Like when starting a movement, say a step in Kyudo the breath is inhaled. In Tai Chi/ Kung Fu it is for the most part exhaled. Extending the out-going power with the breath, not getting the wind knocked out of you on your power move. Kyudo, say going into Kiza, the move is started with inhale. On the other hand, going from Daisan to kai is an exhale. So I am thinking, once in Kai, inhale and expand, up, out and down, to the sides, at the apex of fullness comes the release, like water spilling from a glass. However would that not be a ” forced”, “planned” release, not a natural spilling of water from a leaf…or is it? Maybe I am thinking to much on it, instead of feeling it, being Zen.