I went to another Tai Kai outside of the home turf of Kishiwada, my second. This was a bit different as it was somewhat of a return to old home turf. When we first move to Osaka we stayed with my mother-in-law. I went a few times to a local dojo in Suita-shi. It is a very nice budo center. I had to sign up and be checked and interviewed in order to join. This was the home dojo of another student of Nogame sensei. This was one reason I was going to see my Sempai. He had told me about this Tai Kai.
The trip over was easy, and I felt somewhat like returning back to my roots. I met up with my Kishiwada dojo mates once I arrived and joined them. diffidently feeling like a part of the group now, I greeted everyone and started to change. I have gotten used to getting changed in public places now and can do it with modesty and quickness.
Afterward I checked in, received my number and waited with the group.
It was not really a long wait, we were soon called up. I got to the lineup and was told only two arrows now. I had brought four. Not a problem, I put the extra two in a rack and joined the line up. Suita dojo like Sakai is on the reverse so I was not set off by stepping in with the right foot. I followed the group easy now and set my mind to shooting. Not really caring about hitting my average has been off.
My turn came I stood and shot, a hit! Surprised me, but I rolled with it.
My turn again, another hit, I am on a roll! However not cocky about it, I took it for one of those no-mind flukes. I received a lot of congrats. However I was humble. Not really taking it as an assessment of my skills, as I just felt lucky, not skillful.
Now was a long wait. I noticed some took naps. There were over 350 entries due to a University turnout. My Sempai told me usually there is about 100. So I waited, had lunch and waited more after visiting with my sempai. Several people came over and spoke with me that I did not know. One of them spoke English, a nice Renshi, who also teaches TaiChi. He had studied Kyudo in school, reach Shodan and stopped for some 30 yrs. Then he started again he went through Nidan, San dan, Yon dan, Godan, Renshi one after another. Now is up for Ryokudan in Kyoto. Everyday practice he says. We had a pleasant chat and exchanged contact info.
I noticed the group from the dojo that would not let me join was there. Out of that group there is one girl who alway speaks and smiles when she sees me. She is friendly. She mostly hung out with my group, I took note of that. Her dojomates were right next to ours but she really hung more with us, talking.
After lunch our turn came again. This time four ya. I was unsure just when we were going to start. I keep thinking, should I make a run for the toilet? I would hate to be the one holding thing up, so I waited. Thinking, ok it is not really bad, I can hold this, it will be only a short while. The short while turned out longer than I planned. More and more I had to go “drain”. I did not have the dance thing happening, but I could feel it building. 😦
Out turn came up. Instead of being focused on the shots, I was focus on holding my water. It was not pleasant, it was not bad bad, but not pleasant. My turn. I shot and missed, big time, high and to the right. Next shot, high and to the left. Third shot, right next to the mato, I was closing in but not there. Last shot, trying to really focus, I hit, but the arrow fly funny, but still hit. That was some relief and a bit of face-saving after my good opening. Oh well. My sempai says afterward smiling, it is only practice. I said yeah. I told a few people about the bathroom focus not shooting, they got a laugh from it. One of my sensei said, yeah, I also had to go. We laughed.
As it turns out I still did ok, I was in line with most of my group who renshi. My total was 3 out of 6. Some only got 2, only a couple including my Sensei got 5. I did not feel bad at all. My group was 61-71, I was #62
It was a good day. I got a ride almost all the way back home by another of my sensei, which was nice and saved me money. It was a good Kyudo day.