I am just thinking out loud in written words here, to release my training frustration. There is no one answer. How does one seek to perfect the form, but not be attached to perfecting it. What is the sound of one hand clapping? If a man says his opinion in the woods and no woman can hear him, is he still wrong? 🙂 What came first the chicken or the egg?
There is the thought in Zen practice of doing the “right” thing, having the “right” job, attitude, etc. in Kyudo, one can make the right adjustment and hit the mato, however without the “right “form” attitude, spirit, you are classified as crude, a target “whore” is the common vernacular. You can fail your Shinza With that, you can win (hit) and still lose. This at Hanshi level shinsa is common. It is complex, yet simple, very much a living Zen Koan. Yet there are those who would have a cow at the mention of Kyudo being Zen. Of course these same people have never studied Zen, but that as they say is another story.
So, yeah, back to confidence, I am fairly sure everyone who goes to their Shinsa has some degree of confidence. Right now the only confidence I have about it is I will not lose face and carry myself well. Perhaps that is enough, and when it is my time ( whenever that it) to hit, I will. I have decided that I will attend this Shinsa and do my best with each movement and breath, focus on form, and unattachment. I will continue to train in the full spectrum of my studies for this. Meditation, Kiza, core strength, Tai Chi, reading. I will do this Shinsa and the next which is also at my original school in Sept. Then I will take a training break from the mental pressure of the exam until next spring. The winter shinsa is at another location. Besides it is not like I have a time table to beat. My only time factor really is death, and like the second coming of Christ, but with more certaincy, who knows when that will be.
Next year in spring my original school will again host the shinsa. Or perhaps I will just pass on it and attend the April Nagoya, as it is only my trip of wanting to pass Yondan at Banpaku. Nogami Sensei is beyond caring about such things and no one else cares, it is really just my “trip”. As is for that matter even passing to the next level. Passing levels in Kyudo is a purely personal journey. It is not like you can open a school and make money, like Karate, Judo, etc. Teaching Kyudo really is about sharing the Love. Well, at least that is so teaching as part of the Japan Renmei. Outside of them, “The Black Bamboo Eastern Martial Arts Academy, featuring, Tai Chi Zen Kyudo Kung Fu”. Maybe possible, even for a San-Dan. Hmmmm maybe a move to Spain…