The Kishiwada Kyudojo holds, a night class/workshop two times a month. The night class is a more formal class. The day sessions are come in and shoot, ask questions, practice, someone will help you. I have never gone before to the night sessions, as I figured I get plenty of instruction at the day sessions. One night last month or so I was there at night forgetting about the workshops. I watched and made a note it seemed useful specially before a Shinsa. The other day a Sempai reminded me about the night class. I decided with the up coming Shinsa I would go. I knew they went through the whole TaiKai as a group.
Tonight I went. We went through just walking as a warmup, round and around. Then went through TaiHai from entering. I was selected to be Omai. It took me about five attempts before getting the timing right. Lesson one right off the bat. Part of it had to do with the language. They were saying fast, I thought I needed to go faster but it was meant I was going too fast on my bow in. Ok, so it was explained the correct speed and count.
Next was the arm out of the Kimono phase. Several corrections there.
Oops back up.
Before the thing started in the line up, I had to get some direction on my kimono, it was sitting weird on me. Several helped make adjustments and told me where I went wrong. Ok ,back to the one arm, thing. Small stuff mostly, elbow, pulling the sleeve, tucking the sleeve, changing hands on the Yumi, raising the knee.
Ok, on to the line up and shoot. Do not move the elbow forward on the right arm in Daisan. However lift it higher and curve outward more going into Daisan on the lift. Otherwise i was so so ok.
Next round I was ochi, (och -iiiiii). Waiting for the group in front, then waiting for my turn. Pain pain pain. I am seriously considering doing the standing form. Ok, other than shooting crappy, I pulled it off, painfully but I did it. It was serious suffering, as I waiting whilst others received adjustments and took their time to shoot. I was suffering, Buddha was right !!
Ok, another round was up coming, I was Ochi again . Sensei took me on the floor and explained my kimono errors. I figured afterward need to take my Inner Kimono to my tailor and have the sleeve adjusted. My elbow gets caught because there is not enough opening. I made it work before, but only because I did not do proper form. So off it goes to the shop for tailoring, it is not acceptable as it is, it sucks really!
The second round. Er, third round went ok. Still not a Hit, but I was not expecting one. Another something was happening with the group but I had questions, and a couple of Sempai had some adjustments for me. When raising the Knee ( ikasu, I hate ikasu!) . Do not move the foot, it is all balance and lift, no foot placement/shift.
Elbow should not pre draw the Yumi, my right hand Tenouchi is off. I said the Kaicho told me this way, ehh said a couple of Sempai, I brought in the Sensei, he explained I was more right than wrong , however I was too much in the other extreme from my first suggesting Sempai placement. The placement is in the middle digit of the finger, not the last as I was doing, and not the first as the Sempai was doing. We all made the adjustment.
My last question for review was breathing, where and how, since I was told where the breath should be on the entering steps, I wanted to know about when shooting. I figured this was a good time to find out. I questioned another Sensei Senpai. He gave me a full break down. Finally it seemed like a natural timing. I did not get a chance to shoot with it, but I am looking forward to trying it out. It is close to what I was figuring out and was doing but now I have the blueprint. Which thinking on it seems to apply for everything in Kyudo. Basically the reverse of TaiJi/ Kung fu, exhaling on each movement, in Kyudo one inhales on each, even Daisan and Hikiwake, where I was exhaling. This may change everything!
The session was painful as far as my knees, even with the kiza practice I have been doing at home, however worth it in learning. I really need to decided about the standing form, or maybe nature will decide for me. I used my Chinese Kung Fu medicine ( dit da jow) on my knees last night after class, this morning they are ok. We’ll see.
So I am really more getting into the mind-set of the Sept. Shinsa will be the one I will be fully ready for, this one up coming another practice run. There are still details I need work on to feel “ready”. One the other hand, there is always the other hand, ( yin/Yang) well unless you are the One Arm swordsman. It is said if you wait until you are ready to have children, you will never have them.
So that was it for the night, and I headed home. The session was productive and painful. I will return. I guess the no pain, no gain thing is true at times. Yosh!