Yuk- The worst…
A week or so ago, I thought I had a bad day of shooting, the other day was the worst! Seriously sucked. “mama said there be days like this” ( old skool song) It started out sucky, but did get better. The first hour, or so I got maybe two hits out of 10 or twelve. I was sinking into despair. Right from the start my shooting sucked. Then got worse after some corrections. Wider Ashibumi Watase Sensei told me, the head of the Kishiwada Renmei. Relax your right hand more the Kaicho told me. Maintain a Level ya from Daisan to Kai, Watashi sensei told me and expand your chest, your Yugeri sucks, do this, not that! Of course all those things were needed, but I was no longer hitting.
On a good note I did get to learn the standing form, Rhisa(?). My sempai, Sato- sensei suggested I record it. That was a great idea! Not really that complex, nor is the timing as I was told. Although I can see where someone not used to doing a timing blend could find it tricky. I did not think it was so bad. Anyway another something to practice. Still my hitting sucked again that was bumming me out. Even my luck charms from the Kyoto shrine we went to this past couple of days could over-come bad form. Even when I add it to the other collection, it is not enough good Ju Ju to overcome, poor performance. So I need to amp it up more!! Practice, not he JuJu.
I ended up staying four hours that day to practice. I did later in the evening start to see some improvement, but still it was a bad shooting day. Dolly Parson once said, “some days you’re the windshield, some days you are the bug” this day I was a smashed up mess on the windshield of Kyudo.
The real test in all of this is not passing , or not passing, but overcoming the mind games. Passing the Shinsa is a small thing, but the mind trips is the big challenge. If you think oh, this means nothing, then you will not put the needed effort in to it and set yourself up for a fail. If your attachment too much to it, you are major bummed when if you do not pass. Finding that balance and holding to that balance, doing your absolute best, but not being attached to the outcome is tricky. Pushing your self to excel, but not focus on the results other than the betterment of self, still is not that in itself a Prize? A measure of one’s success? It is fine to say and believe it is not about the prize, the rank, the glory, but one needs that standard of measurement to gauge, one’s progress…well useless you do not care. However if you do not care, then why bother with Kyudo, just get a toy bow and arrow and shoot in the air.
Does that make sense? Shibata group says as does the Renmei, it is not about hitting, but if you do not hit, then where is the standard to judge if you are doing it correct or improving. Otherwise, why bother with a target, just shoot in the air, and you do not need a Sensei other than to give you direction. Yet even then, direction to what, if there is not standard, no right or wrong way to shoot.
Sorry I am off on some ranting digression trip. ok, where was I…
So yeah, the battle, the training is on two levels, 1. to shoot well, 2. to not be attached to the end of how you shoot. It has been said, that if you do meditation to become enlightened, you are already stepping away from becoming enlighten. This kyudo thing, Shinsas, target is sort of the same thing. Even if one shoots for just pleasure, is not the pleasure the goal? If you shoot and train to get better, is not the betterment the goal?
One response I heard to why do you do Zazen? Because, I can.
Why do you do Kyudo and shoot at a Mato? Because one (I) can.
If it was only that simple. Perhaps it is for some.
and lets not forget about the Kyuhon questions that need to be studied. On the train I listen, at work…This is sort of like becoming a full-time job…with no pay. Sigh. Reminds me of my Kung Fu Uncle always saying. Kung Fu training is not supposed to be fun. you want fun go to the gym. Yeah sort of like that.
“The path is the goal”.