Back at it…
So back to the training path. With a different spirit, as I have said before. I went to the dojo last Sunday I was surprised to see Yamashita Sensei there, a pleasant surprise. He had been at the Nagoya event and before that it had been awhile since I got to train with him. He does not speak English, but still we communicate well.
So after watching me shoot, he gave me some points to work on after I asked question. Part of my issue is dropping my left upon release. Others have given me tips on this as well. It still remains to be a “thing” for me to work on. In my head i understand, but my body does not cooperate. Putting power in my elbows to support my arm, not in my hands, or wrist. I still need to isolate the right muscles on my lats, and expand outward.
My question that was about my right tenouchi, however the answer extended over onto the arm dropping thing. As in Zen the is no duality and all is connected, so it is in Kyudo. Remember that old song about the thigh bones connected to the hips bones…yeah, sort of like that.
I was told I carry too much tense in my hands. My grip should be relaxed, both hands through uchiokoshi and Daisan. In Daisan there is, should be a little tension in my hand , but not a hard grip. Just enough with my forefingers, to stay together. The heel palm is squeezed together, same as the left tenouchi, the holding a bird’s egg thing. Both hands not just my left, but the right as well. No tension in my left, no tension in my right. Let the glove do most of the work. Adding a slight amount of tension going into Kai, but only slightly. The release should be equal with both thumb and finger on the right. The left fingers having no tension should close upon release not open as mine do. Forearms have no power. Power is only at the elbows, and lats. My vertical center line should be soft power, my horizontal line elbow to elbow has the power. The Yumi has the power, not my forearms and hands. As he explained it it made perfect sense, I got it! Understanding is one thing, doing is another. I am trying.
Today was another Kimono day practice. There was only four of us. Most other were already at the TaiKai in Kyoto watching or shooting today. I did a couple of rounds with the others, then we just shot on our own. I had a break through of sorts. I am pretty sure I sort out which mato to choose and the aim point. By which i mean the right eye vs left eye imaging thing. What seems to work best for me is to close the left just a little and focus on the right. Which makes sense since that is the eye next to the Ya. Doing that and also really focusing on relaxing my arm, and hands, expanding with my elbows made a difference in my shooting. On Sunday I only shot four arrows, spending most of my time on the Makiwara. Of those four I hit zero! 🙂 I did not really care.
Today I was up to 45.45% out of 22 shots. It has been a while since get that. Of course the test will be at least maintaining that and improving. Time and practice will tell.
I am off on Thursday, the day following this post to Kyoto, to watch the Nana Dan and Hanshidan Shinsa. From Yamashita Sensei talk to me about a soft core, but firm support, I will be watching with different eyes. The learning should never stop, the degree and intensity changes…yosh!