Speaking of the breath, there seem to be two different views on how it should be done in kyudo. Although everyone agrees that the movements of the taihai and hassetsu need to be in time with the breath, it seems that Hoff and Kushner both emphasize exhaling when engaged in a physically demanding movement like drawing the bow. For example, Kushner writes, “It is prescribed whether each move is done on an inhalation or an exhalation. Those requiring the most power, such as drawing the bow or holding it at the full draw, are done on exhalations.” [One Arrow, One Life, pg. 33] By contrast, Onuma/DeProspero and (I’m pretty sure) my own teachers, tend to inhale during these very same movements (see for example Kyudo: The Essence and Practice of Japanese Archery, pg. 103). Interesting, eh?
I need to ask my teachers about this more directly, and then do some experimentation. My usual pattern is to inhale as I draw from uchiokoshi to daisan, and then (after exhaling) daisan to kai, but it would be interesting to at least try the reverse. Also I’m not sure how Hoff/Kushner arrange their breathing during the less strenuous parts of the taihai, like the rei or yu when entering the shajo. I wonder if that’s opposite as well?