Lessons learned from the taikai:
- It seems like every kyudojo has different architecture, but I’ve been very surprised by the differences. It’s a good idea to explore and get used to the place right when you arrive.
- With enteki I need to work more on getting a stable foundation. The arrows were too scattered.
- Most people seemed to use the “Draw to kai as usual for kinteki and then lean back to get the higher elevation” technique. I might try that next chance I get. It’s easier to visualize now that I’ve seen it in action.
- With kinteki I mostly have to work on my mind, seeing each arrow as a separate event, “one arrow, one life,” and not get caught up in narratives based on what the previous arrows did.
- Also there was one arrow where I forced the release. Don’t do that.
- Question: When you take the tsurumaki with the extra bowstring with you (rather than having a board where they are hung before you enter the shajo), do you leave it at the honza or take it with you to the sha-i? People did it both ways, but I assume there’s a rule.
- Question: When the kamiza is to the left, you enter the shajo with your right foot first. Do you then leave the shajo with your left foot? I suspect that this is true (and for the same reason), but people were so bunched up yesterday that it was hard to see if the experienced people used a fixed pattern.
- Take a fan. And eye drops. And maybe even a small mirror (a bug flew into my eye). In fact, it would be good to make a checklist of things worth taking.