Kyudo Notebook: Tenouchi

So as often happens, whenever my shooting appear to be stabilizing, the teachers change something. It’s all part of a gradual process of refinement, I imagine, so perhaps it’s a sign of progress that the changes they suggest these days are getting more subtle. What I need to do now is change my tenouchi, and the way I’m using my left hand, to avoid having my left wrist move forward at release. This can be hard to recognize because, of course, the leftward movement of the hand at release looks an awful lot like the rightward movement of the wrist.

The suggestion is (a) be sure to maintain the space below the base of the left thumb when setting the left hand, and (b) instead of pushing forward with the left hand at the point where it contacts the bow, instead visualize pushing forward more along a line through the middle of the base of the palm. Or at least that’s how I remember it. I suspect I also need to push forward from the shoulder, or better, from the Earth itself, through my body, and then over to the bow and on to the target.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try this out before I had to leave, so it will be trial by fire at the monthly shakai tomorrow. No rest for the wicked. But then, teachers often say that after 30, 40, 50, or more years, they’re still learning, so maybe I need to enjoy the journey more!

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