Kyudo Notebook: Daisan

Heat! Humidity! You’d think we were in Tokyo. Yesterday my teacher was trying to help me with the whole tenouchi/daisan complex. He says I’m being “small,” which I take to mean both literally “drawing small” compared to my size, and also perhaps being a bit tentative. So he is having me raise the bow higher in uchiokoshi, then have the sense of not lowering the arrow at all into daisan. This means raising the arms somewhat more during the process, to the point where I can really feel a stretch. Then draw more while the bow is still high.

In some ways this is “wrong” by the usual rules of thumb because it should cause me to raise the bow more than 45 degrees at the top of uchiokoshi (but maybe not — I have to ask someone to watch), but more importantly, the target ends up to the right of my left elbow at daisan, which is definitely not where the books would have it.

One possibility is that he is having me overcompensate now so that he can whittle away at it later. Another is just that, because of my size, some of the normal rules of thumb just don’t work out right. This makes some sense from a geometric point of view. Or a combination of the above. The thing is… I notice a very clear increase in energy of the shooting (not so much the speed of the arrow as just internally) when I do it this way, as if, by not being so tentative, something is flowing better. I am not sure what, or if it will last, but it’s quite definite. Or at least it was yesterday.

The arrows aren’t hitting too well, but K先生 seems unconcerned, so I figure it will come in time as the other forces balance out. One thing that seems out of sync is my right hand. I’m probably losing the cross between the thumb and the string because I can’t put any force into the opposition there between the thumb and the overlapping fingers, and this may prevent a clean release. So, something to work on.

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