We were supposed to have an enteki taikai today, using the range that is normally reserved for Western archery. There you can shoot from 30, 60, 90, and 120 metres, which is quite a challenge! But it’s outside, and due to rain, our taikai was moved back into the regular kyudojo. Still, to make it interesting, they changed things, moving the sha-i to 30 metres (where the honza usually is), and using targets with concentric coloured circles (gold-green-red-white), similar to what they use in archery.
So then, unlike a regular taikai, points were assigned based on where you hit (10-7-5-3), not just hit or miss. And so, even though I didn’t get as many hits as some people, I walked away with 4th place because one of the arrows was kind enough to hit the 10-point centre. I felt a little guilty about that, but it was all in good fun.
In terms of form, I felt unsettled. Part of this was because we were shooting rissha, and I’m not used to that, and moving the honza and sha-i back was yet another new experience. Kind of like being in another dojo for the first time.
But I can’t blame it all on that. There is something I’m not doing right. I’m just not sure what it is yet. One thing I did discover is that I’m being a little lazy. Need to bring the arrow high at uchiokoshi and keep it there into daisan. But if I draw the bow too much I seem to lose control at the release. No doubt it’s a balance thing. Also I think I may not have a proper cross between the right thumb and the bowstring. It was hard to get a clean release unless I really tied the kake high and tight. So, many things to work on.
The fourth-place prize was set: a package of mixed, dried seaweed salad (just add water), nori, and udon. Who said kyudo won’t put food on your table?