For a while now I’ve noticed that sometimes I am able to get the natural high daisan that my teacher wants me to have, and subsequently achieve a fuller draw of the bow, and sometimes not. Today at practice I finally figured out why. It’s uchiokoshi. Fairly often it seems that when I raised the bow it would sort of drift forward (towards the target). It’s probably because I’m looking at the target and more or less focused there. In the experiments today it turns out that’s when I can’t get the naturally higher daisan or a smooth full draw. This seems to make sense mechanically… the left is already fully extended so there’s no remaining capacity for it to do any more. The right has plenty of slack so I end up raising the right elbow, so the arrow pitches down more than it should.
Correcting things, making sure that uchiokoshi is level, with the arrow parallel to the line of my shoulders and that the lower tip of the bow (motohazu), and therefore the string, is in line with the vertical centre of my body, fixes all of that, and the results (at least for the moment) seem pretty good. So, this is something I need to remember.
It’s also interesting in its own right. The teachers have always said that the early stages affect everything that comes after. Now I can see another example of this in my own experience.
Meanwhile I’m getting interested in yumi. One reason is that I’m getting closer to buying a bamboo one, so I want to understand more. The other is just working with these three different synthetic bows. The one I’m using mostly now is nominally a 14kg 6-sun nobi carbon Renshin. At my yazuka this becomes a 15kg bow. Interestingly, when I measured the draw weight of my old reliable 4-sun nobi today, it turned out to be exactly the same: 15kg, at least in today’s hot weather. So in theory they should require the same effort to draw, but in fact the 6-sun is much harder, and I’m not sure why. It must be either the construction of the bow or some aspect of the way I draw it (or both). Another mystery, and something to ask the teachers about this week.