Missed the bus yesterday so no practice, but will go tomorrow. The taikai over the weekend didn’t go so well, everything out of balance again. I’m thinking now that it may be due to this attempt to keep the left shoulder down. I suspect that I’m overcompensating and actually bringing the left shoulder back, which isn’t good. The initial symptom I notice is that the string doesn’t touch my chest when it should (at kai), and so I’m left in this weird state where I don’t feel “inside” the bow but rather struggling to shoot while holding it at a distance. As a result, even though I got some hits at the taikai they were all over the place. So more work on that tomorrow…
Also I’ve been thinking about the bow. Since I’m using a nominal 14kg bow I’m concerned that ordering 15kg and 16kg bows may be a bit aggressive. I’d hate to have them finally arrive and then not be able to draw them properly, so am thinking of 14/15 instead. It may be that I’ll outgrow the 14 but it seems better to outgrow a bow that I can draw properly than to struggle and possibly damage one that is too strong from the start. Need to sound out the teachers on this, but the decision point has to come soon.
Meanwhile I’ve been poking around some and there are some good pages on yumi selection/care to make note of:
- Points to Consider when Purchasing a Japanese Bow
- Yumi Care (Zen Kyudo)
- Yumi Care (Zenko International)
If people have others, please let me know. Watching my teachers bend and shape other people’s bows over the years (including a neglected one that a friend picked up for ¥3,000 at a second hand shop, but which was made serviceable) it’s clear that this will be a long learning process.