Things went better at today’s practice. Some things to note:
- It seems better to have a somewhat wider ashibumi regardless of which window I’m using. Need to measure and see if, in fact, I’d simply been too narrow before.
- Experiments with tenouchi seem to indicate that mine was too large to begin with, which is to say, too loose, which probably meant I had to compensate by pressing the bow more than necessary. Closing things up ever so slightly, just a few millimetres, seemed to help with the “bow dropping through the hand” phenomenon while still allowing a full yugaeri. Still need to take care at kai not to lift up the little finger. Seems I have a bad habit there.
- At the same time, for the moment I found it helpful to consciously remind myself to keep the left hand level at the release. In kai I check the crosses, then sort of focus forward on my left hand for a bit to remind it to stay put.
- But eventually the above meant that the right started getting out of balance, so at the end of the session K-sensei told me to make sure I got good extension (straight back, and far) on the right. Putting all of it together, after my mind “reminded” the left to stay put, now it also goes back to the right to remind myself about that, and then goes back to the centre to wait for the release. This produced two very nice arrows. The shooting felt good for the first time in a long while. Great way to end the day.
- Also a bit too fast. Need to let things develop more. Particularly when the shooting feels that good it’s well worth it!
Also it turned out there was an enkin to decide 2nd-5th place in the taikai on Thursday (I didn’t know because I had to leave early to catch my bus home). I ended up 3rd. 2nd was just a millimetre closer… Oh, well. But the interesting thing was that I found out the way you measure when the arrows are close is to check the distance going outside-to-inside from the nearest black or white ring. Farthest from that ring (toward the centre) wins. So if you look at this, which wins?
It’s the red one, even though (if you zoom in on the image about 8X) it seems like the blue edges just a little closer to the centre. The reason is that you measure from the thin black ring inward. Farthest from that ring (toward the centre of the target) is judged to be closest to the centre. It seems a little odd but if an arrow doesn’t fly straight, and whips back and forth on impact, creating a larger hole in the target, you wouldn’t want to reward that versus an arrow that flies in straight and true. Of course there are tiny differences in shaft diameter, too, but you have to have a way of deciding these things somehow. Kyudo trivia, but it will probably come in handy someday.