Kyudo Magazine Excerpts

Kyudo Magazine Exerpts: Nov., 2016

posted Feb 23, 2017, 12:56 PM by H. S.

By : Yoshiko Buchanan
The Nov. Edition of the Kyudo Magazine focused on the 2016 Japan Championships, both mens and women’s.

I would like to present the video of the 20 finalists of both men and women. 
The 20 finalists (men):

I suppose that the 20 women’s finalists’ video may have been removed. I could not find it. I still can introduce the five women shooting at the 2nd preliminary round.
Yawatashi by Satake Mariko Hanshi Hachidan:

Needless to say you should do a mitorigeiko on Satake sensei’s shooting and the taihai movement but you can also study the Daiichikaizoe. Pay attention, especially to the timing as the daiichi kaizoe changes his direction to follow the ite.

This timing is to keep the attention of the daichi kaizoe straight to the ite, which was instructed at the 2016 Overseas Special Seminar in Tokyo last Oct. 

The overall evaluation was given by two judges:
Men’s tournament: One of the two judges is saying that the archers looked indeed like the selected archers. Their quality of shooting and taihai was doubtlessly well. However he points out a few basic things that should be improved. One of them is walking. Bending the knees and showing the heels were often seen. It should be practiced in daily life.

A wrong method of a retiring movement was seen. Be mindful to perform this correctly to be a good example. About shooting technique, a small hikiwake was seen and as a consequence the hands and arms were used instead of using the body. The last thing was tenouchi at zanshin. Tenouchi should remain the same thru kai, hanare and zanshin. Effort should be made toward

Kyudo Magazine excerpt: 10/2016

posted Feb 12, 2017, 9:41 PM by Haitham Shammaa   [ updated Feb 12, 2017, 9:43 PM ]

By : Yoshiko Buchanan

A belated Happy New Year! Time really flies fast.

I have found a good article for you from the 2016 October edition of the Kyudo Magazine. Time has passed but good things remain good!!
A high school kyudo teacher is introducing some fairly easy points to improve your shooting quality. I would like to introduce his suggestions to you.

”Habits” are hard to be corrected. If the habits are noticeably bad instructors could of course see them and try to correct. However there are some subtle habits that tend to be ignored or overlooked by instructors and friends. Such habits should not be neglected but they should be told and corrected to improve the shooting quality.

 “BE DECISIVE”. Particularly when you do ashibumi do not think you have a chance to correct or adjust the width and angle. You have no chance of correction. Do the ashibumi with clear mind and determination. 

“BE CONFIDENT” to do torikake. There are some people who do torikake repeatedly, take too long a time to set tenouchi and looking into his right hand with his head tilted. Such movements are evidence that you are defeated by the target already before shooting and the archer’s character is seen also. Be certain what you do and be confident when you do the job.

 “COMPLETE EACH STEP”. It is often seen that uchuokoshi is done without “monomi”. The last job of step three is “setting monomi”. Read the three major jobs of yugamae that is described in the Kyudo Kyohon.

 “UCHIOKOSHI WITHOUT MONOMI OR UCHIOKOSHI LOOKING AT HIS YUNDE” is sometime seen. It is absolutely incorrect. These kinds of habits should not be overlooked and instructors should be responsible to correct such wrong conduct of shooting. Refer to the yugamae in the hassetsu chart and read the description.

 “DO NOT SWING THE BOW” Keep the bow perpendicular to the floor and do not swing the bow to move to daisan. Such a movement to daisan makes the archers shooting look ill-conducted.

 “TORISASHI DAISAN” (shooting a bird style daisan) is often seen at daisan. The ratio of the strength between yunde and mete is 3:1. By making the yunde pushing strength greater than mete pulling strength hikiwake will be kept balanced. The arrow will be kept parallel to the floor or “mizunagare” but it should never be “torisashi”.

Mizunagare: The arrow head is slightly lower than the knock at daisan therefore a single drop of water would ran to the tip of the arrow. (YB)

 “LOW DAISAN This is also often seen after uchiokoshi: lowering both hands to form a low and wider daisan. Perhaps the archer feels that such a daisan is stable and comfortable close to “kai”, which possibly makes the archer feel safer. A higher daisan could be a little less stable however because a higher daisan contains 1⁄2 of the bow strength; so some adjustments, technically and mentally, do become possible:

(1) Assuring the tenouchi
(2) Inner rotation of yunde and to control the left shoulder
(3) Tension of mete and “hineri” of yugake
(4) Correct monomi and straighten the spine
(5) Confirmation of the 2nd “nerai”
(6) Do not choke the nigiri and prepare for hikiwake
(7) Double check ashibumi and dozukuri
(8) Feel the strength of tanden and the center of gravity of the body.
(9) Use clam breathing. Exhale slowly, which helps to calm down.
(10) Do not think hit or failure but use your spiritual strength to perform as usual.

 “SHOOTING FORM COLLAPSES AT HANARE” It is common that hanare is not smoothly done in spite of previous steps that are constructed carefully. One of the reasons is the aim. If the aim is low the yunde will be pushed up and if the aim is high then yunde will be pushed down. If the aim is toward the right then there is a chance to swing to the left to hit the target (Furikomi) and if the aim is toward the left then yunde moves to the right to hit the target.

Yunde and mete cooperate in a complex manner but such habits are not usually taught. Such habits naturally sink a boy over a period of time. It is hard to learn the “correct shooting” but we tend to make bad habits easily. We have to keep this fact in our mind.

To correct such habits is difficult. It is not only correcting the aim but it may have to reconstruct “hassetsu”. Aiming should be instructed correctly after the reconstruction of hassetsu. While correction after missing the target is natural. Hitting the target is not necessary while correcting and working on bad habits. Beginners have not spent much practice time, just 1-2 years or so.

Therefore the seriousness of the bad habits would not be deep. Listen sincerely to what the instructor says and learn correct shooting.

The following are suggestions to those who have been suffering from bad shooting habits:
(1) Return to the “beginner’s mind” and re-start from step one of the basic.
(2) Use a weaker bow.
(3) Do not wish to hit the target.
(4) Keep a firm will to get better.

Correcting bad habits requires “determination” beside regular shooting practice.
This is the end of this article and I will find interesting and useful article and send them to you.

Yoshiko Buchanan
Feb. 8, 2017

Kyudo Magazine excerpts: 9/25/2016

posted Oct 10, 2016, 1:23 PM by Haitham Shammaa

By : Yoshiko Buchanan

The Kyudo Magazine September edition has a very useful article  about “Muscles for kyudo” but it is quite academic and the technical terms are difficult, so it was hard for me to summarize the entire contents.

I hope someone can work on the article.  But I would like to introduce other articles from the May edition

that may catch your attention here instead.  I would like to introduce the explanation of the muscles as well as I can read and understand enough to tell you.


Anti-Doping regulation:   Even quite a while before the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro we were exposed to the heavy publicity on the Russian doping problem.   Doping problems have been around us world-wide whenever sport events take place.  The ANKF (Public Interest Corporation All Nippon Kyudo Federation) is going to join the “Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA)”.  The article does not mention the specific date that the ANKF will join JADA however the ANKF seriously thinks that it is time to take action.  

The Sport Basic Law (via Google translate) encourages "cleanliness, fairness and rightness” among the national sport community.  Such encouragements are extended to junior athletes and senior athletes.  Kyudo is now globally introduced, spread and practiced.  In order to maintain the spirit of kyudo and pursue the goal of kyudo study the ANKF shoud follow the guidelines of the Sport Basic Law and the JADA.  Currently Judo, Kendo, Naginata and other Budo organizations are already members of the JADA.

As of 9/17/2016 it is confirmed that the ANKF joined JADA in June, 2016.  According to the ANKF office the IKYF will join WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency/ - Confirmation by YB

It is desirable that the IKYF/ANKF introduce the details of the Anti-doping regulation to all the IKYF members once it becomes official.

Note:  The ANKF does have the Medical/Science Committee (translated by YB) that consists of 6 members including a doctor(s).

The ANKF Chief Instructor Seminar and the ANKF Instructor Seminar for the fiscal year of 2015:   Both seminars are considered as one of the most important projects for the Public Interest Corporation (Koeki Zaidan Hojin) Zennihon Kyudo Renmei).

They take place annually, however they were not held last year for some reason and this year’s seminars were more focused on the topics of the ANKF teaching outlines to be discussed.   The discussion about anti-doping and the decision surrounding the decision to join JADA were a part of this seminar.

The attendees were 13 Hanshis for the Chief Instructor Seminar and 22 Hanshis and 17 8th dan Kyoshis for the Instructor’s Seminar.  It took place at the Chuo dojo from March 9th to the 12th, 2016.  Attendees of these two seminars are the higher rank teachers who form the core of the ANKF and are responsible to the overall ANKF teachings on shooting technique and the principles of the spiritual aspects, which means that what they study at the seminars will be brought back to the regional groups and such teachings then form the basics of the generally accepted teachings and thereby support the regional groups to improve their own kyudo study. 

Some portion of the seminar contents seem to be similar to the IKYF/US seminar: Yawatashi, sharei and the basics.  However the intensity and strictness of instruction were far more than what we receive at our seminars.  All the attendees trained themselves seriously and intently.  

August edition, 2016

posted Sep 13, 2016, 12:32 PM by Haitham Shammaa   [ updated Sep 13, 2016, 12:34 PM ]

The August edition is reporting about six new hanshis in 2016

Koichiro Kuramoto hanshi (Kagoshima pref.), Heiji Murakawa hanshi (Tokyo Municip.), Kiyoshi Shohoji hanshi (Hiroshima pref.), Shizuo Takahashi hanshi (Gunma pref.), Kiyoji Niikura hanshi (Chiba pref.) and Chiyoko Iijima hanshi (Saitama pref.)   It is remarkable that the ANKF has another female hanshi after several years.  At the same time Kenkichi Noro sensei was promoted to 9th dan in May, 2016.  He has become 99 years old this June!  Noro sensei visited the US seminar (San Jose) in 2001 as the chief instructor.   He is very healthy and actively teaching his students four to five time a week.

Announcement of the 131th Meiji Shrine Zenkoku Kyudo Taikai

Sponsor: ANKF
Cosponsor: Meiji shrine 
Time: November 3rd, 2016 (Thursday)
Venue: ANKF Chuo Dojo and Miji Shrine Shiseikan Kyudojo, Tokyo, Japan
Competition category: Kinteki (28m)/Indivisual
Competition Groups: Shogo, Yudansha (Rank holders) and Mudan (no rank)
Admission: 3,100 Yen
(Application is by individual as of 8/31/2016.  Vist the ANKF website to obtain the application form.) 

2016 Japan Russia Friendship Kyudo Exchange Event took place in St. Petersburg in Russia

This event took place upon the request from the Japan Russia Cultural Exchange Center (as translated by Y.B.) and IPO "Kyudo Federation".  The event began on the 14th of June and ended on the 19th.  According the report the participants of the event intently practiced the two day local seminar and another two day seminar with members from other cities.  They enjoyed the tournament of both individual and group on the 18th and the 19th.  There were 21 members from St. Petersburg, 6 members from Moscow, 2 members from other groups and 5 students from the International Budo University/ANKF.

2016 first ANKF General Meeting was held
The report contains several administrative matters such as the report of the 2017 events, change of committee members, election 
of auditor, draft of the 2015 financial report and 2018 event plan and budget.  There is not a specific topic on the IKYF.   Visit this page of the IKYF website.   I think it would enrich your kyudo study.

- ANKF for their permission to publish
- Yoshiko sensei and Shiseikan for sharing the translations for the AKR website.

“Quality” instead of “Quantity"

posted Sep 13, 2016, 12:28 PM by Haitham Shammaa

From the July edition, 2016:

Many of you know about the “All Nippon Kyudo Taikai” which is the largest competition that takes place in May of every year.  Because it always takes place in Kyoto, this competition is well recognized as the  “Kyoto Taika” among kyu-shi.

Every year at this event one hanshi is selected and awarded the “Yushu-Sah Sho” (award of Excellence in performance).   This prestigious award was given to Mariko Satake hanshi this year.   Satake hanshi who visited the US to instruct at seminars a few times in the past is known for this prestige.  The recipient of this prestigious award usually gives some comment and I would like to introduce a few lines of her comment which sends us good insight to her shooting attitude.  I think it is fortunate to share her wisdom and spirit which is encouraging to us who live very busy everyday lives today yet try to pursue the way of the bow.

It was 50 years ago that she attended the “Kyoto Taikai” for the first time in her life.  Then, like any other women, she experienced the managing of both the household and raising children.  Her kyduo training existed within such busy days and she was trying to squeeze in time for her practice.  

At that time, as a busy home maker, that she could not do quantity practice as much as she wished.  

However she fought her way by seeking “Quality” instead of “Quantity’.  When Yakazu-geiko was  difficult she told herself that when she practiced “This hitote is Yawatashi” and she told herself another time “This hitoe is Sharei”.  Satake hanshi realized the important thing is that how she lives reflects her shooting.  If the everyday life is fulfilled such a life affects the shooting.
She added her sincere gratefulness to all the people in her life.  She thinks that receiving such an award  is truly “Okagesama” (thanks to) to those who supported her through her kyudo life.

- ANKF for their permission to publish
- Yoshiko sensei and Shiseikan for sharing the translations for the AKR website.

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