The Zen Way of Live


The Way of the Bow

When practicing Kyudo the hitting of the target is irrelevant; learn and practice the technique and hitting will follow. Again: ‘Try not to try’.
It is about concentration and full control of the body and mind. Kyudo is a form of meditation just like Zazen (sitting meditation) or Kinhin (walking meditation).

Kyudo is one of the most spiritual of the martial arts. The arrow is shot in a coordinated system of “spirit, bow and body as one.”

The Hassetsu (stages) of shooting the Yumi (bow) are:

  1. Ashi-bumi – positioning the feet and establishing a stable base
  2. Do-zukuri – checking the body, yumi, and nocking the ya (arrow)
  3. Yumi-gamae – setting the shooting glove on the string and viewing the target
  4. Uchi-okoshi – raising the yumi
  5. Hiki-wake – drawing the bow
  6. Kai – ‘meeting’: completion of the draw
  7. Hanare – release of the ya
  8. Zanshin – continuation of the release
  9. Yudaoshi – lowering the bow

Each stage must be completed in full concentration and as one fluent movement.

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