Last night’s Kyudo practice turned out to be a momentous one. It started off regularly enough, then one of our fellow students allowed “The Three Musketeers” (Paolo-san, Wilton-san and myself—the new recruits) to use an actual Yumi (bow) and arrow to go through the movements.
At tea break, our sensei talked about the seminars and ranking tests being held next summer at UC-Irvine and asked if any of us were thinking about doing the test and we all sort of thought about it. I like having a goal to work towards (like the JLPT), so I think I’m game. But then, Rick-sensei said if we were planning on doing it then our teaching would need to be accelerated and we would need to shoot our first arrow tonight.
That, of course, brought on the doki doki (i.e. racing heartbeat, i.e. nervous).
In the end, I did indeed shoot my first arrow, under the tutelage of my now lifelong sensei Rick Beal after the break. I was excited to actually hit the makiwara (target) with my first shot, though my form was off a bit and the string hit me on the edge of my forehead. But all’s well that ends well. It was pretty exciting, and now I really feel like I’m on the road to learning and participating fully in Kyudo.
After practice, I asked “Doctor-san” to help instruct me in the future and he told me to start by doing incline push ups every day with a 10-count pause. That and some other things to start getting myself physically ready for the sport—like losing a pound a week (good advice regardless). You’ve gotta do the “wax on, wax off” in any martial art.
I’ll have to plan my vacation for the week after Fourth of July, I suppose…