Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kyudo::Japanese Archery in Mexico City

Kyudo Kai form - fully drawn bow.

Master of Kyudo,  Sensei  Ali Zolfagharian teaches  lessons on kyudo -- Japanese archery -- in Mexico City.  Kyudo is radically different than archery I'd practiced in high school.  Our group of dedicated archers would meet on Sunday mornings at the UNAM campo de tiro con arco.

Kyudokai Mexico sponsored the classes.
Kyudo involves a very ceremonial series of movements which you practice for months before drawing the bow back.  Each movement is part of a set form and follows an exact sequence of foot and body placement through an entry processional to the archer's position.  After you practice the form and understand the body posture, you can practice drawing the bow which was somewhere around eight feet long.  

One Arrow, One Life -- the essential text on Kyudo.
You can study kyudo for years and will always be a beginner.  It's one of those disciplines, like tai-chi or yoga that becomes part of your life and calms the mind.

Skill depends on a clear memory and the ability to move in harmony with others during the entry and exit processionals.  With careful practice, the candidate advances.  

Upper body muscles may need development to engage in the demands of kyudo.  Ali Zolfagharian, the instructor,  provided a length of elastic stretch rope so I could practice the full bow opening movement.   This You Tube video displays the kyudo form.  

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