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What is Kyudo?

Kyudo means literally "The Way of the Bow". Historically it comes from two main lineage, mounted archery and archery on foot, which divided basically into a ceremonial tradition with emphasis on ritual and etiquette and the warrior style expressing the energy and technique for the battlefield. Three main schools, the Ogasawara, Heki, and Honda contributed to the developed of modern "Kyudo" which has incorporated all of these qualities into its modern form.

SKV Seminar 2015Essential to an appreciation of kyudo is to understand the importance of the relationship between technique and feeling. The concentration of mental and subtle physical energy within the framework of technique is what makes kyudo interesting and demanding. One cannot separated one from the other. Because attitude and behaviour influence this use of energy, the regime of practice requires the discipline of proper respect and attitude. Through this behaviour the practitioner becomes more "open-hearted" and able to express the vitality of kyudo. This principle makes for a better and more harmonized person and a more balanced member of society.

The Japanese "yumi" is an asymmetrical bow of over 2 meters length. It is the longest bow in the world and elegant in its simplicity. The draw in kyudo is deeper than in western archery with the archer centered physically and emotionally within the bow. Kyudo places greater emphasis on the beauty of form with accuracy as an expression of correct shooting rather than "hitting for hitting's sake".

Kyudo can be taken up as a life-long activity and is practised by both men and women of all ages groups from the young to the elderly.

As a traditional Japanese sport, kyudo has a competitive aspect, with regular competitions within national federations, and regions, as well as internationally. A world tournament (Taikai) is held every four years.

Picture:
Amsterdam 2016 - Opening Ceremony
Ite: Shibata Takeshi, Hanshi Hachidan; Kaizoe: Usami Yoshimitsu, Hanshi Hachidan