Traditional Japanese Martial Arts for Adults
Pictures from our Winter 2014 Intro to KYUDO Workshop with Japanese Archery expert Alex Halpern
Thank you, Halpern Sempai! Please visit again.
Alex Halpern began practicing Japanese Archery called 'KYUDO' in the 1980s under Kanjuro Shibata Sensei XX, who was the official bow maker to the Emperor of Japan.
Halpern Sempai began the workshop with a brief meditation, a Kyudo demonstration shooting two arrow or 'HITOTE' style into wrapped bail of hail called 'MAKIWARA'.
He then lectured to the group on the history behind the "Way of the Bow" in Japanese culture, the history of the SHIBATA family in Japan, and the anatomy and function behind the beautiful Japanese 'YUMI' or bow.
The asymmetrical Japanese bow or 'YUMI' is nearly seven feet tall.
In Kyudo, practitioners where a unique leather glove called a 'KAKE', which holds the arrow and string together during the drawing motion. This is similar in function to Western archery's "trigger releases" that compound bowers use.
Halpern Sempai explains the unique double recurve structure of the Japanese YUMI.
Alex also asked Sean, Dojo-Cho of Castle Rock AIKIDO and student of Zenko Kyudojo in Boulder, Colorado, to demonstrate the 7 Basic movements of Kyudo called 'SHICHI-DO'.
Sean assist Nick with the 5th movement called 'UCHI-OKOSHI' or "prepare to fire."
Aki Shikami, the grand-daughter of Kanjuro Shibata Sensei XX and present Dojo-Cho of Zenko Kyudojo in Boulder, Colorado, assists Janice with the awkward and difficult grip that is required to practice KYUDO.
Before anyone is permitted to actually shoot an arrow or 'YA' student must become proficient with 'SHICHI-DO' the Seven Coordinations. The form or 'KATA' is much more important in Japanese archery than actually hitting the target.
Kyudo is typically practiced outdoors on a range 28 meters long or 90 feet; however, all new practitioners learn to hit a target just 6 feet away.