While in Japan, my very Japanese hobby was (and still is) Kyudo, Japanese archery. A beautiful controlled zen art form that blends movement and stillness. I trained in Kyudo for a year and a half and just before returning home completed my double grade and became certified as Shodan (beginner basically) .
Unfortunately there is no class that I can find back here in Ireland although I have my outfit, bow and arrows at the ready. Instead when I get a little more financially sound I shall get a certificate as a regular archer with the hope I can begin to use my Japanese bow in the future.
For now I practice with a giant elastic band, not joking!
The main thing that inspired me to study Kyudo were my teachers at the Kyudo Dojo. I didn’t attend a specific class, I just showed up and whoever was there would train me. But soon enough it became a second family to me. My main teacher Shohoji sensei kept it a secret how well regarded and even famous he is in the Kyudo community in Japan, I realized much later on how incredibly lucky I was to have such a kick ass teacher with a wicked sense of humor to match! I can only hope to keep that good foundation going and someday join the Kyudo association in London.
The more you develop an insight into the art the more calming and frustrating it becomes. The most important thing is though, don’t actually try and hit the target! Better chance of hitting it then.
Top photo was a competition summer 2012. The last pic is me 🙂 …with a really bent arm, fix the form fix the form!!!