Sunday, November 09, 2008

Basics: Final Story

On the left is "Aaron Blackwell (Renshi Rokudan)", highest rank American in Kyudo. He visits Atlanta and the dojo run by "Ed Symmes, Renshi Godan" (next picture) often. Last time, in September, he told an interesting story when He was asked about the "testing" and "rankings" in Kyudo and how/if it is consistent with Zen Buddhism, etc. Here is the story (as he told it):


A couple of years ago I saw an old friend who had started Kyudo a few (7, 8) years earlier. I had not seen him since then. While I continued practicing Kyudo the normal way (through competitions and ranks, ...) he joined the school of Zen-Kyudo which emphasizes learning Kyudo as an internal journey and detaching from competition and ranks, etc. He stayed the evening and we shot some arrows before dinner. His shooting techniques was quite bad, which I had expected. At dinner, he discussed one of his (Zen-Kyudo) teacher's main teachings: Enjoy Kyudo and shooting, do not do it for competition, or to get higher ranks, etc. He confessed that it is quite some time that he is does not enjoy shooting and Kyudo anymore!


  1. Given time constraints, etc. I gave you a shot, but was not as good as I imagined :( well, at least you are written somewhere ... :)

  2. There is a good chance that you misunderstood what was said that evening.

    I have discussed this very subject on several occasions with Blackwell Sensei and this was never the message that I came away with.

    Keep with your search and listen carefully with the eyes as well as the ears.

    Best Regards!

  3. Dear J,

    I totally agree with you on the possibility of error in my understanding. In fact, my Kyudo learning evolves with time so much that I am not sure I believe what I wrote in that post anymore.

    I write these posts mainly to have a record of what I have learned and changes in my understanding of Kyudo :)

    Thanks a lot for your comment, I will definitely keep my senses open!



IT'S NOT ...

.. ``It's not your spread, and it's not how strong you are, and it's not how fast you are, because you have all those thing...