This video was taken in very early days of me translating for him, mostly English into English back then. Luckily, there was a Japanese woman in the group that day who helped out. As with much of the video in this archive, it is a little rough. The camera was generally just set to roll or handled by a willing novice. Here are a few notes/highlights from Sensei's points in case they don't come through clearly on the video:
- In Yoi, the preparatory stance, the yumi (bow) and ya (arrow) should be held close to the body, with your hands touching your body, so you can feel your pulse.
- In ashi bumi, the first coordination, the yumi tip should not float around or off to the side. It should be straight in line with the navel. The yumi and ya should be at the same angle behind you. You can’t see behind you, so you should be checking this balance from your heart.
- Moving from ashi bumi into dozukuri, first extend the yumi forward, then sweep up to your knee. This gesture signifies cutting ego, clearing the gaki or “hungry ghosts”.
- When you grip the yumi properly, it turns upon the release of the ya. When you grip too tightly, sometimes the tsuru turns, but not the yumi, so the tsuru snaps around to the other side.
- When shooting with two ya, cover the tip of the second ya with your thumb.
- When he refers to the Dalai Lama talking about the Stupa, he’s recalling having just attended the event of the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya at Shambhala Mountain Center.
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Unless otherwise noted, ©2016 Carolyn Kanjuro.
Banner photo, Sensei in full draw ©Marvin Ross.