What is Kyudo?
Kyudo is different from western archery chiefly because the goal is not simply to hit the target. In kyudo, the act of "shooting" starts before the archer has even entered the shooting area. Hitting the target is really the effect of a precise and balanced set of movements and mindsets all leading up to the eventual release of the arrow.
Kyudo is a martial art where the focus is a blending of perfect technique and perfect spirit. "Spirit" is nothing religious or supernatural, but it is what we know as our thoughts, feelings, focus ... our mind. The ultimate goal of kyudo is an expression of truth, goodness and beauty. What does this mean? Along with the necessary technique that is the one of the first and most basic things that are learned, there is built upon that a calm undisturbed mind that shoots true, respect and ettiquete for others, and an overall performance that rivals the best for aesthetic appeal.
Of course, achieving the "perfect" blend of the physical and the spiritual will take a lifetime of study but because this becomes essetially a study of yourself, each practice contains your own unique step-by-step journey. The enjoyment and rewards of this wonderful and serious, fun and demanding art can start right away.
Practice can either be at a short-range "practice target" or makiwara and at the standard 28 meter distance. A standard shooting performance is done with 5 archers coordinating their movements with each other, however, it is not unusual to be performed with 3 or 4 people. Practice will often involve both shooting in groups and individual study. In Ohio, we have a full 28 meter range as well as makiwara. See our dojo for more information about facilities available here in Ohio.