It turns out that Tucson has a really nice Kyudo School with terrific instructors and students. This style of Japanese archery is really beautiful and challenging. It's very formal, requiring a lot of concentration, slow movements, and the almost unbearable holding of tension on the bow before releasing. You can see my husband below (he's a couple of lessons ahead of me) learning to hit the makiwara target -- which for beginners is one arrow length away. Added awkwardness, is that one uses the thumb for the pull back, and holds two arrows simultaneously, one nocked for shooting and one in reserve in the same hand.
My husband and I have been doing Shotokan karate for almost 40 years -- still training, now on our own as there isn't a really good dojo in our style here. In addition to Kyudo, my husband did find another highly effective school for the Japanese martial art "Battodo" -- the art of the sword. On weekends he "cuts the grass" -- rolled up tatami mats that have been soaked in water to achieve the right density (similar to the human body. Aish.) I am not much for the sword -- as thrilling as it is to watch -- too worried about the consequences of mishandling such a sharp and unforgiving blade.
But when he found the Kyudo School, that I thought I would like to do with him. I had my first lesson last Sunday -- and no, I am not yet trusted with a bow -- that comes later. But learning the kata -- the form and positioning of the body when firing, the calming of the mind while sending energy forward with the arrow is really cool. And strangely, after two hours of working it, one feels very centered, and very hungry. So -- updates as it progresses.
Women's archery competition.