During the third weekend of June, a national kyudo seminar took place at the central dojo of the Zen Belgian Kyudo Federation in Brussels. Around 50 Kyudoka came together for intense study of the way of the japanese boy, under the supervision of Vlasselaer Jean-Pierre Sensei, Renshi 6th Dan. The seminar was opened with a Ya Watashi performed by:
Roulez Christiane, 5th Dan, Ite
Bonnew Anne, 4th Dan, Daichi Kaezoe
Watelet Marie, 3rd Dan, Daini Kaezoe
Through this ceremony, the participants could appreciate how in Kyudo, not only the shooting in itself is important, but also the preparation movements and the harmony between participating kyudoka play an important role.
Then came the study of Taihai, the movements and postures not directly linked to the processes of shooting an arrow. Concentration on one’s body plays an important part in Taihai. Taihai exerciSes ware a good preparation for shooting as there is no good Kyudo without good Taihai. Participants were then divided into three groups according to their level. Each archer shooting two arrows was an opportunity for the sensei to judge each archers technique. The remaining time of the morning sessions was for shooting training. The afternoon of the first day was dedicated to Shaho-Shagi, shooting practice according to the correct rules and technique.
The second day of the seminar started with a Hitotsu Mato Sharei, a ceremony during which several archers shoot on one target. The ceremony was performed by:
Vlasselaer Jean-Pierre Sensei, Renshi 6th Dan
Schroeder Ralph, 4th Dan
The morning session was continued with Shaho-Shagi and the study of Shitsu and the correct way of reacting to incidents that may happen during the shooting process, such as when an arrows drops, the string breaks or the bow drops out of the hand of the archer at the release of the arrow. The important rules here are : reacting quickly, discreetly and performing Yu after completion.
The seminar was closed with a question and answer session between students and Sensei and a last Sharei performed by:
Mavroidis Iannis, 3rd Dan
Bauer Anja, 3rd Dan
Stevens Marc, 3rd Dan