Because WaShinKan’s Kyudobu is rapidly growing the past year, this was only the first, but definitely not the last time that he visited our Dojo. Excited as everyone was, beginner level Kyudoka from WaShinKan and on invitation from KyoRenKan both came and joined this seminar!
As every regular Kyudo class at WaShinKan, and therefore this seminar as well, we started with building up the Dojo to get ready. When all the Makiwara and Mato were hanging, the net was secure and the dojo was set, everyone changed into Hakama and Gi and started the day with Hairei. After Ivo officially welcomed Buitink Sensei, he told us what we could expect from the day. It was going to be a inspiring day! We put on our Kake, Muneate, get our Yumi and Ya and showed Buitink Sensei our current level on the Makiwara. Because the regular teacher Ronald Postema was not available, Queeny assisted Buitink Sensei during the day.
After Buitink Sensei and Queeny gave everyone feedback on the individual shooting, the entire group was going to be divided up in three groups focusing on Kihontai. The main focal point was the left hand leading and the right hand following. Both Buitink Sensei and Queeny gave personal feedback on each member of the 3 respective groups, and because of this there was a lot of time to improve.
After that it was time to practice Yudaoshi. Buitink Sensei taught everybody the proper way of bringing the yumi in the right position in front of your body. To practice this technique, all the Kyudoka were lined up in front of each other. If they did Yudaoshi the correct way we should not hit the other one on the head with the Yumi… Quite interesting and effective way of learning the proper technique!
Luckily it all went well and without bruises or bumps the switch was made to a lesson in maintenance of Yumi and Ya. Buitink Sensei taught how you get the Nigiri in the right size and shape so that fits your hand the best. Since most of WaShinKan’s members mostly use Ivo his bows, some of them could use some repairs and of course some could use a new Nigiri. Buitink Sensei replaced the old Nigiri with a new one skillfully. After that, he explained how one should maintain the Hane on the Ya, as well as how the Hane are put on the Ya. There are many different types of Ya and Hane, so always make sure to know what you are doing. When switching to the Kake, Buitink Sensei told you can never use enough Giriko on the Kake and showed how you make sure your Tsurumakura stays in the best way. He also explained on how you can clean the Kake with alcohol once in a while.
Around 17:30, time for dinner! Most of the group went to Enjoii and had a nice dinner with each other. During dinner Buitink Sensei told a little about the history of Kyudo and the Kyudo in The Netherlands. After that a nice talk arose on the shared experience with Kyudo and why Kyudoka love Kyudo so much.
Dinner was over, and the last part of the seminar started. Buitink Sensei and Queeny started off with a duo Sharei. Everyone was paying extra attention because after the lesson about Kihontai the focus for everyone was going to be on Sharei as well! Buitink Sensei and Queeny showed great concentration, skill and body control, so it was great to see them both in action. This is yet again an example of how mitorigeiko can help your own Kyudo as well.
Buitink Sensei told about Kihon no Shisei and showed the correct way to walk, sit and turn. Of course it wasn’t only watching, as learning something from experience and repeating, is the best to learn it yourself. Needless to say, it needs a lot of effort and a lot of practice to do it all in the correct way. This again fits great with the motto we share at WaShinKan: “Hyakuren Jitokku”, literally meaning: “Practice 100 times to make it your own”.
After that it was time to practice Sharei. Releasing the arrow wasn’t part of the curriculum yet, so only practicing the movements. For most already quite the challenge to remember everything and do it in the right order!
After 2 more Sharei practice sessions, it was time to close off the Seminar with a quick selfie, followed by the final Rei.
WaShinKan wants to thank Queeny for assisting Buitink Sensei during the day, and of course wants to specially thank Buitink Sensei for joining and teaching this wonderful event. Everyone present enjoyed, learned a lot and appreciates and is truly grateful for the input from Sensei!