Power of Confidence: Kyudo

We’ve been raised told that we’re not good enough the way we are.

Just doing what we want isn’t going to fly.

We’ve been told that we need to learn new things and change from what we were into something better.

At times this will result in the destruction of ourselves, the only thing we have.

We learn to distrust ourselves. We learn that unless we’re told specifically what to do by a reliable source we are failing. The only we have, ourselves, is then spat upon, thrown away and forgotten in favor of the new and better.

This is a big part of learning. It is the education of ourselves. It is improvement. It is probably the reason why humans have developed into what we are. In Japan I feel this phenomenon of “learning” is ubiquitous with life, if not synonymous.

So sure, we’re practicing kyudo, a traditional Japanese art which focuses on this kind of education, but if we just sit down and let the world bury us down without voicing our opinion, we will become slave robots, reacting only to what we are told.

This is not good. We can’t just sit around waiting for the magic instruction to build our dreams, because we forget everything that’s real: us right now.

There is a primal strength of confidence we must utilize in order to call upon the world.

We must summon the gods by climbing the mountain in defiance of the weather report.

Now or never. Today. Just the way I am.

We must be proud of ourselves and call upon the world to reveal itself to us.

We must tame the irrational beast of chaos with our will and intention.

Who cares if we’re small, weaker than others, or not doing it right. You’re standing there in front of the target, how are you going to shoot? Like a sheep proclaiming our vulnerability to the world? Or are you going to put that arrow in the target like you’re there to do?

Today in kyudo my technique wasn’t so good and my arrows were far from the mark. When this happens we analyze our technique and find out what we’re doing that disrupts the straight path of the arrow and then attempt to fix this. This is natural, and perhaps part of the learning that what we’re doing is wrong and we should learn to correct it. This is because the way we naturally shoot is not straight. I get that. I can see a lot of technical things I’m doing wrong with my body, but no matter how hard I try, they just don’t work.

So today towards the end of practice I realized that I could just keep banging my head against the stone wall trying to do things right, stretching my focus further from the center, or I could just shoot the flippin arrow into the target.

I know this kind of practice purposely ignoring the principles will lead us astray,

but for today, if it’s a matter of failing and crying before the concrete wall, or just climbing the bastard and getting to the other side, so I decided on the latter.

So I shot and shot and it didn’t work until the very last arrow when I genuinely didn’t care what happened. I just relaxed and shot without holding the draw longer than 2 seconds and the arrow went straight into the target.

Sometimes you gotta just release your courage and claim where you stand, no matter what you are.


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