Image Training · Kyudo · Tenouchi - the Grip

Tenouchi: From the Elbow to the Fingers

The arm from all the way from your elbow to the tips of your fingers is your tenouchi. Don’t change it from yugamae to zanshin.”

This is something the hanshi sensei told one of my training partners at the seminar last week. Today my buddy told me about this and it unlocked thousands of little locks in my mind concerning the mysterious tenouchi, grip on the bow.

I’ve been told from since I can remember that we do not change our tenouchi from the daisan posture, through the release, until we lower our bow with yudaoshi.

I’ve also been told as long as I can remember to not change your tenouchi from the moment we grab the bow in the yugamae posture until after the release. This might be great, but somehow no matter how much I try to keep my hand the way it is, I do funny things with the wrist that makes it impossible.

I’ve also been told to use the your arm, wrist, and hand as one long stick that doesn’t move while in the full draw. This way we don’t put strange blocks or turns in the energy that is in our wrists and hands. That’s good, but my body doesn’t quite get it.

But today is the first time I’ve ever heard, “the arm from your elbow to the tips of your fingers is your tenouchi.”


I tried it, and didn’t get it perfect right away, but I felt HUGE changes in my arm. It’s like I completely forgot about my arm at all. My wrist didn’t bend along the way, the fingers in my grip naturally fell into my hand relaxed, my thumb extended to the target, and at the release my arm pushed into the target. The effect on my right hand also felt good, probably because I didn’t yurumu, let up the pressure at the last second.

So if you’re having trouble with your tenouchi, give it a try!

If our tenouchi is not just 0ur hand, but our arm from our elbow to our hand, then maybe it’s actually all the way from our shoulder to our hand, or maybe it’s all the way from my right elbow to my left hand, or maybe it’s my entire body, or maybe it’s also the ground I connect with, or maybe it’s the universe!

Or maybe it’s nothing at all.


One thought on “Tenouchi: From the Elbow to the Fingers

  1. Nice! I will give that thought a run tomorrow! I do recall a Sensei telling me about connecting the left thumb to the forearm. onward…yosh!! I do like that image of the whole body. Hmm perhaps, left side of body , left Tenouchi, right side, right tenouchi. Spread them and the Yumi from the body center line, during Nobei!

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