Hikiwake - Drawing the Bow · Kyudo

Really Pulling a Bow

We want to really pull the bow, but instead we move our bodies around the bow.

It’s easy. It’s fast. It hits.

But it isn’t pulling the bow.

Are you ready for the truth?

Are you ready for someone to show you you’re not really pulling the bow?

From the daisan posture we want to pull outwards instead of down, putting no tension into our wrists. At the end of the drawing of the bow, instead of elevator dropping our hands above our shoulders we want to continue extending outwards. No elevator. Continue the draw.

But …

Even though we think we may be doing so, we may just be moving our shoulders and elbows backwards. We get the effect of pulling farther, but at the expense of our bodily structure. This puts tension in our wrists, and our release becomes a trick of the wrist instead of the result of proper tsumeai (form) and nobiai (expansion).

So,

instead we meet our drawing hand with our shoulder. The image makes us think that we’ll distort our shoulder, but that’s often not what really happens. What really happens is that we continue to draw while keeping our shoulders parallel with the target, and keep our shoulder blades straight together.

Try it.

I did.

And I have no idea.

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