We often read that we should shoot with our hearts, not our skills.
But if you can’t shoot with skills, it’s probably not going to be a very good shot.
I’ve looked at my technique and shooting and two things are apparent:
I’m trying really hard, and my skills aren’t sharp.
I’m conscious of these skills and trying to put them into my technique, but it’s locking my hands putting a great amount of excessive pressure on my shooting, which isn’t good.
So it’s not just keeping my thumb and middle finger together and not moving my hand at the release, and it’s not just breathing with my belly, and not just pulling with my elbow. I don’t need to put severe attention into one of these…
but enough attention into all of them,
like a spider web.
The spider web is pulled in each direction, providing sufficient tautness for the spider to crawl about it. The spider web is taut, but not locked in, so that it can move with the surrounding environment. This is how our technique should be. A spider web only connecting half of its’ sides is no good at all.
So what are the important junctions of our spider web of shooting? What are the points of technique to remember.
Gojujumonji, the five crosses.
To be honest, I’ve never put much attention to gojujumonji. I’ve had to write about it in tests. I’ve been told about it. But it’s not something I’ve ever really felt, until now.
These are the points in our web. If we can keep our attention on these points, make them clear and straight as crosses as we can, the better our technique and form will be (tsumeai) so that we can properly expand (nobiai), just like the spider web.
Gojujumonji, Five Crosses:
-Our tenouchi (left hand that holds the bow, focusing on connecting big thumb and the middle finger for me) and the bow.
-The arrow and the bow.
-The center line of the chest and our shoulders (keeping them wide and expanding at this great central cross).
-The arrow and the line of our neck (proper turning of the head (kaomuke) , which has been loose for me loosening everything in my technique).
-The string and the big thumb in our glove in our right hand. This is a huge realization for me lately, and I think this can help me point that thumb towards the target in the full draw, which will connect my hand to my forearm and elbow, taking the tension out of my wrist, and allowing me to expand in nobiai.
These are the points we should be focusing on in our shooting, especially in the full draw. We focus on the mapping of these five points. Once we make these points we have proper form (tsumeai) and are ready to put the giant great life spiritual power force into our technique making it alive with proper ikiai (breathing), by expanding our bellies and spreading infinitely outwards in all directions (nobiai),
and be just like a spider web.