The very first time I ever raised the bow in uchiokoshi (movement lifting the bow in front of you) my teacher told me to raise it in front of me like I was scooping up a bunch of water.
So I did it, and somewhere along the way forgot, and have probably been dealing with it in different moves and images.
I recently met with my old sensei (where a lot of these recent little tid-bit technique posts are coming from) and hearing him tell me about this scooping image has reminded me how important the stage of uchiokoshi is.
Uchiokoshi is not just a silly move to raise the bow pointlessly in front of yourself.
One reason is that it helps engage your triceps, which are one of the most important muscles used in drawing the bow.
We should flare out our elbows slightly in the yugamae stance before raising the bow in uchiokoshi. We should maintain this tension all the way through the release, so protecting this tension throughout the phases of drawing the bow is one of the important jobs of uchiokoshi.
So yes, we scoop up the bow in front of us to maintain the correct tension in our triceps to effectively carry out the following steps that lead up to the release.
Simple. Easy. Give it a try.
Let’s make our our giant castle of epic shooting built upon simple stones we carefully lay one at a time.