Kyudo · Tenouchi - the Grip · Uncategorized

Tenouchi Tips

“Use chopsticks with your left hand.”

This is one tip I heard about a while ago that is supposed to help our “tenouchi”, which refers to the left hand that we grip the bow with.

I suppose this is helpful for only right handed people who rarely use their left hand for small and detailed movements. Perhaps by using chopsticks with our left hand we can build sensitivity and dexterity, which will translate to our ability in handling the bow. In my experience it seems like the best tenouchi does the best job of getting out of the way of everything else. We have some important points to protect like keeping our wrist unbent, extending our thumb, connecting our thumb to our middle fingers, gripping the bottom of the bow with our pinky, and protecting the line of the tenmonsuji, but putting too much effort into each of these techniques makes us try to manipulate the bow with strength which keeps us from executing a smooth and straight release. It also makes us forget about everything else we’re supposed to be doing while shooting. We must handle the bow softly and precisely.

So why not try using chopsticks with your left hand? Or anything else like brushing your teeth, scrubbing the bath, or writing?

I suppose for all the lefties out there you could try to work on your right hand which will invariably have positive effects on the more mysterious tenouchi in your right hand.

Oh, you right hand tenouchi … whatever to do with you.

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