Art of Shooting
Technique cannot be considered without an understanding of spiritual energy. Neither aspect can function without the other. The acquisition of technique grows with the increase in body-mind awareness to form a harmonious working together of the bow, body and spirit.
Balance is taken physically and emotionally from the centre of the body. Unlike a Western bow where the focus is primarily around the shoulders and arms, with the Japanese bow the centre of attention is placed in the region below the navel known as the Tanden. The vitality and energy of the body-mind is generated from this point, creating a sense of centred-ness and well being.
Each movement of the shooting is co-ordinated with the breath to flow in a continuity of action which forms an inseparable whole.
All the movements for shooting culminate in the full draw when the archer is physically and mentally, centred within the arc of the bow. In this condition all the physical and mental balances must be fulfilled to effect a correct release. At the higher levels of practice the archer attempts a release where the expansion of energy reach its highest point and the string is ripped from the glove hand in a spontaneous and natural action. The full draw and the release is the moment where the stability of the archer's physical, mental and spiritual state is most vulnerable. At this moment the target becomes the mirror of the archer's soul.