d.f., on Dec 11 2005, 09:10 PM, said:
A kyudoka does seek self improvement through his archery. If self improvement was his only goal, why does he even bother with the archery in the first place? Self improvement can be accomplished in many ways that are simpler and much less frustrating than archery.
Does this sound familiar at all? If it does, you may have realized that for the most part western society called some things "sports" that eastern society called "martial arts".
I just wanted to interject something here:
QUOTE #1: What type of self-improvement using the bow & arrow is the Kyudoka seeking which other endeavours cannot provide is the question which should be asked.
Since the Zen Buddhist monks had developed Kyu-do from Kyu-jitsu, they saw in the practice of archery a value absent in other martial arts which was beneficial to metaphysical Zen theology, which was cultivating in the mind a form of concentration or meditation which was not perturbed by anything in the environment. Regardless of your immediate circumstances you should not allow anything to distract your concentration to placing that arrow exactly where you want it. Therefore accuracy becomes secondary to mind-control, then accuracy will follow the undisturbed mind. Some of the Kyudo masters will place an arrow dead center without looking. They will glance at the target, turn their head away, and place the arrow dead on bullseye, which is a demonstration of their mind-control and not their archery!
QUOTE #2: Actually, Japan in their Edo period distinguished the difference between 'sports' and 'martial arts', and did not confuse the two.
Three hundred years ago the Japanese formed leagues and played ball. They had tournaments with competing teams between villages and did not mistake a bat for a sword.
The West may have confused 'sports' with 'martial arts' but not the East.
This post has been edited by TeddyRoosevelt: 12 December 2005 - 12:15 AM