The traditions and martial art of the Japanese samurai are still relevant and some of them are used to this day. A prime example of this is Kyudo. This is traditional Japanese archery, which is based on two key principles: spiritual harmonic and physical development.

The ultimate goal of kyudo is to achieve the state of "shin - zen - bi", which in translation means "truth - virtue - beauty".

The history of the origin of kyudo

Kyudo has its roots in ancient times. The first memories of archery date back to the 8th century. During the feudal period, kyudo became very popular. Samurai paid special attention to archery, as it was the main weapon in feudal wars.

The basic equipment of a samurai kyudo

The main equipment in this martial art is the bow. It is the longest in the world and is represented by several types:

Yumi: a high bow over 2 m high. It is made of wood, koi and bamboo;

Yaa: made of bamboo with eagle or hawk feathers. Each such bow has its own direction of rotation;

a special three-fingered glove - mitsugakeili, or a four-fingered - yotsugake. The glove worn on the right is referred to as Yugake. It is made of deerskin and can be hard or soft. In the latter version, there is no solid finger. There is also a one-finger glove and a five-finger glove.

It is worth paying attention to such an interesting fact as wearing gloves only on the right hand. Given the kyudo shooting technique, the left hand does not require protection: the main blow is made on the right hand.

In order for the onion to be well fixed in the hand, rice husk powder is applied to the palm. It absorbs sweat, which allows the bow to turn in the hand.

Additional equipment for female archers is the Muneate chest protector. This is a piece of leather or plastic that protects the breasts from possible blows from the bowstring.


Archery technique: preparation steps

Kyudo technique is very carefully spelled out in the main Code. Individual moments may differ based on style. However, there are common points. For example, all archers hold the bow only in the left hand, and pull the string with the right. It is very important to draw the bow so that the pulling hand is held behind the ear. If you break this rule, then there is a risk of hitting a neighboring shooter in the ear or face when releasing the bowstring.

Unique to kyudo is the technique of releasing a bow shot that rotates in the hand so that the string stops in front of the archer's outer forearm.

Other techniques in kyudo:

support installation;

checking the balance of the body;

preparation of the bow: grasping the string with the right hand - positioning the left hand on the handle of the bow - turning the archer's head to analyze the target;

stretching the bow, full drawing;

construction of vertical and horizontal lines of the body;

release of the bowstring from the right hand;

lowering the bow.


All actions are performed in the appropriate order, which allows you to achieve the most accurate result. At first glance, it only seems that the technique of stringing a bow is simple. In fact, it requires maximum physical effort. Everything is involved here at the same time:

correct breathing;

physical strength;

elegance of movement.

During the shot, the warrior must be in complete calmness, being in a state of meditation. Everything happens after achieving complete calmness. The samurai went into a state in which he gave up all his thoughts and desires. Thus, the only tools that led to enlightenment were the bow and arrow.

Today, kyudo has evolved from a martial art to a traditional sport.

See also

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