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8330Re: [SCA-JML] Re: kyujutsu

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  • Anthony J. Bryant
    Oct 3, 2002
      Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie wrote:

      > Ii-dono,
      > I thank you for your input. I have gotten feedback from others as
      > well privately, and I think you all have valuable opinions. I agree
      > that the real need for hitting soldiers with Ya is non-existant,
      > especially considdering the bland (but still as fun as fun can be)
      > combat archery rules the SCA currently uses. I just get frustrated
      > when I hear almost religious overtones from people who
      > worship the modern "arts" without realizing (or at least voicing)
      > the origins that the arts were based on. I am sure real samurai
      > understood the need for training, as do we modern
      > recreationists...I have no desire to break my bows (wonderfull
      > Yumi <the bowmaker> creations) and think that safety is
      > paramount, both with regards to the shooter, and those around
      > the shooter. I just think that there is more room for a person to
      > learn how to shoot by listening to the bow...
      > If we "listen" as we shoot...we will learn a grea deal.

      It's better to "watch" as others shoot. One of the reasons I stress people
      should learn kyudo before buying a yumi is that Japanese bows do not work
      the same way western ones do. They aren't held the same way, arrows aren't
      nocked the same way, they aren't drawn the same way, and they don't release
      the same way.

      In historical Japan, people only ever *saw* and *used* yumi, so there was no
      problem with someone picking one up wrong and using it wrong. Here, we have
      years of Robin Hood movies and Westerns to unlearn. The moves are completely
      different. People in our culture are not naturally inclined to use one
      properly, and without some instruction, won't know how.

      Does it matter? Not necessarily. You can possibly pick up a yumi, load it
      over the left (Western style) and release with a three-fingered grip and hit
      the bullseye. But you can also possibly win an SCA fight by just picking up
      the rattan and clubbing your foe like a baby seal. You'll still succeed in
      doing what you want, but you'll have no finesse, no style, and no panache,
      and you'll be no closer to grokking what we're trying to recreate because
      there's more to Japanese archery than the bow.

      That's why I tell people to learn how to use a Japanese bow in a proper
      Japanese setting. Once you know what you're doing, or supposed to be doing,
      you can abbreviate as much as you want or eliminate as much as you want. But
      at least you'll be doing so from a position of knowing what you should be

      Did Japanese archers in combat function differently than in practice back at
      home? Almost certainly. Always works that way in combat, regardless of the

      Look at the Civil War or Rev War infantryman. There's a whole drill, with
      multiple steps, involved in loading and firing their weapon. This takes
      time. But on the field of battle, everything has to go quicker, and some
      steps get compressed or omitted -- but still they had the steps, and they
      knew what they were omitting and why (e.g., the most common -- sticking the
      ramrod into the ground instead of returning it to its place along the stock
      of the weapon) in the interests of expediency. But they *knew* what they
      were doing. They had trained, for long hours, to develop speed and skill
      with the proper forms, so that any simplification would be able to flow due
      to familiarity with their weapon and its use.

      In point of fact, when Japanese warriors were at home practicing, they did
      it *right*, they took the time to *learn* how to do it. Only when you know
      what you're doing do you start messing around doing things like speed or
      distance shooting.

      You seem to be suggesting one should start running before even learning to
      crawl. Am I misreading this?

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