I started practicing Kyudo several years ago, thinking that it would be something like western archery I had practiced many years ago while I was in college. I thought the goal was to hit a target. I could not have been more wrong!
Kyudo has been practiced in Japan virtually unchanged since the 12th century. It is a solitary practice, and is only martial art in which there is no opponent. In other words, your opponent is “the enemy within.”
In kyudo, hitting the target is a result of righteousness of mind, adherence to correct form and taking proper care of one’s equipment. And your road map is three principles: Shin (truth,) Zen (goodness) and Bi (beauty.) Being lucky does not count.
The practitioner is taught correct posture, calmness of mind, humility, respect and supreme care for his or her equipment.
If you like to learn more about Kyudo, read “Zen in the Art of Archery” by Eugene Herrigel. It one of the best books ever written in English on the subject and you can get it from Amazon for a few dollars.
There is probably a dojo near you. Stop by for a visit if you can. You will not be disappointed.