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Wie man seinen Geist reinigt

2002.08.23, Shibata XX,  pict0132.jpg
Kanjuro Shibata XX. Sendai

Polishing  your mind


For the beginner, the Seven Coordinations provide the basis of kyudo. Beginners should reflect on each and every shot. In sports there are competitors, winners and losers. This is not true in kyudo. Kyudo is based on the idea ”issha,” or ”one shot.” Reflection is the most important thing.

Since kyudo is done at a distance of two meters, it is nothing to hit the target. One first reflects on the technique. Most beginners forget about this and think of the target too much. It is not important where the arrow goes. That is only a reflection of the accuracy of your technique and the purity of your mind.

Working on the Seven Coordinations refines your technique. Continuing to work on the technique, one begins to encounter the Seven Defilements of mind. The way to set aside these defilements is through the way of kyudo. This way (”do”) is endless. Practice never ends, and begins again with each shot.

You don’t shoot the target. Keeping to the Seven Coordinations, the arrow will go to the target, just as if the arrow had its own mind. It is not ”you” shooting at the target. The right mind and the right heart, not just the right form, shoots the target. This right mind will be gained by the Seven Coordinations, reflecting on both accuracy of the technique as well as on the Seven Defilements.

The ultimate goal of kyudo is to polish your mind. It is the same with zazen. You are not polishing your style of shooting, but the mind. The dignity of shooting is the important point, Without the right mind, no matter how long you shoot, this dignity won’t be gained.

The seven emotional defilements: 


  • Yorokobu       excessive happines

  • Okoru             anger

  • Urei                 anxiety

  • Omou             thinking

  • Kanashimu    depression

  • Osoreru         fear

  • Odoroku        surprise



Five Crosses:


A carpenter must be certain that each post is straight and each crossbeam perpendicular when constructing a house. In Kyudo there must be in right angles:


  • Yumi and Ya (bow and arrow)

  • Yumi and left hand grip,  

  • Tsuru (bowstring) and right hand grip, 

  • shoulders and chest, 

  • Ya and neck. 


The three basic principles during practice are:


  • kin   balance,

  • kei   easiness

  • chu  carefulness


Every Kyudo student should remember them and always strive for them.

Shibata Sensei XX.  





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