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    The Chicago Jedi did some archery today and had a great time.  I posted more about it on my blog and rather than repeat it here, I thought I would invite you all to read and comment on my blog at http://zenryo.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/14/


    I love archery! I’ve only done a tiny bit, nothing official or anything (think childrens bow and arrow, rather than a hunting bow or traditional bow).  However, I recently played the archery game on the Wii Summer Sports Resort, and you can use it very similarly – focusing on the body and all that.  It isn’t nearly as difficult, but it is fun. :-)  I find the same things you mention in your blog – mastering your body before aiming – is the same thing I learned at the rifle range in boot camp.  We focused on making tight groupings, then adjusted the rifle’s sights to move that grouping to the center. 

    I still hope to spend some time in the midwest in the near future and would love to meet with you all sometime.  Thank you for sharing this. :-)


    I’ve done some archery before and really enjoyed it. Back in Adelaide there is a ‘cross country’ archery course where you can hike around the bush and shoot at targets that look like animals as well as the more traditional bulls-eye. I wouldn’t say that archery isn’t necessarily a Jedi thing to do, the mental state and focus required is the same as that for sword. And when I play computer games, I often favour the bow over the sword.

    Kol Drake

    I first came to archery through a book…Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery.  First released in 1953 or so, I read it in the early 70’s and took a turn or two with a bow.  Also grab one whenever it is offered at renn faires, etc.   I prefer the ‘simple’ bow and not the new ones with all the pulleys and counter weights.

    As noted by others, there can be as much focus, concentration, etc. while working a bow as in sword work or other martial weapon activities.


    In a way, I have gone to the extreme of both bows.  I have a modern compound bow with some extra bells and whistles and room for more on it.  And then I have my 8 foot smooth and slick Japanese yumi.  But I’m reminded of an intersting story from when I started shooting long ago.

    I was regularly going to a range where I rented a crappy recurve and arrows that were falling apart.  I often shared the range with a gentleman that was identified to me as one of the nations top archers.  His bow was an amazing contraption which at that time looked to me more like something you climbed into than something you held in your hand.  I was in awe of his bow and his ability to hit the bullseye with it.  But one day I commented on how all the accessories on his bow must have made it easier to hit the target.  He asked to borrow my bow and arrows.  His first shot was 12″ up and to the right of the center.  His second shot was 12″ low and to the left of center.  His third shot went right through the X in the middle.

    It was my first lesson in zen.  The tools don’t matter if you have the necessary control and composure.  Unfortunately, 25 years later, I’m still working on that same lesson.  But it was nice, on Sunday, to see that switching back and forth between my bows was not a huge challenge.


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