Kyudo is not simply shooting arrows at a target but an art of combining the bow, the body and the spirit in harmony. The Kyudo-ka or practitioner of Kyudo, develops technique, mental focus and character together. Virtues and weaknesses both physical and spiritual become apparent during the process of shooting the arrow.
Learning Kyudo involves the demanding and challenging process of balancing the body and spirit in harmony. Kyudo follows the method of traditional Japanese arts and disciplines in promoting self-cultivation through the rigor of a prescribed process and may not be suitable for those unwilling to follow such an approach.
The origins of Kyudo begins with the introduction of archery from China into Japan over a thousand years ago. Over the last few hundred years it evolved in its own way.
During this latter period, Japanese archery became associated with ceremonial functions at temples, distinct from the practical use of the bow for war and hunting.
The current practice of Kyudo has come forth from a blend of the influences from the temple and martial styles of Japanese archery and in the process has lost any of its application on the battlefield or the hunting ground.
Today Kyudo is practice as an activity to develop one’s self. It can help cultivate focus and inner calm in todays hectic world. In Japan, Kyudo is practised by as many men and women. It’s emphasis on mental focus rather than physical strength has made it accessible to both young and old.