Sunday, April 2, 2023

Tools of the Samurai


Pulling the bow is not pulling, but pushing the bow forward.  With the arrow notched push the bow forward while breathing in the nose.  Hold two fingers by the ear, open both eyes and look out to the target.  Breath out the mouth slowly and at the mid point of the exhalation let loose the arrow and watch.  

After a lifetime or two, if your practice is true, you might hit your target, maybe.  Luck leads you forward and if it is on your side you begin to hit the target more and more with each notch. Before you know it luck has left it's mark on you and you are consistent and capable of hitting your target at will.  You have entered the realms of Zen.

The Samurai where originally master archers, the bow was their weapon of choice.  The Katana was carried as a secondary defense in case the opponent became to close to shoot with the bow.  A mastery of both the bow and the sword were necessary for survival. 

A lifetime of constant practice and intimate contact with the bow and the sword endowed both with a portion of the Samurai's soul.  It is said that the master sword smith, Hanzo, endowed the last sword he made, the "Hanzo Hachi", with his own soul just before he died.  It is still considered the finest Katana to ever come out of Japan.  His Master Piece.  

Just as a bow is pushed when notched, and not pulled, a sword is pushed forward from scabbard to target back to scabbard in one arching motion.  This is Iado, the last ring of Musashi in his school of five rings. Inward, Outward, Over, Under, and One continuous motion.  The five Rings.

Peace and Balance,


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