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Zen Archery

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  • Zen Archery

    Anyone practice Zen Archery and can talk about the role of the mind in aiming? Is it an "empty mind" like the samurai swordsmen?
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

  • #2
    "Use the Force, Luke."
    Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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    • #3
      Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
      "Use the Force, Luke."
      Obviously no experience.

      Awa Kenzo, a Zen archery master, observed, "Shooting is to study the mind. Throw away form to understand form. Throw away mind to grasp mind. Utilize nothing to create something, and use that something to shoot an arrow."

      "Do not focus on the center of the target. The sound of the arrow hitting the target should simultaneously hit the center of your being. That instant is a divine, mystical experience."
      Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 11 Jun 17, 13:48.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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      • #4
        "I don't move the arrow with my mind!" Yondu.

        Mystic poo-poo is still poo-poo.
        Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
        Hyperwar, Whats New
        World War II Resources
        The best place in the world to "work".

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        • #5
          Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
          "I don't move the arrow with my mind!" Yondu.

          Mystic poo-poo is still poo-poo.
          Obviously no experience; no tolerance for others' beliefs(unfortunately, a tolerance that we have lost in a constitutional democracy and on this website).

          Agree, the mind does not move arrows. But there is something to the eye-hand aiming that involves the mind. In fact, American quarterbacks will talk about being in the "zone" for their hitting receivers, as well as players in other sports. Western science does not have an answer for this phenomenon.

          Sad responses.
          Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 11 Jun 17, 18:41.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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          • #6
            From my brief stint doing some traditional & horseback archery, bare bow, no sights or aids, the trick is that you develop enough muscle memory and instinct that instead of squinting through a sight and placing the arrow on dot, the real aiming is done with your arms and shoulders. Watching a good horseback archer taking out targets at a fast canter, there is no time to aim, all shooting is done by instinct, aka lots of hard practice and lots and lots and lots and lots of missed shots.

            Traditional archery and modern archery are two very different beasts.

            Are you wanting to improve your shooting or your mind?
            One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

            "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
            Wu Cheng'en Monkey

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            • #7


              There is a semi-trailer load of Bunkum and Hokum tied up in the traditional, and especially horseback archery world, but when you look at the training techniques, there is a core of terrific common sense and smart practices.

              Lajoos Kassai is an interesting character, he has a great training camp and terrific training techniques, but the marketing, costumes and general air of new age/old age baloney that accompanies his promotional videos is terrible. If you can skip the corny youtube soundtrack and read some of his first person videos, especially the ones from the late 90's before he really started his business and it was just a cool hobby, there is some great stuff there.

              Last edited by Chukka; 11 Jun 17, 21:20.
              One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

              "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
              Wu Cheng'en Monkey

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chukka View Post
                From my brief stint doing some traditional & horseback archery, bare bow, no sights or aids, the trick is that you develop enough muscle memory and instinct that instead of squinting through a sight and placing the arrow on dot, the real aiming is done with your arms and shoulders. Watching a good horseback archer taking out targets at a fast canter, there is no time to aim, all shooting is done by instinct, aka lots of hard practice and lots and lots and lots and lots of missed shots.

                Traditional archery and modern archery are two very different beasts.

                Are you wanting to improve your shooting or your mind?
                While I studied (for 17 years) Japanese and Korean martial arts for self-defense skills, I have turned to looking at zen archery for improving my shooting in the French game of petanque. The skill of a shooter in petanque is to knock out an opponent's scoring boule(steel ball) which is about 2.5 inches in diameter at distances of 6 to 10 meters. A perfectly struck target boule can result in the shooting boule replacing the target boule in its orginal spot on the ground. The French Masters can hit target boules at about a 90-95%, and replace a target boule at about a 15-25%. Many of them make there shots in the manner that you describe for riding archers. But, their instruction on shooting, is typical western notion and not the eastern as in the zen archery which is a physical and mental training focusing on what they call "an empty mind".

                So, my answer to your question is I want to improve my shooting and mind since I believe the mind is an instrumental part of the shooting.

                Thank you for an earnest answer.
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chukka View Post


                  There is a semi-trailer load of Bunkum and Hokum tied up in the traditional, and especially horseback archery world, but when you look at the training techniques, there is a core of terrific common sense and smart practices.

                  Lajoos Kassai is an interesting character, he has a great training camp and terrific training techniques, but the marketing, costumes and general air of new age/old age baloney that accompanies his promotional videos is terrible. If you can skip the corny youtube soundtrack and read some of his first person videos, especially the ones from the late 90's before he really started his business and it was just a cool hobby, there is some great stuff there.

                  I have one book on zen archery from a westerner's experience in learning to shoot a Japanese bow from horseback. I will study the video's. Your observations on the training techniques is on the mark--there is a 'terrific common sense" (not sure how common) and "smart practices" (which are rigorous in building an intuitive discipline to clear the mind of distractions at the instant of shooting).
                  Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                    "Use the Force, Luke."
                    Maybe I should have used this ...

                    There is in firearms shooting a similar concept of "intuitative aiming" where form over-rides conscious direction and "feels" the target aligned with the weapon ... ~ zing!
                    Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
                    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                    Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                      Maybe I should have used this ...

                      There is in firearms shooting a similar concept of "intuitative aiming" where form over-rides conscious direction and "feels" the target aligned with the weapon ... ~ zing!
                      While aware of that shooting approach, I am not into guns. Do you know the method for teaching the skill?
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                        Obviously no experience; no tolerance for others' beliefs(unfortunately, a tolerance that we have lost in a constitutional democracy and on this website).

                        Agree, the mind does not move arrows. But there is something to the eye-hand aiming that involves the mind. In fact, American quarterbacks will talk about being in the "zone" for their hitting receivers, as well as players in other sports. Western science does not have an answer for this phenomenon.

                        Sad responses.
                        Magic doesn't work. Just so you know.
                        Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                        Hyperwar, Whats New
                        World War II Resources
                        The best place in the world to "work".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                          Magic doesn't work. Just so you know.
                          You're the only one talking about magic. We are talking about mastering mental-physical instincts from an eastern perspective.

                          Again, I think we are beyond your experience. Or, am I wrong and you have studied eastern martial arts for more than a year?
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                            While aware of that shooting approach, I am not into guns. Do you know the method for teaching the skill?
                            No, haven't chased it down yet. Been close to two years since last at range.
                            Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
                            TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                            Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Any Armed Assault III wargamers here?
                              It's bloody difficult holding your crosshairs on a distant tank when you fire an unlocked missile because you have to keep making miniscule mouse movements to keep it on track, and need fierce concentration to hold the hairs steady.
                              So yeah, I can well understand why some archers use Zen to achieve that concentration on the target..

                              Nice precision shot...

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