Happy Traveling To Everyone Going To The AKR Seminar in Minnesota

I hope everyone traveling to to the 2011 AKR seminar in Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota both domestic and international have a safe trip and all their luggage arrives safely!

The Minnesota Kyudo Renmei is trying something new this year by building three shajos of snap together wood laminate flooring.  I'll be interested in hearing how it works out.

Keiko Fukuda Teaching Judo At 98

SF Gate just did an article on Keiko Fukuda who, at 98 years old, still teaches judo in San Francisco!  This isn't directly related to kyudo but still inspiring to other martial artists I think.

A Very Nice Overview of Yabusame

A television show on older weapons actually made a pretty good overview of Yabusame.

Homemade Makiwara

These pictures of harvesting rice stalks from the Sacramento rice fields of California bring back memories.  A group of us did the same thing many years ago but the use of a powerful ratchet to compress the rice stalks is something we never thought of doing and it sure makes these makiwaras look good.
Wow!  Over three hundred participants came to the Paris test only seminar.  This picture is from a facebook album of Johannes Maringer so I hope he doesn't mind if I use it here.  This is a big group of test participants.  And I believe this is the first time the IKYF has ever held a test only event. The event was open to Americans but I don't think any went to Paris for the event.  If any participant wants to write an English report of the event I would love to publish it.  If it was a one day event then I'm assuming there were two shajo and the European kyoshiko judged the lower ranks while the visiting sensei judged the higher ranks but that is just a wild guess on my part.  I would love to hear details of the event.

UPDATE:  A French participant just emailed me more details.
There were 650 testers over a three day period.  This picture is just of the shodan and nidan group!  Here are some details:

The examinations were held over three days.  
The three hanshi 8th dan instructors did all judging.
The instructors were:   Ishikawa, Akiyama and Usami sensei. 
About 650 people came from 21 countries!

Update 2: I'm also hearing that the judges were pretty strict in their judging also.

As a former seminar organizer myself I commend the French organizers successfully holding such a large, multiday event!

Working Without A Net!

 A row of chairs isn't enough for safely shooting into a makiwara with people walking behind it.  Stuff happens.  Bowstrings break, arrows are dropped, arrows can launch themselves in amazing directions when hitting the edge of a makiwara.  Use a net or crowd control or both!

Asian Traditional Archery Research Network

For those people not aware of Mr. Stephen Shelby's Asian Traditional Archery Research Network you should give it a look from time to time as it covers all of asian archery and not just kyudo.

Kyudo Article In Fighting Arts Online

Raymond A. Sosnowski has written a nice overview article of kyudo for the online martial arts magazine fightingarts.com.  Here is part 1.