Shao Hassetsu Notes

Shaho Hassetsu Notes
The following points are the important shaho hassetsu fundamentals you should practice when you perform the shaho hassetsu.

1. Ashibumi

a. The interval of the feet is about your arrow length (1/2 of your height).
b. The feet are opened to an angle of approximately 60 degrees.     
c. The big toes are on a line toward the center of the target.

2. Dozukuri

a.  Dozukuri should be based on correct ashibumi.
b.  Keep your shoulders lowered.
c.  Straighten your spine and the nape of the neck.
d.  Your center of gravity is placed at the center of the hips.
e.  Generate energy in the lower abdomen (tanden)
f.   Place the motohazu (lower bow tip) on the left knee cap.
g.  Take the otoya (second arrow) with the right little and ring fingers then place theright hand on your hip.
h.  Tsurushirabe (the examination of the bowstring) and monomi (aiming). Move your gaze about one foot up and down the bowstring from the arrow nock. Do not move the head when doing this.
3. Yugamae 

Maintain correct dozukuri.
a. Torikake:    The bowstring and the pulse line (the point on the inside of the wrist where the pulse is taken) of the right hand must make a cross.
b. Tenouchi: The left thumb and the left pulse line must form a straight line toward the left elbow. The thumb should never separate from the middle finger. Use misumi (the three contact points) correctly. (See the tenouchi handout for a picture of the three contact points).
c. Monomi: As you finish (a) through (b) you set the final aim. Maintain the correct kaomuke toward the target and look at the target calmly with your right eye.
Dozukuri and yugamae are performed to calm yourself and complete the preparation for shooting.   You must do each motion with full care and with correct breathing.
4. Uchiokoshi (shomen uchiokoshi style)
a.  From yugamae, with a calm scooping motion, raise your bow until your arms areat an angle of about 45 degrees from your shoulders. The bow should be perpendicular to the floor.
b.  Your arrow should be parallel to your body and horizontal to the floor.
c.   Keep your shoulders lowered and maintain proper dozukuri i.e. form the "triple
cross" of shoulders, waist and feet to the centerline of the body.
5. Hikiwake

a.  Daisan
    al) Throughout daisan your arrow should be parallel to your body and horizontal to the floor.
    a2) By using your left upper arm, push and open the bow toward the target to a distance of about half of your yazuka (draw length). You should see the target above your left elbow.
    a3) Your right arm is pulled by the left arm's motion. As the right upper arm is straightened, its elbow moves toward the right shoulder.
    a4) As you complete this transition (ukewatashi) you must complete the tenouchi. The tsunomi must push against the inner right corner of the bow.
b.  Use tsunomi to push the bow toward the center of the target.
c.  Use both elbows to push and draw.
d.  Use a long, soft exhale.
e.   Pushing and drawing should be even.

f.    Pull with a feeling of bringing the lower portions of your shoulder blades together.
g.  At full draw the cross should be formed. The cross is formed by the horizontal line (the line running from tsunomi through both elbows and the shoulders) and the vertical line (the center of the chest) which is exactly the same as the triple cross vertical line.

6. Kai

Maintain the cross. Your full draw is in infinite expansion although to an observer it appears still. Ki should be generated from your tanden and should spread throughout your posture.
The two fundamental conditions in kai are: a. Tsumeai (The fulfillment at kai)

al)       Fulfillment of the cross.
a2)       Fulfillment of the five important crosses, namely:
   1.          The bow and the arrow.
    2.        The bow and tenouchi.
    3.        The right thumb and the bowstring.
    4.        The shoulder line and the centerline of the chest.
    5.        The neck and the arrow.
a3) A correct full draw is the length of your own yazuka (length of your draw as measured against the arrow with the nock in the middle of the throat and extending to the tip of the fingers of the left hand).
b. Nobiai (Infinite expansion at kai)

You should neither over push the bow nor over draw the bowstring. It is the fullness of ki to enliven the kai resulting in a crisp, living hanare (release).
During kai you must drop your thoughts of possession and desire of the target and overcome uncertainty, fear and weakness. As you master yourself through such mental control, you will reach sumashi (clearness of mind) which gives birth to a desireless release. "Ki leads technique" and nobiai is the absolute condition for a correct kai.

c. Aiming
     c1) The arrow tip must be correctly aimed toward the center of the target.
     c2) The aim is set by the right edge of the right eye and the left edge of the left eye.

7. Hanare 

a. Your release should be a natural release at the point of fullness at kai.
b. The arrow should not be released by your hands but should be released with the fullness of tsumeai and nobiai.
c. To perform "b" above, your posture must be based on the cross foundation.
8. Zanshin

The quality and the degree of nobility of your shot is shown in your zanshin.
a.          The zanshin contains the following movements:
    al)       Yudaoshi (lowering the bow).
    a2)      Returning the monomi (gaze).  
    a3)      Closing the feet.
b.          Your gaze at the impact point of the arrow.
c.          You must still maintain the triple cross.