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In « Kyudo », August 2014

Ashibumi and Yazuka

Hachimonji / Ashi no aida no / Sun zo naki/
Sono mi sono mi no / Kane ni awasete
    (Yamato School)

“The measurement between the feet in the Hachimonji stance is not fixed This should be adjusted to the size of one’s body” ※

The teaching of this verse is that the space between the feet in Ashibumi should be determined according to one’s physique, which is to say one’s height and Yazuka. (Quote by Hisao Ishioka Hanshi Jûdan)

When I am watching examinations, I often see people who have extremely short Yazuka and don’t actually reach their full draw in Kai. At Otoya, when the archer before has left the Shai, I look at the Ashibumi and in most cases it is too narrow. Making a narrow Ashibumi affects the next stage of Dôzukuri, and since the foundation for Tatesen is not correctly established, this also has repercussions throughout Hikiwake.

Although these candidates are able to gain full marks in the written exam, how is it that they forget everything in the practical skills exam? The old masters had the wisdom to teach Ashibumi, which is of the utmost importance in the shooting, as the first stage of the Shahô-Hassetsu.

The important points of Ashibumi are:
1. The placement, 2. The width, 3. The angle, 4. The center of gravity Furthermore, if your Ashibumi is too small, you will look like an old man.
Drawing one’s proper Yazuka is the first condition to the construction of Kai.

※Bold letters added by the author.