Access2Kyūdō is dedicated in bringing the art of japaneese archery specifically to the physically, visually and hearing disabled and their affiliate Kyūdō clubs. On this site you will find helpful information regarding the principals of shooting, specified movements, and equipment based on and adapted to the international standards issued by the All Nippon Kyudo Federation (ANKF).
Kyūdō (弓道) directly translated means “way of the bow” and has been part of the japaneese culture since the late 12th century. Kyūdō requires a high degree of discipline, concentration and inner peace. Since Kyūdō depends not only on muscular strength, but also on a fine coordination of movement, it is perfectly suited for men and women of all ages and most disabilities. Through eight precisely defined phases of movement called Hassetsu, body posture, balance and the spirit of the mind must be precisely coordinated.
Kyūdō is a fascinating martial art and is taught all over the world in many different school forms. The purpose of this martial art is to hit a target at 28 meters distance with an asymmetrical bow while following simple but strict rules, to learn about the material used, the history, the culture, but above all about oneself. Kyūdō can be understood both in a sporting as well as in a meditative way. There is a vast amount of information about Kyūdō on the web, but absolutely no information about practicing Kyūdō with a disability, be it a congenital or an acquired one. Is it even possible to learn Kyūdō with limited movement or senses?
Of course it is!
Kyūdō should not be taught in a seperate handicapped-only sports group, but rather in an inclusive way, so that all members of a club can learn to practice Kyūdō together in the way that is best for them. Of course, wheelchair user may need assistance – at the entrance to the dojo, when dressing or while practicing. Kyūdō equipment can be difficult to handle. The visually impaired need a guiding aid on the floor to find their location within the dojo. Since the eight hassetsu, the set forms of movement, are vital in order to hit the target, correct shooting is achievable here as well. The hearing impaired need other useful tools and techniques such as a flip chart to follow up on what has been shown. In addition an indication lamp, which points whether or not one may retrieve their arrows.
The less fuss made about a handicap, the clearer and more fulfilling it becomes to grow together and follow the path of the bow. We are grateful for any information, for reports of experiences, for photos, notes, questions and references to educational opportunities.
On the following pages, you will find useful information reagrding the adaptaion of the 8 Hassetsu for archers with physical, visual or hearing disabilities.
If you or someone from your Kyūdō club practice Kyūdō and are disabled, we hope you find this information helpful. If you have any helpful tips or information and would like to provide more to Access2Kyūdō, please feel free to contacts us.
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If you have any helpful tips or information and would like to provide more to Access2Kyūdō, please feel free to contacts us.