Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Is Kyudo physically challenging?
Yes and no. While executing the movements with proper form can be challenging, Kyudo can be practiced by just about anyone of any age. Strength and stamina are not issues when learning Kyudo. Even people who have knee, back, or shoulder problems can practice and excel at Kyudo.
How long does it take to get good at Kyudo?
It takes most students several months to become minimally competent with the basic movements of Kyudo. You will then spend the rest of your life "getting good" at Kyudo.
What is the Kyudo ranking system?
In the Shibata-community of Kyudo, students do not earn rank. There is no belt system in any of the more than 25 schools Shibata Sensei XX founded. There is no putting a "rank" on one's heart.
How much does Kyudo cost?
Our Kyudo program is very affordable and operates on a flat fee monthly tuition. Students are required to pay the flat rate monthly fee regardless of how many classes they choose or are able to attend each month.
Discounted rates exist for families, students, and senior citizens. We will be happy to share our tuition fees with you when you visit and/or attend your first Kyudo class.
Can I just come by and watch a class?
Of course. Just call or e-mail us first to let us know you're coming.
Where can I find a Kyudo uniform?
The school can assist you in acquiring the Kyudo uniform and equipment.
How do I acquire Kyudo equipment like arrows and a bow?
The school provides equipment for new students at no additional cost until the student chooses to acquire their own. When a student is ready to make an investment in equipment, we recommend ordering Shibata-produced equipment from Japan. We will assist you in the ordering process.
Who teaches the classes?
Shibata Sensei XX passed away in late 2013. He is succeeded by his son-in-law, Shibata Sensei XXI. However, since Shibata Sensei XXI lives in Japan and only visits the Boulder school 1-2 times each year, the preponderance of the instruction at Boulder is carried out by Shibata Sensei XX's senior-most students, some of whom have been students for over one or two decades. The duties of running the operations of the KYUDOJO in Boulder fall to the grand-daughter of Shibata Sensei XX, Aki Shikami.
Meet our instructors and staff HERE.
What are the differences between traditional Japanese archery and Western archery?
The differences between the two arts are numerous. Here are a few obvious differences.
First, Western archery bows are symmetrical and Japanese bows are asymmetrical and oversized (almost 7 feet tall). One possible explanation for this is that the shorter, bottom half of the Japanese bow or YUMI allowed for archers to shoot from side-to-side while mounted on horseback being obstructed by the horse's neck. Another explanation has to do with the variation in bamboo strength as it grows in height.
A second, less obvious difference is the intent of practice. Western archery is almost exclusively concerned with hitting the target while Japanese Kyudo is much more concerned with one's mindfulness and spirit while shooting.
Thirdly, Western archery commonly uses synthetic materials such as fiberglass and plastics with their equipment. Traditional Japanese archery preserves the "old ways" by using only natural glues, feathers, and woods like bamboo.
Lastly, the two styles of archery look very different from one another. Japanese archery requires a specific uniform and practices a carefully coordinated, pre-arranged form or KATA that essentially does not exist in Western archery.
Celebrating 30 Years of Tradition in Boulder, Colorado, USA