Ancient bow and arrow vs Modern army helmetStudents do not always understand the true impact of a bow and arrow. Since we always shoot at a foam or straw target, it is hard to translate that to reality for them. So, we took a 21st century army helmet and fired some 'ancient' arrows at it, with matching bows. Just to show that the materials we work with are as real as they get.
And... only with a 45# Manchu bow & 18 kilo Japanese Yumi, this was a huge reality check. Imagine if they were 100# / 45 kilo...
Music by: http://www.teknoaxe.com
Japanese Arrow making my way - DIY arrowmaking tutorialI got a lot of questions on how I make my version of Japanese arrows. Well, here is how. Arrows are 1 meter Bamboo, with self cut and self dyed Turkey feathers, bone nocks and a Japanese target point. Please enjoy.
DIY (made it myself) Kabura Ya - Japanese signal arrow / whistling arrowI can not find newly made Kabura-Ya. Except for cheap plastic ones, with a very high pitch. So, this is my 'made-it-myself' Kabura-Ya, made of wood egg, bamboo shaft, silk thread, water stain, clear laquer, bone nock, white paint and red embossing powder. It has a very nice sound.
Soon I will post a video on how I made it.
Review: Sarmat Archery Yumi - Bamboo YumiI recently received the 2.3 meter Bamboo Yumi made by Sarmat Archery. It came bare, painted black. I made some wraps with soaked wick around the bow, added a leather grip and made a cotton bow wrap for it.
In my humble opinion this is a very good bow. It is a lamination of Bamboo and Ash. Well shaped, well constructed and very acurate. I think it is a very good (starters) bow, for a good price, without giving in on quality. See www.sarmatarchery.com for more Bamboo bows.
Tameshigiri fun - Upward cut - Reverse gripBesides being good practice, Tameshigiri is also a lot of fun. In our Dojo we do this ones a year as a "training with high fun factor", to welcome the summer holidays. Of course if and when mats would by widely available and affordable here, we would practice Tameshigiri more often.
First Mitsugake shots - Yugake first try - Bamboo Hankyu bowI saved up for a Japanese archery glove, Mitsugake (3 fingered glove). It is always a joy to save up for something and then allow yourself to purchase something new. Step by step my gear gets complete.
These are the first shots, in my backyard. A very special feeling, in the morning sun.
Untill this morning I shot my Hankyu with a thumbring, which of course is not the Japanese way. Since the glove is still very stiff and the feel at the string is totally new, I did not expect the shots to be as accurate as with the thumbring. Actually, I did not expect the arrows to land anywhere near the centre of the target. You can imagine my surprise... Only Mitsugake from now on.
Archery with blunts - Wooden eggs - Hankyu bow - Destroy wood targetFirst try-out with new arrows. I did not dare to go full draw yet. Would have been better though, since the wooden eggs I used for blunts are quite heavy; they drop fast. Sarmat Archery Hanky and 1 mtr Bamboo shafts I made the arrows of are acting excellent. I made a special stand for it; made an Igote as well.
First shot is on the edge, because of the weight of the arrow; second one is much more satisfying. Very nice effect. Will be doing this more often.
Imagine Yabusame doing this on a horseback, going about 30 kilometers per hour, using only their legs to manage the horse, doing three shots in about 20 seconds... Deep respect!
First time Archery in Japanese armor - Kyujutsu in YoroiFirst time wearing my new armor. Hakama and Jinbaori are made by me. And of course I wanted to try out some archery in it. It was for fun, nevertheless, still I learned a lot from it:
* Look for different Hakama, so it fits in the Suneate
* Losen the Himo of the armor in order to be able to reach full draw
* Use Yugake (glove) instead of Thumbring
It's not easy for the first time. Heavy armor, hard to move, etc. Deep respect for Samurai on the battlefield in summertime!
All educational things aside... It is truly a lot of fun. Thanks to Iron Mountain Armory for the fantastic Yoroi; thanks to Sarmat Archery for the excellent Hankyu.
Tanto Do - Tanto tori - Knife fighting - SelfdefenseHere you see our swordkata transformed to knife kata. Of course not in high speed, otherwise it would be hard to follow. Flow and constant supple movement are key. Normaly you would be closer to your opponent of course; for film you would not be able to see the moves.