Southern California Kyudo Renmei
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Kyudo?
Kyudo is one of the oldest Japanese martial arts. We use an archery bow with a design that is over one thousand years old. The difference between western archery and kyudo, is that the main goal of kyudo is not to hit the target, but to cultivate the mind and spirit to be able to perform at a high level. Hitting the target is secondary. Thus, the principles learned can be utilized in everyday life.
Can I come and watch?
Everyone is welcome to watch and even participate in a practice. Please contact the group leaders to let them know you will be coming so they can prepare for you and give you some hints on what to wear.
Do I need to buy special clothes or equipment to participate?
As a beginner, you only need to come in comfortable clothing and a willingness to jump in! There are some clothing restrictions, most of which are due to safety issues. All the dojos have equipment that you can use. If you decide to further your training and take tests to achieve a rank, you will need to have the basic uniform. Your teacher at your dojo can help you with that.
How do you test for rank?
Tests are administered for the issuance of rank by the International Kyudo Federation (IKYF) and the All Nippon Kyudo Federation (ANKF). We have a yearly American Kyudo Seminar at various locations and you can test there up to the rank of Renshi, or first teaching credential. The ranks start with kyu, technically going from 10th kyu to 1st kyu, and then to Shodan, Nidan or 1st degree, 2nd degree etc. all the way to 10th degree. In reality, for your first test you will earn a 2nd or 1st kyu, or even shodan if you perform well. You can take most tests in Japan and they are held throughout the country at various times. You must be a member in good standing of the American Kyudo Renmei (AKR) to take tests and also a member of an AKR approved kyudo group, such as the Southern California Kyudo Renmei.
How much does it cost to train?
We are doing our best to keep the cost down for students in these tough economic times. The dues to be a member of the Renmei is thirty-five dollars a month. This includes a dojo fee and membership in our renmei. There is a nominal yearly fee to be a member of the AKR and IKYF. This year it was thirty to thirty-five dollars. If you are not a member and would like to train in our dojo, the fee is twenty dollars per day.