Kyudo is the traditional Japanese archery with the characteristic asymmetrical longbow – yumi. Because of the likewise characteristic draw technique, extremely long arrows are used, often exceeding a meter in length, with which you shoot at a target 36 cm in diameter standing on the ground 28 meters away.
Already in the 16th century, the longbow started to give way to modern firearms, and therefore relatively early started to be converted from a practical martial art (jutsu) to a more ritualised art form (do) as a means of personal development. This is also one reason why kyudo is one of the martial arts that has some of the most intricate and complex rituals that surround the actual shooting. It is no longer the shooting in itself or hitting the target that is the main object, but in at least equal measure the ability to conduct the shooting ritual with all its different elements with calm serenity and concentration, and make the entirety into an aesthetic experience.
In the training hall, dojo, all concentration is put into conductiong the shooting ritual—hassetsu—in a correct and harmonious manner, which makes kyudo unsurpassed as a means to switching off the outside world and combatting stress.
Kyudo can be performed by everybody, at any age, as the equipment used is matched to your own physical abilities.