FC Archery News

Zen in the Art of Archery

April 26, 2017

Hey FC Archers,

I’m always looking to learn on many different levels. Lots of practice, watching videos, proper coaching and reading good books. One of my favourite books on archery is called Zen in the Art of Archery.

It is a short book by German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel, published in 1948, about his experiences studying Kyudo, a form of Japanese archery, when he lived in Japan in the 1920s. It is credited with introducing Zen to Western audiences in the late 1940s and 1950s.

The book sets forth theories about motor learning. Herrigel has an accepting spirit towards and about unconscious control of outer activity Westerners heretofore considered wholly to be under conscious-waking control and direction. For example, a central idea in the book is how through years of practice, a physical activity becomes effortless both mentally and physically, as if our habit body executes complex and difficult movements without conscious control from the mind.

Herrigel describes Zen in archery as follows:

“The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull’s-eye which confronts him. This state of unconscious is realized only when, completely empty and rid of the self, he becomes one with the perfecting of his technical skill, though there is in it something of a quite different order which cannot be attained by any progressive study of the art”

I hope you take the time to read this great book. It will definitely impact your archery!

 
Emmanuel

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