Thursday, October 25, 2018

Yabusame Competition - Quick Recap

(A quick recap here, much more to come!)

The Yabusame event was this past weekend.  I've been in recovery mode all of this week.  It was a HUGE thing for me to do, on many levels - battling my social anxiety, stage fright, etc., etc., and it took a lot out of me - though it was AWESOME!

In the weeks leading up to it, I'd decided that I had three goals for the competition:

1: Stay on the horse.

2: Don't drop anything (bow or arrows).

3: Fire off all three arrows each run.

Once the event arrived, I added another goal:

4: Run a qualifying time each round. 

After all of that, the cherry on top would be to get points for hitting a target.

I'm happy to say that I did 1-4; I stayed on Toby, held onto all my gear, managed to shoot all of my arrows each time, and ran qualifying times.  What I did not do was hit any targets.  I was missing consistently, hitting about 6-8 inches past the target.  I think it was because Toby was running faster than he does in practice and so my usual point to fire at was going by faster too.  I was dialing it in though and I think with another run or two, I might have gotten one!

For the practice sessions the two days before, and the practice runs each morning over the weekend, I wore a Go Pro on my helmet.  Jeff and several friends were there taking pictures.  As a result I have a TON of video and pictures to go through.  I need to finally stop procrastinating and learn how to edit videos.  (for example: the first practice day resulted in 21GB of video - need to trim that down!)  I can't promise when I'll have videos available, but hopefully soon-ish...?

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from the Saturday morning practice:

Friday, October 12, 2018

Yabusame Crafting

The Yabusame competition is a week away (eeek!) and I've got a few craft projects to put together before it gets here:

1: Helmet cover

2: Decorate my arrows

3: Make a thumb chard, or two

I finished number two today, decorating the arrows.  I've been practicing with a set of arrows that my friend Angie loaned me, but during a yumi (bow) lesson a few days ago, I learned that they are too short for me.  So, I took the plunge and bought my very own set of three arrows!

They come with a plain wooden tip and most everyone decorates them, sometimes they are painted, but many of the ones I've seen are covered in washi paper. 

I hadn't ever done anything like this, but figured I'd give it a go.  Thinking it'd be fun to document it, I snapped a few pictures along the way.

Here's the plain wooden tip, they put a label with my name on each of the arrows:

I was told I should reinforce the tip with some tape, so I started off by doing that. 

Here's the pattern I made, using printer paper:

My idea was to wrap the paper around the tip and then glue down the tabs.  (Side note, see the owie on my thumb?  Hence my desire for thumb guards.  I realized just recently that it appears I'm giving myself "paper cuts" with the fletchings, particularly these new ones which are still crisp and sharp.)

I think it will work!

Here's the real paper, some pretty washi paper I've had for a while.  I wanted something to match my riding kimono (which I received yesterday and: It. Is. GORGEOUS - more on it in a future post).  The top of it is my favorite rich blue color, which oddly I don't have in my paper stash...  but the bottom is shades of white, pink and purple, so I went that route:

The "spine" and first side glued down:

Time to cut the tabs on the other side.  I was going to cut all of the tabs before putting them on, but then decided it'd be easier to cut them where I wanted them on the actual tip.

All glued down!

Here are all three of them.  My paper wasn't quite long enough to cover the whole tip.

So I went back and added some strips around the top.  I also put a strip of pretty washi tape around the start of the shaft. 

I think they are ready to go! 

As for the thumb guard, I think I might actually try and wear my cycling, fingerless, gloves.  My last lesson, at the club, is tomorrow, I'm going to be experimenting with a lot of new stuff: arrows and gloves.  If they don't work I'm going to make a leather or synthetic leather cover for one or both of my thumbs.

The helmet cover comes next!  I was given the extra fabric from the two kimonos that were combined into one for my riding kimono, so can make the cover to match.  I'm far from a seamstress; I think the most sewing I've done has been on model horse blankets.  Ha!  But I'm sure I'll figure something out.