In « Kyudo », September 2014Dôzukuri and Monomi
Dô no fusu / Ite ni amata no / Nan zo aru
Mune shiri idete / Kao wa sorikeri (Yamato School)
“Archers whose torso is bent forward have many faults: The chest and buttocks are stuck out and the head is leaning back”※
This verse points out that archers whose Dôzukuri is bent too much forward have a bad habit of sticking out their chest and buttocks with the hips too far back and tilting their head back. (Quote by Hisao Ishioka Hanshi Jûdan)
Tilting the head back as described in the quote is usually expressed in Kyudo terms as “monomi ga teru” (lit.: “the face turned towards the Mato is receiving light”). When the head is tilted back, the eyes and ears are not level which causes the semicircular canals, governing our sense of balance, not to be in their normal correct position.
This reminds me of Usain Bolt’s race in the 200 meters final at Berlin 2009 World Championships. He was on lane 5 and the 200 meters begin on a curve. Even though Usain Bolt’s body was leaning to the side, his head was perpendicular to the ground all the time. He set a new world record of 19.19 seconds.
It is said that the head, in Monomi should be turned as shown on the diagram on page 116 of the Kyudo Manuel Volume 1 (page 71 in the English version), but if the head is forced round too strongly the left shoulder will be pulled back. Moderation should be the key word.
The degree of rotation of the head influences also the Matozuke, so great care should be taken with it.
※Bold letters added by the author.