The most common inquiry we get is “How can I learn more about kyudo?”. So I thought I would start out my first post by answering the most common questions. Here’s a short Q and A that covers it all.
The short answer:
The best way to learn more about kyudo is by doing kyudo. We know that kyudo is not a good fit for everyone, and so we make the point of entry as low as we possibly can for anyone who wants to give it a go.
How do I register for classes?
We have partnered with the community education offices in two different cities to offer our regular weekly practices. They are kind enough to let us use their spaces for the fees they collect through the regular registration of our members. This is a great win for both parties – they get to advertise something unique and we don’t have to pay costly gym rental fees.
In Northfield, the registration fee is quite low. You can register through the Northfield Community Services (search for ‘kyudo’) site 3 times a year, fall, winter and spring/summer. In Northfield, we get the large gym at the high school and can accommodate a full distance 5-person shajo (shooting hall) on a weekly basis from 7-9pm. We practice here throughout the year, including summers.
In St. Louis Park, we practice in the small gym at the Middle School. It’s a bit shorter than regular 28m distance, but we can also get a 5-person shajo into this location, along with extra area to the side to practice gomu-yumi or taihai. St. Louis Park Community Education (search for ‘kyudo’) also handles their own registration. While the price they charge for registration is a bit higher than in Northfield, they are convenient to the Twin Cities. We are able to offer classes in St. Louis Park during the academic year, but we lose our practice space in the summers. So if you are thinking about joining us there, you may want to start in the fall.
What if I just want to observe?
Please do! We welcome observers at any time. Please check our Practice Calendar for the current schedule.
If you can, we appreciate it if you can let us know you are coming ahead of time. Send an email via the Contact Us page and just let us know the date and time you plan on coming. This allows us to plan to spend some time talking with you during our practice. Also, we occasionally get bumped from the school spaces for school sports, so we’d want to get in touch with you if that happens at the last minute.
What do I need to get started?
Just yourself! Wear lose-fitting clothes, socks and remove all jewelry. You may want to purchase your own gomu-yumi so that you can practice at home between sessions, but you can decide that when you get here. When you start shooting (which is NOT right away), we have loaner equipment for everything you need.
Are there any other costs?
The Minnesota Kyudo Renmei (MNKR) charges an annual membership fee of $50, due only once you begin actually shooting. We like to give people a chance to try it out before making you officially join the group. The membership includes your membership into the MNKR (that’s us!), the American Kyudo Renmei, the International Kyudo Federation and USA Archery. USA Archery provides our insurance rider and you must be a member to be covered by that while practicing with us. The remainder of the membership fee goes towards supporting the loaner equipment and other costs incurred by the MNKR.
But I have more questions!
Get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to answer them! You can use our Contact Us page to send the first message and then we’ll be happy to correspond over email thereafter.