Founded and based in Melbourne, Australia
Started as a passion project by a group of friends, we are a not-for-profit archery and martial arts association that have been training together as a group casually since mid-2020 in the height of the pandemic whenever we are able to through COVID-19 restrictions. We are kindly supported by Ambrose Archery Range in Heidelberg Heights on the north-east side of Melbourne, where they've set up a Kyudo-friendly range on the side for us.
With increased training and regularity, it wasn't long before Odoguma Kyudo Melbourne was "officially" born in February 2022 under the affiliations of Australia's state and national associations, Victorian Kyudo Association and Australian Kyudo Association respectively, and have further incorporated in March 2022.
As a nod to the city we reside in, our name is inspired by one of Melbourne's old names, "Bearbrass" (though "Batman" was heavily considered!), by inverting the name to "brass bear" which translates to 黄銅熊 (Ōdōguma). Following this, our logo is designed with the bear paw print and traditional arrow design in the style of the Japanese kamon. As a club founded in passion, we hope to represent both the Japanese and Australian culture with respect and aim to bring the art of Kyudo to the public.
What is Kyudo?
Kyudo is the Japanese martial art of archery, characterised by the distinctive asymmetrical longbow, and its emphasis on being about the Spirit as much as it is about the Body.
As with all budo, Kyudo practise includes the idea of moral and spiritual development, with rei (礼) being etiquette and attitude towards others as one of the cornerstones. Whilst modern Kyudo is gradually being enjoyed as a sport, hitting the target is not the goal. Rather, the philosophy that underpins Kyudo is when the technique of the shooting is correct, the arrow will hit the target as a result.
The goal of Kyudo, per All Nippon Kyūdō Federation (ANKF), is the state of shin-zen-bi (真善美), roughly "truth-goodness-beauty", which can be approximated as: when archers shoot correctly (i.e. truthfully) with virtuous spirit and attitude toward all persons and all things which relate to Kyudo (i.e. with goodness), beautiful shooting is realized naturally.
An interview with 8th Dan Hanshi (範士 'Master' - the highest title in Kyudo), Mariko Satake, encapsulates what Kyudo is:
Meet the Team
We would like to acknowledge the donated time, skill, and creative works from the following members, past and present. Thank you for your contribution!
Current committee members as above
Eric Chau (2022 - Photography) | Calista Wu (2022 - Logo, Website) | Da Fang (2022 - Photography, Video Editing, Dojo Equipment Construction) |
Kris He (2022 - Cinematography & Merchandise Design) | Rachel Fisher (2022 - Marketing & Merchandise Design) | Zen Chan (2022 - Dojo Equipment Construction)