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Kyudo, which literally means “The Way of the Bow”, is the traditional form of archery developed in Japan over a thousand years ago. It has continued through the centuries with very few changes to the present day. Originally used on horseback by Samurai warriors Kyudo was later adapted for use on foot. The present shooting distance is 28 metres.

From the beginning Kyudo has played an important part in the ceremonial, religious and cultural life of Japan. As well as being a physical activity with a specific purpose it is above all a method of training the mind and developing character.

Kyudo was first introduced to the outside world through the writing of the German philosopher Eugen Herrigel, author of Zen in the Art of Archery. This was followed in the 1960’s by visits to Europe and the USA by eminent Japanese teachers: Kyudo is now practised by enthusiasts around the world.


The United Kingdom Kyudo Association is responsible for setting the very highest standards in practice and ensuring a rigorous standard of safety. All the groups of UKKA and its members must have the required insurance cover and be of the required level to use a bow and arrows in a designated practice place. Senior instructors must have at least the 5th dan level ( minimum of 6 years training and annual attendance to national and European training seminars) and preferably the title grade of instructor (renshi - minimum of 8-10 years training), or teacher (kyoshi - minimum of 15 years training). Ordinary instructors must be graded and have completed the necessary training in correct safety procedure.


The European Kyudo Federation was established in 1980 and has 23 member countries within its affiliation. An annual seminar and examinations are held under the auspice of the All Nippon Kyudo Federation (ANKF) to maintain the traditions of practice as established by the ANKF.


The International Kyudo Federation established in 2006. The umbrella organisation for world Kyudo it includes representation from Japan, Europe, USA, Australia and Asia.







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