The tradition of Japanese archery has been honed as a battlefield discipline (kyujutsu), used by both footmen and mounted samurai alike. Once the use of firearms started diminishing the usefulness of the bow on the battlefield, it gained new significance. Kyudo has been developed as means for self-improvement, development of focus and self-discipline. Besides that, Kyudo acquired a ceremonial and an almost meditative quality.
Modern Kyudo formed at the end of 19th century by unifying ceremonial and warrior traditions. This unification culminated in the formation of the All Nippon Kyudo Federation in 1949 and creation of Renmei Taihai - a unified shooting form that enabled various schools and styles to shoot together in harmony.
Today, Kyudo is practiced as recreation and sport. As a means of self-improvement, it encourages patience, discipline, and devotion. As a martial art without an opponent, it promotes pacifism and tolerance. Anyone practicing Kyudo finds some personal lesson within, a balance counteracting the daily pressure of modern lifestyle or an attitude to face and overcome otherwise insurmountable challenges.
By practicing Kyudo we constantly face the same lesson: hitting the target cannot be the cause for shooting, but rather, the consequence of correct shooting.
The goals and activities of the Croatian Kyudo Federation cover the promotion of Kyudo in Croatia, organizing the cooperation and supporting Croatian Kyudo Clubs, and maintaining contact with the global Kyudo community.
Kyudo has been brought to Croatia by the actions of a handful of enthusiasts. Goran Blažević and Denis Štefok started studying Kyudo individually with the help of Kyudo communities from Austria, Italy, Germany, and Hungary. Kyudo Club Yumi was formed in Zadar and the Kyudo Society Zagreb in the city of Zagreb. Both Clubs were founded in January 2009 teaching Kyudo according to the Heki school.
A year later, Kyudo Club Zanshin was formed in Gospić and following that the Croatian Kyudo Federation was founded on January 14th, 2010. That same year, Marija Bakija started studying Kyudo as an exchange student in Japan. Returning to Croatia, she brought ANKF Shomen style. Kyudo Club Itachi was formed in Zagreb in 2013 practicing both Heki and Shomen style Kyudo.
The inception of Kyudo in Croatia has been greatly helped by individuals like Branko Kecojević and Feliks Hoff who have supported the beginnings of Croatian Kyudo by lending equipment, advice, as well as sharing their knowledge and experience. It was also helped by Federations who had us as guests at their seminars.
On June 9th 2017, the Croatian Kyudo Federation as been accepted as an associated member of the European Kyudo Federation under the guidance of the Austrian Federation.
For the fifth year running, the national championship has been held. As with previous Taikai, the championship was split into team competition and individual competition.
For the first time, we've held an official seminar in Croatia!
Unfortunately, Leopold Sensei has been prevented from coming at the last minute due to health issues. We wish him a fast recovery.
A more detailed report and photos will be published in the following few days.
In anticipation of the first Croatian seminar under the sponsorship of the EKF and the Shidoiinkai, a workshop to cover the correct protocol for such events was held. The workshop covered order of activities, proper behavior, and Kihontai when in presence of a sensei.
Due to a large response and public interest, the workshops will continue throughout the month of March. You can find out more about the workshop on the society's facebook page.
New Year's Celebration during which the first Croatian Matoasobi was held along with the Kagami Biraki ceremony. Hosting guests from Kyudo Society Zagreb, Croatian Japanese Society Makoto, and other attendees, the event was organized by Kyudo Club Itachi. The details can be seen on their facebook page.
The 10th Federal Assembly session was held in Zagreb. The central topic for the assembly was improving cooperation among clubs and raising the level of effort in promoting Kyudo in Croatia, as well as getting active on an international scale.
Besides that, two workgroups were formed: one for writing the competition rulebook and guidelines, and another for registering Kyudo as a recognized Sport on a national level.
The minutes from the session are available for download in Croatian here.