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Kyudo, literally the "way of the bow", is the traditional Japanese form of archery. The roots of this martial art come from battlefield archery (kyujutsu) and from ceremonial court archery, which was formed by neoconfucianistic thought via Chinese influence. No further encompassing definition shall be attempted here, as there is a variety of schools and groups with different traditions and shooting techniques, and a large number of ideologies and viewpoints. The official governing body in Japan is the All Nihon Kyudo Federation (ANKF) overseeing examinations (the usual Dan graduations and advanced teacher's grades: Renshi, Kyoshi, and Hanshi) and organizing various championships where both esthetic and technical competence and the number of hits are evaluated. Affiliated to the ANKF are the European Kyudo Federation (EKF) and the American Kyudo Renmei (AKR). The ANKF teaches two shooting styles that differ in to the way of lifting the bow to or above head level: * Shomen style: Shomen uchiokoshi stems from horseback and ceremonial archery. The bow is raised in front of the body. Shomen style is the most common standard form within the ANKF and derived from Honda-ryu, an eclectic style established by Honda Toshizane around 1900. * Shamen style: Shamen uchiokoshi stems from footed battlefield archery, and is derived from the different branches of Heki ryu. The bow is raised on the left side. Besides these official shooting techniques of ANKF there are the classical schools (ryu) , dating back to the pre-Meji-period, including - Ogasawara-ryu: heavily stressing etiquette and ceremonies, for which they have been responsible at the imperial courts besides horsemanship and archery since the 13th century. - Takeda-ryu: teaching only yabusame, or traditional horseback archery (since the15th century) - Heki-ryu: preserving the foot soldier's traditional accurate shooting technique and battle drill dating back to the 15th century in a few surviving branches like Satsuma-ha, Chikurin-ha, and Insai-ha. There are other groups that are not affiliated to the ANKF: * Chozen-ji kyudo founded by Jackson Morisawa in Hawaii (combining Shomen style kyudo and Rinzai zen) * the groups taught by Shibata Kanjuro (having their main dojo in Boulder, Colorado and associated with the Shambala organization of Tibetan Buddhism)


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