Shuuko (Longevity Tiger) is dedicated to the practice of Kyudo, a form of traditional Japanese archery. We study the Heki Ryu Bishu Chikurin-ha style of Kyudo, as taught by Kanjuro Shibata XX, Sendai, and Kanjuro Shibata Sensei XXI, the current master of the Bishu Chikurin school.
Shuuko is the Hampshire College charter of Zenko International. Zenko is an association of Kyudo practice centers and groups founded by Kanjuro Shibata XX, Sendai.
Students at Hampshire College and the Five Colleges can enroll in beginner and intermediate Kyudo courses. Non-students/community members are welcome to participate.
Contact us to learn more.
Dr. Marion M. Taylor, Founder
Dr. Marion M. Taylor, director of martial arts at Hampshire College for 39 years, founded Shuuko in 1991. Marion studied as a microbiologist, but found his true passion in traditional Japanese martial arts; he was a senior instructor in Heki Ryu Kyudo under the tutelage of Kanjuro Shibata XX, Sendai, bow maker and archer to the Emperor of Japan, and held senior ranks in Iaido, Karate, and Aikido. Marion was an inspiring teacher and mentor to many, and we carry his legacy through the practices he generously shared.
Samuel I. Kanner, Instructor
Samuel’s apprenticeship in Kyudo began in 2005 under the instruction of Hampshire College’s former Martial Arts Director, the late Dr. Marion M. Taylor. Marion, at the time of his passing, lent more than 25 years’ experience teaching Kyudo to young generations of college students and enthused members of the general public all across the country. Samuel came to Kyudo already a student of Marion’s in other martial arts and soon found the philosophic niche in which Kyudo sits among typically more kinetic martial arts practices.
The preparation, rehearsal and practice required to execute Kyudo’s most basic form of firing one arrow normally takes a minimum teaching process of two days. This procedure is called First Shot training and is often the student’s most powerful inaugural experience to Kyudo, second to holding a Japanese bow for the first time. Students typically remember their First Shot program with such fondness and pleasant accounts of the instructor helping them pull back the bow to fire the arrow for the first time.
In the tradition of Samuel’s already characteristic relationship with his teacher, Marion volunteered him to demonstrate the First Shot process in front of a group of incoming Hampshire first-year students enrolled in Marion’s Martial Arts orientation program, alone. Not having the standard luxury of two-day’s instruction, Samuel proceeded with internal trepidation but visible compliance. The students watching were unaware they were witnessing Sam’s very first interaction with Kyudo. At the moment of the arrow’s release, the snap of the bow was like a break on the manufacturer’s seal of Samuel’s consciousness. He was irrevocably hooked and in the same spirit of how little boys will ask their fathers, “Can I go again?”, thus was the setting for Sam’s beginner’s heart in Kyudo.
Samuel was effectively taught the essence of the Beginner’s Heart – an invaluable outlook in the tradition of Kyudo that asks us to always be invigorated by our passions and to always have questions, regardless of how experienced and accomplished we can become in this or any human pursuit. An un-baffled mind is often an unemployed mind.
As Marion Taylor’s successor, Samuel now serves as Director of Martial Arts at Hampshire College and head of Shuuko Kyudojo, a charter of Zenko International.