The Art of Intuitive Archery in Berlin Kreuzberg

Both my parents studied German Philosophy at University.  The hallway of our home was an entire library filled with old books showcasing the Stars of this particular scene. From Kant to Nietzsche, we had them all year around us and our lives. One day I discovered one particular book that was called “Zen and the Art of Archery”. Little did I know as a teenager that this book was a tremendous bestseller back in the days when German philosophy was really hip and cool. It’s about a German professor going to Japan to learn more about Zen. On top of getting philosophy lessons the old Japanese master also teaches him archery.

Now, nearly 15 years after discovering this book I am going to my first intuitive archery lesson here in Berlin. On Kottbusser Damm I am looking for a Dojo called BerlinAikido where I am meeting my teacher Latifa Rothacker.

Latifa is an archery therapist. That means that the archery I will learn from her will not only consider the technical aspect of it, but also what the process will release in me. The intuitive archery is a form of archery that is rather a meditation than only shooting arrows. A kind of meditation that helps you confront your inner hopes, failures and fears.

Inside the Dojo I find out that Latifa is an incredibly sensitive teacher. Even though we came by quite spontaneously she takes a lot of time for us to go through the process of an introductory class.

“The right shot at the right moment does not come because you do not let go of yourself. You do not wait for fulfillment, but brace yourself for failure.”
Eugen Herrigel, Zen and the Art of Archery

“Archery is still a matter of life and death to the extent that it is a contest of the archer with himself”
Eugen Herrigel – Zen and the Art of Archery

“The hand that stretches the bow must open like a child’s hand opens.”
Eugen Herrigel, Zen and the Art of Archery

After 10 minutes of learning the first moves and how to adjust my hands the right way, I can already start to shoot arrows. And I must say that there is something incredibly liberating in holding a bow and hearing the arrow hitting the target. I soon reach a state of concentration that let’s my winter grumpiness fade away. I feel at peace with myself, similar to the feeling I have after yoga or running.

Apart from individual sessions Latifa also has an open group every Friday at Kottbusser Damm. If you want to participate just write here an eMail through here website Bogenwege.

Claudio by
on December 21st, 2017
updated on December 21st, 2017
in Stories
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