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The Intelligent Person’s Sport of Archery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Owen Jones @ 9:46 am September 15, 2011
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Archery requires flawless hand-eye coordination and a steady hand. In this case, a steady hand does not come from not drinking alcohol, but by being so strong that the archer is not struggling to draw the string and hold it while taking aim.

Rapid fire archery requires fast reflexes You can say that these qualities are required for other reasons in general life and that might be a fact, but archery is the one sport that necessitates them all.

Shooting a gun accurately takes some of these skills as well, but it does not need immense strength and rapid fire is only a question of pulling the trigger or even holding it back. It is a fact that when guns were developed, archers looked down on riflemen, because they did not require the same level of training to become decent shots.

This is one of the main factors why guns took over from bows. It took 10-15 years to train a long bowman, but just a few weeks to train a rifleman. It was obligatory in England and Wales for all men and boys to train with their longbows at the village butts on a Sunday where they were watched over and taught by the local sheriff’s militia.

The long bowman was a respected figure, because everybody knew the commitment and skill it took to be an accurate archer. This was not merely a fact in Great Britain, but in each country in the world (except Australia) as far as we know.

Evidence of archery, but not the longbow, has been discovered everywhere from Europe to Asia and some of it goes back 12,000 years, which is a long time for a bit of wood to last, especially when a broken bow would often have been a household item which could be burned on the fire as fuel.

Prior to the proliferation of the bow, huntsmen and warriors used the atlatl (or woomera, in Aborigine Australian), which is a long, grooved stick used to hurl a one-metre long dart at almost 100 mph. There is proof that the atlatl was being used by Homo heidelbergensis 400,000 years ago in contemporary Germany.

The longbow and the flat bow were most commonly used in northern Europe where most soldiers marched into battle as only knights (nobility) had horses. However, in most other countries, where a lot of the fighting was carried out from horseback or from chariots, a shorter bow was used as it was less cumbersome and easier to move across the horse’s neck to fire left and right.

The longbow and the flat bow were about six feet in length and had a typical draw weight of over 60 lbs but up to 100 lbs, which would fire a three-foot arrow up to 1,000 yards.

The shorter bows were recurve bows and although lighter to draw, it took a significant amount of ability to hit a target whilst travelling at speed on the back of a horse or bouncy chariot.

There are two methods of aiming any bow: by sight and by intuition. In sight shooting, the archer aims down the arrow and lines it up with the target making an allowance for distance, wind, movement etc, but in intuitive shooting, the archer only concentrates on the target. Intuitive shooting might come after lots of sight shooting training.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on a variety of topics, but is now concerned with the Nerf n-Strike Stampede Blaster. If you would like to know more, please visit our website at Smart Toys for Kids.

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