Archery News

THE TECHNIQUE OF ARCHERY

MANY OF US HAVE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF WATCHING ARCHERY ON TELEVISION OR IN MOVIES. WE MIGHT EVEN HAVE HANDLED A BOW OURSELVES WHEN WE WERE YOUNG. FROM THIS WE KNOW THAT, FOR A RIGHT HANDED ARCHER, THE RECURVE BOW IS HELD IN THE LEFT HAND, WHILST THE RIGHT HAND PLACES (“NOCKS”) THE ARROW ONTO THE STRING, AND DRAWS IT BACK, TOGETHER WITH THE ARROW, UNDER TENSION. THIS TENSION IS FINALLY RELEASED TO ENABLE THE ARROW TO FLY THROUGH THE AIR TO ITS TARGET. However, it’s certainly the case that fewer…

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Archery News

THE PHYSICS OF ARCHERY

THE ARROW IS RELEASED BY MEANS OF THE BOW RELYING ONLY ON HUMAN STRENGTH, WITHOUT ANY EXTERNAL SOURCE OF ENERGY. FIRSTLY ONE HAS TO DRAW THE BOW, WHICH MEANS BENDING IT WITH THE SUFFICIENT MUSCLE STRENGTH AND LOOPING THE STRING AROUND THE TWO ENDS OF THE BOW-STICK. THE ENERGY APPLIED FOR DRAWING STAYS RESTORED WITHIN THE BOW. THE SECOND STEP IS PLACING THE ARROW ONTO THE BOW, AND POWERFULLY STRETCHING THE STRING BY THE HELP OF THE ARM MUSCLES. THIS POWER ADDS UP, CURVES INTO THE FLEXIBILITY OF THE WOOD…

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Archery News

THE EVOLUTION OF THE COMPOSITE RECURVE HORN-BOW

THE BOW AND ARROW WERE AMONGST THE FIRST WEAPONS USED BY HUMANITY. ONLY INFERENCES CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE EVOLUTION OF THE BOW AS ITS ORIGINS DATE SO FAR BACK IN HISTORY. A SURPRISINGLY DEVELOPED FORM OF THE BOW AND ARROW IS PERPETUATED IN THE LATE PALAEOLITHIC CAVE DRAWINGS OF SPAIN AND THE SOUTH OF FRANCE. THUS WE HAVE GOOD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THIS FORM IS THE RESULT OF A LONG EVOLUTIONARY PROCEDURE WHICH TOOK PLACE DURING THE PALAEOLITHIC. Archaeologists and ethnologists presume that the bow was preceded by…

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Archery News

THE SCYTHIANS

IN ONE OF THE HIGH RELIEFS FOUND IN AN ASSYRIAN ROYAL PALACE, WE CAN SEE HORSEMEN CHASING THREE RIDERS DRESSED IN OUTLANDISH GARMENTS. THE SPECIALIST ARCHAEOLOGICAL LITERATURE IDENTIFIES TECHNICAL DETAILS THAT TELL US THAT THESE RIDERS ARE SCYTHIAN WARRIORS. THEIR WEAPONRY CONSISTS OF A SHORT SPEAR, AND A DAGGER-LIKE CUT AND THRUST SWORD (AKHINAKES), TOGETHER WITH THE EXPECTED BOW AND ARROW. THE BOWS ARE FAIRLY SMALL AND SHORT, THEIR SHAPE IS TRIANGULAR, AND ON EITHER SIDE OF THE GRIP THERE IS NO SIGN OF THE TYPICAL CURVE, WHICH IS HIGHLY…

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Archery News

THE RIDER’S GARMENT AND THE LEATHER ARMOR

THE WARRIORS’ EQUIPMENT DIDN’T ONLY CONSIST OF THE OFFENSIVE WEAPONS LISTED ABOVE. THEY STROVE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM ENEMY BLOWS AND STABS AS WELL. A SPECIALLY FORMED PROTECTIVE GARMENT AND A SHIELD PLAYED THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ROLES IN THEIR PROTECTION. First let’s take a look at the garment. As we can see in many contemporary images, the Scythians of Pontus, that is the inhabitants of the western, Inner-Asian steppes, as well as the Medes, wore baggy trousers that could be gathered up into pleats. Their body was covered by a…

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Archery News

PRACTISING THE ART OF ARCHERY FIGHTING

THE SKILL OF BATTLING ON HORSEBACK REQUIRED CONSTANT PRACTICE. ONLY THOSE WHO HAD ACQUIRED THEIR RIDING SKILLS AS A CHILD, AND HAD SPENT MOST OF THEIR LIVES ON HORSEBACK,COULD REMAIN IN THE SADDLE TIRELESSLY, FOLLOWING TRACKLESS PATHS FOR HOURS AND HOURS, AND ONLY THOSE WITH EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE WERE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR HORSES UNDER CONTROL IN TAUTSITUATIONS. THEREFORE THE USE OF WEAPONS ON HORSEBACK, ESPECIALLY DRAWING THE ARROW AND TAKING AIM, DEMANDED CONTINUOUS PRACTISE. Chinese historians recorded that the Hun used to teach their children how to ride on the…

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Archery News

STRINGING THE TRADITIONAL RECURVE BOWS

WARRIORS AND HUNTERS CARRIED THEIR MOST DEVELOPED WEAPON, THE MANCHURIAN-TYPE BOW, „STRING PAD”/”GROOVE GUIDE” (RECESSED STRING BOW, POSSIBLY?) BOW IN DRAWN STATE, JUST AS THEY DID WITH ITS PREDECESSORS, THE MONGOLIAN, THE HUNGARIAN, AND THE SCYTHIAN BOWS. AFTER USAGE THEY UNSTRUNG THE BOW AND SLID IT INTO A LEATHER COVER/SACK LIKE THE PROTECTING SACK OF AN UMBRELLA. To be able to maintain and restore the “reflexive” curvature of the bow, they used a wooden rack, or stand, specifically developed for this: here, the bow rested when it wasn’t in use.…

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Archery News

THE BONE TIP BOW

BOWS WITH BONE-TIPS HADN’T BEEN BURIED IN THE GRAVES OF THE SCYTHIAN ERA NOR IN EUROPE NEITHER IN ASIA. THIS CHANGED HOWEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CHRISTIAN ERA, AROUND THE DAWN OF THE 1ST CENTURY ACE. IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORIES OF TODAY’S MONGOLIA, AND TO THE WEST FROM THE LAKE BAIKAL, SO CALLED „TABLE-TOMPS” (GRAVES COVERED BY STONE-TILES) WERE FREQUENT, WHICH, ACCORDING TO THE ARCHAEOLOGIST, DATE BACK TO THE 3RD—2ND CENTURY BCA, AND ARE CONSIDERED TO BE THE EARLIEST RECORDS OF THE ASIAN CUMANS.  IT WAS FROM THESE GRAVES…

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Grozer Manchurian biocomposite bow
Archery News

MAKING OF THE BOW: THE STRING PAD

WHEN IN THE 16TH CENTURY AD MANCHURIAN WARRIORS ATTACKED CHINA THEY WERE ARMED WITH HIGHER QUALITY AND MORE EFFECTIVE BOWS THAN THEIR ADVERSARIES. SIX CENTURIES EARLIER, IN THE TIME OF THE MONGOLS, THE SOUTHERN TERRITORIES OF MANCHURIA WERE FAMOUS FOR THEIR ARROW-MAKING INDUSTRY. IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN DUE TO THE OUTSTANDING CRAFTSMANSHIP TRADITIONS THAT DURING THIS ERA THE MANCHURIANS WERE ABLE TO DEVELOP A SLIGHT INNOVATION IN THE BOW THAT WOULD RENDER AIMING SIGNIFICANTLY MORE ACCURATE, THE MANCHURIAN STRING-PAD. The Manchurian-type recurve bow was equipped with a string pad underneath…

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Grozer Assyrian bow and primitive arrows
Archery News

NATIONAL HUNTS AND WARGAMES

THE YEARLY WARGAMES AND THE CULTIC, NATIONAL HUNTS OR WARGAMES AND CHASES PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN MAINTAINING THE HUNTERS’ BATTLE SKILLS. THE KITAJ HUNTS OPENED WITH A SPECIFIC CEREMONY, A PRAYER ADDRESSED TO THE GREAT SUN GOD. The territory selected for the ritual games had already been marked out the day before the event. After the prayer, the huntsmen were divided into two groups. At certain points in the hunts, there were ritual libations. The manoeuvres and exercises carried out in files were conducted by commanders.  Since the hunts…

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