Meridian Star


March 21, 2014

Archery Addicts Anonymous — 013

Archery 101: the basics — shooting form: Dancing with the bow

MERIDIAN — The first time I attempted to shoot a bow reminds me of the first time (and perhaps the last time) I tried to dance with my wife. Dancing was so un-natural that every muscle in my body was so tense that it was more like wrestling than dancing. I was sore for a week. We now dance with the bow!

    Ballroom dancing, ice skating, and the ballet are artistic dance forms (athletic disciplines) performed to music, using formalized steps and gestures. Karate is also another dance form that requires the same intense discipline as learning to shoot a bow correctly. Understanding this concept is so important that I encourage all my students to watch the movie “Karate Kid” at least twice.

    So how do we learn to shoot the bow? By learning to shoot (dance with) an imaginary bow–choreography.

    The first bow that every beginner should learn to shoot is a cheap silky ladies scarf. Begin in the middle of the scarf and tie as many knots as needed about an inch apart in both directions (start with five knots and add more if needed).

    Simulating shooting with the scarf must follow the opposite sequence for shooting with a real bow. For example: Finding the anchor point with a real bow is the last step in the draw cycle. However, finding the anchor point with a scarf is the first step in the draw cycle.

    (Step One) For right hand shooters:

    Hold one end of the scarf extremely close to the end between the thumb and index finger of the right hand. While holding the scarf, place the large base knuckle underneath the right ear against the jawbone. (This should be very close to the true anchor point). Anchoring below the ear and against the jawbone allows the draw arm elbow to extend upward to its maximum height. It is almost impossible to get the elbow too high. With the right elbow cocked and locked at twelve o’clock high the knuckles of the right hand cannot help being exactly where they belong (at a 45 degree angle).

    (Step Two) For right hand shooters:

    Begin with the left elbow bent as if the imaginary bow were too short of a draw length. Hold the scarf in an open grip (See lesson 008) with the left hand as if the scarf were the grip of the bow. Slide the knots of the scarf through the open grip from the shortest to the longest. The left index finger should very lightly grip each successive knot until the left bow arm is comfortably extended with both the shoulder and the wrist low. The knuckles should be set at a 45 degree angle so that the fingers point to the ground at 45 degrees.

    (Step Three) For right hand shooters:

    Slowly pull/drag the scarf with the right hand using the right back shoulder muscle to move the elbow backward until the scarf slides free. Continue pulling (follow through) even after the scarf falls away or, as it were, the imaginary arrow begins its flight downrange.

    Practice dancing with the bow with both eyes closed.

    Address questions to: Cell # 601-604-0913.


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