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Archery technique

Линьков С. И.

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The bow is an effective weapon, but useless in unskilled hands. In ancient times, the training of military archers was a long and difficult task, shooting required considerable skill and technique. As a result, the evolution of both the bows themselves and the equipment of archers was directly related to the shooting techniques, of which 3 are the most popular:

Mediterranean shooting technique

The Mediterranean grip is the most famous method used by most modern archers. An arrow with a Mediterranean grip is placed to the left of the bow (for a right-handed person; with a reverse grip, on the contrary, to the right). It is very important to accurately fit the arrows to the spine (stiffness). This is due to the peculiarities of the mechanics of the shot, the so-called archer's paradox: when released, the arrow bends and, if it is on the right, it hits the handle of the bow. In principle, there are ways to extinguish this effect, but such variants of the technique are used extremely rarely, since there is no special need for this. Buttocks can be different – from the classic one in the chin to the far ones-to the ear or shoulder, but the most commonly used buttocks to the face are in different versions. The reason for such a wide distribution of the Mediterranean grip should be considered its simplicity and stability. It leaves relatively little room for error, and the methods of training and shooting sports bows in this way are perfectly developed.

Ring shooting technique

The second most common type is the Mongolian grip, also known as the ring grip. In fact, this is also a whole group of grips that differ in the location of the fingers and the shape of the safety devices. The ring grip was widespread in Asia. This is how traditional competitions were shot in Japan, Korea, China, the steppe zone of Eurasia, Central and Central Asia, India, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Burial of Pisarevka. Second half of the 1st — beginning of the 2nd century AD

Rings are made of bone, horn, stone, metal, or leather, but it is technically possible to shoot without a ring. Kraga (hand protection) is not required in most cases. This method is convenient when shooting from a horse and is "sharpened" under the Asian short recurve bow, which, when shooting with other grips, can squeeze the fingers of the pulling hand. However, with long bows, this technique can also be used. An arrow with a Mongolian grip is usually placed to the right of the bow, although technically you can put it on the left. Long buttocks are used – to the ear, the corner of the lower jaw, to the right shoulder. Accordingly, the bow should extend to a large length – at least 30-32 inches, often up to 34. The adjustment of arrows to stiffness is not so important; many shooters prefer to take the most rigid arrows. Of the advantages of the ring grip, it is necessary to name, first of all, adaptability for working with short bows, for shooting from a horse, undemanding to fit equipment and clean release. The latter is explained by the fact that only one finger touches the bowstring, which creates a minimum of interference when the bowstring comes off. However, in general, the technique of shooting with a ring is somewhat more complicated than the classical one, and the training methods are not sufficiently developed.

Scheme of application of the ring with a ring grip
Types of buttocks with a ring grip
Ring from the archer's grave. Private collection. 1-3 century AD

Plucked shooting technique

The plucked grip is a group of the most ancient methods of shooting that existed all over the world, and are now recorded mainly by ethnographers among peoples who have preserved the traditions of archery. Shoot these grips usually without protectors, "with bare fingers", even if the bows are strong enough. Depending on the position of the fingers on the bowstring, the arrow can lie to the right or left of the bow. Buttocks are also available in a wide range. The weak point of plucked grips is that they give room for variations in holding, different finger play, and the associated release instability. However, with a good performance, they give a result that is not inferior to the Mediterranean and ring. The "pinch" method gives a very clean release. In general, this group of grips is poorly understood, and training methods are not worked out.

Related topics

Sagittarius, Sagittarius-Gladiator, Onion, Arrows

Gallery

Ring from the archer's grave. Private collection. 1-3 century AD
Ring from the archer's grave. Private collection. 1-3 century AD
Ring from the archer's grave. Private collection. 1-3 century AD
Bas-relief of a male archer, Parthian. Found in: Asia, Middle East, Levant, Syria. Stored at: British Museum, London, England. 1-3 century AD
Ring grip. Archer Heracles, a figure from the eastern pediment of the temple of Athena-Athaia (Greek).VAός αφαίας). 490-480 BC Greece
Ring grip. Archer Heracles, a figure from the eastern pediment of the temple of Athena-Athaia (Greek).Ναός Αφαίας). A plaster copy. 490-480 BC Greece
Ring grip. Archer Heracles, a figure from the eastern pediment of the temple of Athena-Athaia (Greek).VAός αφαίας). 490-480 BC Greece
Parthian horse archer. State Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, Germany. 1-3 century AD
The Gallic archer. Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. 1-2 century AD
The ring of the 20th Legion. Private collection, possibly fake. 1-3 century AD
The ring of the 20th Legion. Private collection. Probably a fake. 1-3 century AD