Asian Archery

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SoftShoe
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Asian Archery

Postby SoftShoe » July 16th, 2018, 11:48 am

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As many of you know I am a consummate archer, specifically with a longbow. About 2 months ago I was watching a vid on YouTube from Archery Adventures when the next video was on a Korean bow by some guy I never heard of. Out of sheer curiosity about Korean archery I watched out. The gentleman in question was one Armin Hirmer, a German living in Malta that is a Taoist & specializes in Asian archery. As preposterous as that may sound he is engaging & knowledgeable; I found myself watching several (actually quite a few) videos back to back. In fact he made Asian Archery sound like allot of fun & the wheels began to turn.
One of the cornerstones of Asian archery is the thumb release, a style I have never tried wherein the arrow is placed on the apposite side of the bow (right hand side for right handed shooters) & the string drawn with the thumb instead of the fingers. I have an old ambidextrous recurve that I trained my kids on so I got it out & decided to try my hand at this "new" style of shooting. Now I fancy myself a pretty good shot with a bow so when I released the arrow at my target 10yds away (4'x4') & the arrow struck in the lower right corner, 5 more arrows followed with me aiming dead center of the target they made a nice tight little group about 18" low & right. I was vexed & decided I need to learn more!

I started studying other sources, watching vidoes & bought the book Chinese Archery by Stephen Selby (which is quite good & I heartily recommend to any archer even if not interested in this discipline). I picked up a number of tips & went back to the range in my back yard. I was still grouping low & right but quite a bit closer to the bullseye. In fact after about 30 arrows I was able to consistently put my arrows into an 8" bull so I decided to go back to the 20yd mark & had to relearn everything again. IMO Asian archery compounds errors more than western archery in effect making it more difficult but also allot more rewarding. After an hour of shooting I was actually pretty decent, I could put my arrows almost exactly where I wanted them at 20yds & as I was walking back to the house a funny thing happened. I was happy, I actually had a great deal of fun! Ive been shooting a bow for 40yrs, the last 30 of them a longbow exclusively & I would have to go back 30yrs to tell you the last time I had this much fun with one. Sure I enjoy archery every time I shoot but typically I walk away satisfied after a good days shooting (or slightly miffed on a bad day) but FUN is something I guess I forgot how to have.

I went in the house, logged onto my PCs & orders 2 new bows from China. This may sound a bit extreme but to get a feel for a bow you have to shoot it. No amount of guessing can take its place. Whats more, here in the heart of Kentucky traditional archers are few (everyone uses compounds or crossbows) so you can imagine Asian bows are as rare as hens teeth so I needed to order my own.
From my studies I wanted to try 2 distinctly different styles of Asian archery. For simplicity sake they can be characterized as standard & long draw.

Short draw: String is drawn back to anchor at corner of mouth or jaw as is common with western archery.
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Long draw: String is drawn back past the ear & typically anchors on the opposite shoulder done with a Manchu bow.
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Having heard that Alibow was a quality bow I ordered their Kaiyuan for my "short" draw bow. Then I went to Mariner bows & orders their Qing Dragon 2 having heard great reviews on it.
Amazingly 2 weeks to the day later I received my Kaiyaun & I gotta say I LOVE this bow!!! I'm still waiting for the Qing Dragon but really looking forward to getting it.

Sorry to be so long winded but I wanted to share my enthusiasm & suggest if you are an archer (not just someone who shoots a bow) try Asian style archery, you will be surprised just how much fun you have!

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nachthexe
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Re: Asian Archery

Postby nachthexe » July 16th, 2018, 1:01 pm

The real interesting thing for me is the clearly visible "Mongolian draw" on the lower picture. Drawing the string back with the thumb which is given support by the index finger, as opposed to the European 3-finger draw. I admit though that the long draw would pose a serious ear-hazard for myself. :)
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SoftShoe
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Re: Asian Archery

Postby SoftShoe » August 31st, 2018, 1:26 pm

Tomorrow is opening day of archery deer season here in Kentucky & I will be hitting the woods early! I have gotten quite good with my Asian bows, good enough that I am confident to hunt with one. Tomorrow I will be taking my Kaiyuan for its 1st hunt. I enjoy shooting Qing Dragon more but the string bridges on it make it a slightly noisey bow. The Kaiyuan OTOH is very quiet. Arrows to be used I made myself, they are 34" bamboo with 4" traditional barred feathers topped with a 175gr Simmons Shark broadhead.

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I am looking forward to taking my 1st deer with this bow.

Good luck to anyone else hitting the field this weekend!

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InstinctiveArcher
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Re: Asian Archery

Postby InstinctiveArcher » August 31st, 2018, 1:39 pm

Dang, lucky! I still have to wait another month. Is that a Treeshark or Landshark? I've never used them but I've heard good things about them. What draw weight are you shooting? This will be an interesting thread to follow. I've never heard of anyone hunting with a horsebow. I'm sure there are people who do it, I've just never seen it.
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So long as the new moon returns in heaven a bent, beautiful bow, so long will the fascination of archery keep hold of the hearts of men. - Maurice Thompson
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SoftShoe
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Location: Kentucky

Re: Asian Archery

Postby SoftShoe » August 31st, 2018, 2:17 pm

IIRC they are Tree Sharks. I bought a dozen of them close to 10yrs ago & swear by them! My draw weight is about 63'lbs at 33" if I am doing my math right (51# @ 28). Not sure what the all up arrow weight is? My scale died last year & havent felt the need to replace it yet.

Honestly I am still better with a longbow. I can hit a tennis ball with one pretty much every time out to 25yds. With the horsebow I can only do it about 1/2 the time but I am a solid Minute of pieplate out to 25yds (my self imposed limit) pretty much 100% of the time.

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