Friday, March 6, 2009



Archery is the practice of using a bow to shoot arrows. Archery has historically been used in hunting and combat and has become a precision sport. A person who is fond of or an expert at archery is called a toxophilite. The earliest concrete evidence of archery dates back 50,000 years. The bow probably originated for use in hunting and was then adopted as a tool of warfare. 


The bow is held in the hand opposite to the archer's dominant eye. This hand is referred to as the bow hand and its arm the bow arm. The opposite hand is called the drawing hand. Terms such as bow shoulder or string elbow follow the same convention. Right-eye-dominant archers hold the bow with their left hand, have their left side facing the target, sight towards the target with their right eye and handle the arrow and string with their right hand.


Generally one wears a bracer (more commonly known as an arm-guard), to protect the inside of the bow arm and a tab to protect the fingers of the drawing hand. Some archers also wear protection on their chests, called chestguards (see photo). Chestguards are to prevent the bowstring from being obstructed by the archer's physique or clothing as it is released. Of course, it also protects the archer.


To shoot an arrow with a recurve bow, an archer first assumes the correct stance. The body should be perpendicular to the target and the shooting line, with the feet placed shoulder-width apart. As an archer progresses from beginner to a more advanced level an 'open stance' is used/developed. Each archer will have a particular preference but mostly this term indicates that the leg furthest from the shooting line will be a half to a whole foot-length in front of the other, on the ground.

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