Fast archery




Visits since 26.1.2016


Styles of bowstring drawing

There are several ways to the the string; here I describe the styles I know about. In reality nothing is done totally cleanly and styles are mixed. So eg. the sport archer may shoot with direct style drawn with just string hand, but he has bow hand slightly bent up in the shoulder (maybe just a little), and he lowers it in the final stage of drawing as if he finished drawing by upper arc. Violation of "style cleannes" means almost nothing, the important thing is if it is comfortable for you and the shot then is reliable.

I have made a video to show it. It is however in Czech, and there is a lot of talking. If you don't understand Czech, please you the following text as kind of subtitles.

Direct draw

Direct draw is done in front of body and in straight lines. Sort of a starting position is with the front hand bent in the elbow with undrawn bow, cca in half the distance in front of you. When drawing, the bow hand pushes the bow directly forward (straightens in elbow, but goes forward in the same time; it is a bit like fist punch), and in the same time the string hand draws the string directly to the anchor point. This is usually called "double draw".

It is useful for speed shooting beacause of two reasons:

It depends on you how far the bow from your body is at the begining. If it is near, the most work will be done by bow hand, if far, the by string hand. Extreme example of straight draw is what is often done in sport archery - bow hand is totally straightened and fixed in the begining, and the string is drawn only by string hand. Probably it is a bit stronger (not that much) but much slower. For the fast archery it is useful if you nock far from the body, so the bow hand is already straightened.

Another extreme is to start with the bow just at the body, with string hand at your anchor point. String is then drawn just by bow hand. It is not very useful for fast archery, because you usually don't nock so near your anchor point. Yet in any case it may be useful if you hold something in your string hand (a cold weapon for example) and you don't want to move it much.

Note: archers with hands in a position similar to the begining of double draw are illustrated in the tapisery of Bayeux (picture on the bottom of this page). But it is hard to say if it is a real illustration of technique or just artistic license.

Drawing by lower arc

At the begining the bow hand is straightened, with the bow pointing a bit to the ground. When drawing, the bow hand bends in the shoulder (and only there) up to the final position, while string hand draws the string to the anchor point. It seems to me as a bit stronger then direct draw with just string hand, because the bow hand helps. I don't use it for speed archery much, because I usually don't nock the arrow so that the drawing would start at the bottom.

Drawing by lower arc is probably traditional here in Europe, but it is also mentioned in Arab Archery.

Drawing by upper arc

This is practically the same as lower arc, but in the beginning the bow aims obliquely to the top, and goes down when drawing. There is as much power as in lower arc, but subjectively this is more reliable for me. It seems more suitable for fast archery, because nocking may happen above your head very well in some ocassions.

There is a bit security risk because if string slips too early from the string hand, the arrow will be shot up in a wide arc and may fly quite far.

Drawing by upper arc is known in Arab archery, and I wouldn§t be surprised if it was used also in Europe.

Japanese draw by upper arc

Japanese use different variant of upper arc. The bow is also held above the head in the begining, but vertically (so the arrow is horizontal). From this starting point the draw is same as upper arc, but the arrow is always horizontal and just lowers to the final position.

It has probably some advantages, because otherwise Japanese would not use it. However I don't see them and it all seems too scabrous to me.


Náznak double-draw na tapiserii z Bayeaux
Náznak double-draw na tapiserii z Bayeaux