An increased number of individuals these days from different parts of the world are enjoying archery sessions. Archery is defined as an art, skill and practice of propelling arrows utilizing a bow. Historically, this practice has been used for combat and hunting while in the modern times, the main use of archery is for recreational activity or competitive sport. An individual who performs archery is known as “archer” or “bowman”. The person who is expert or enthusiast of archery is referred to as “toxophilite”.
The bow is believed to be invented in later part of Paleolithic or early Mesolithic period. The oldest sign of use in Europe comes from Stellmoor in Ahrensburg, North Hamburg Germany. The arrows were crafted using pine. These consist of main shaft and a long shaft with flint point measuring about 15 to 20 centimeters. They are really no definite bows in the earlier times and pointed shafts are previously known. The oldest known bow so far came from Denmark. The bows then replaced the spear thrower as pre-dominant way of releasing shafted projectiles in each continent but not including Australia.
Arrows and bows were present in the Egyptian culture since the pre-dynastic origins. In Levant, artifacts are known originally from Natufian culture. Classical civilizations, specifically, Persians, Assyrians, Armenians, Indians, Koreans, Chinese and Parthians fielded huge numbers of skilled archers in their groups or armies. English longbow has proved its worth in the Continental warfare for the very first time.
Archery was ultimately developed in the Asian continent. Dhanurveda, Sanskrit term which means archery, this generally pertains to martial arts. In East Asia, Kingdom Goguryeo of Korea was known for regiments of outstanding and skilled archers. In the earlier times, there was a certain period when archery declined but it was in the 18th century when the practice or sport was revived.
The Rise of Archery as a Modern Sport
It was in the year 1840, when the first attempt of making this recreation sport to a modern one. The very first meeting of the Grand National Archery Society was held in New York last 1844 and over the following decade, the festive and extravagant practices in the previous times were whittled away gradually and rules were standardized as York Round-a series of shoots at 100, 80 and 60 yards. It was Horace A. Ford who helped in improving archery standards and pioneering new techniques in archery. He successfully won Grand National more than ten times in a row and he had published an ultimately influential sport guide in 1856.
In the end of 19th century, archery has somehow experienced decline in participation because alternative sports like tennis and croquet were introduced and became popular in the middle class. In 1889, only 50 archery clubs remain in Britain.
In the US, primitive archery was essentially revived in 20th century. In the Indian tribe, a native called Ishi came out from hiding. His doctor has actually learned many traditional skills in Archery from Ishi and has popularized these skills. During the 1920’s, various professional engineers started to show enthusiasm in archery. They have paved way for the commercial improvement of new bow forms including compound bow and modern re-curve. These modern types are now more dominant in contemporary Western archery and were revived by the American enthusiast. These modern types are then combined newest scientific understanding.
Essential Archery Equipment
Archery is never complete without the needed equipment. Before engaging into this sport, you need to at least familiarize yourself with sets of archery equipment. Essential equipment includes but not limited to the following:
While there are fantastic varieties in the structural details of bows both modern and historic, all bows basically includes string that is attached to the elastic limbs storing mechanical energy shared by user who draws the string. The bows can be split into two given categories, one is by pulling the bow’s string directly and another is by using mechanism in pulling the string.
Bows that are directly drawn can be divided further based on the differences in the limb construction method. Some notable examples include laminated bows, composite bows and self bows. These can be classified according to the limb’s bow shape when unstrung. In contrary to straight and simple bows, recurve bows have tips curving away from archer when bow is unstrung.
Compound bows are specially designed in reducing force needed in holding the string on full draw yet allowing archers extra time to target with minimal muscular stress. Most of the compound designs utilize elliptical or calm wheels on the limb’s end to achieve this.
The most typical form of arrow comprises of shaft with overhead attached on front end and with nock and fletching attached on the other end. Archer’s arrows, across history and time are commonly carried in containers called quiver and these can take in different forms. Arrow’s shaft is usually composed of fiber glass, solid wood, bamboo, carbon fiber, composite materials and aluminum alloy. Wooden arrows are being used but these are more susceptible to warping.
The major functional component of arrow is the arrowhead. Some arrows are use simply as sharpened tip of solid shaft however, these are more common in separating arrowheads to be crafted usually from stone, metal and other strong and hard materials.
This is traditionally crafted using bird feathers. Also, sheet-like and thin spin vanes and solid plastic vanes are utilized. These are attached close the nock or arrow’s rear end with glue or double sided tape. The feathers used come in varying colors. If archers are utilizing fetching made of feathers or other similar materials, they can use vanes with similar colors.
- Protective Equipment
Aside from arrows and bows, protective equipment is also necessary when playing or performing archery. Many archers wear bracer in order to protect the inner part of the bow arm against hit by strings. This also prevents archer’s clothing from catching the string of the bow.
Aside from having the right equipment, one must also learn the different forms and techniques in shooting for him to play archery well.