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19350Re: [SCA-Archery] Ranging

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  • Jeffrey Webb
    Jan 1, 2006
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      Greetings Kinjal,
      You make a very good logical argument here. I don't thik that I can agree with your accuracy though. There are MANY different ways and diciplines of shooting the bow and all of them have their adherants. There are pluses and minuses to all of the different forms and we have no conclusive proof that one way was practiced by European archers during the middle ages. We have a bit more evidence concerning near eastern and asian archers. Point of Aim is a technique that dates at the latest from the time of the Tudors, (remember, Asham's treatise was from this period when "sport archery" was new)so an argument can be made what was common. But we haven't enough information to really know with certainty. It could just be HIS way. We do know from writers contemporary to period that there were no specific forms practiced by all (we know this by references to "odd forms" pertaining to Welsh archers).
      I myself am an instinctive archer that employs a certain amount of "gap" shooting using Howard Hill's "split vision" method. It's something that I practiced intuitively from the start before I even read about Howard Hill and then studied his technique. Is it period? Beats me!
      We speculate, and that's all we can do.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Kinjal of Moravia
      Sent: Sun, 1 Jan 2006 05:34:46 -0800
      To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [SCA-Archery] Ranging

      In any kind of marksmanship there is a difference between 'sight
      allignment' and 'sight picture'. I was taught that, of the two,
      allignment was far more important -- which translates into absolute
      repeatability of form and draw. Playing with finger placement or
      even knock points would seem to be 'going in the wrong direction'
      where skill development is concerned, and I find it difficult to
      believe that in ancient times, people who learned archery at age six
      would pursue any training that would not lead to a 'zen' type goal
      of instinctive sighting. My grandfather shot with his eyes closed --
      I know what is possible.

      I am also certain that evidence can be found that people throughout
      time have played with various techniques in order to offset the
      development of skill only developed through long practice. After
      all, the machine pistol was developed in Germany because they didn't
      have time to train proper marksmansmanship. It works! -- but that
      doesn't make it either 'common', nor desireable for recreationists.

      However -- in medieval times a man survived by his wits, and if the
      only way he could should was using both feet and hands, he would
      have. If he lost a finger he would adjust somehow. So, while
      barring artificial aids to shooting are a legitimate way of
      equalizing the field, any 'natural' style that gets the job done
      should be allowed in competition -- even holding the string in your

      Just a worthless opinion, of course -- someone stole my thumb ring
      and I can't shoot at all now.


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