Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Thumb Rings

Expand Messages
  • Mario Boulanger
    Well met, ... I find this truly fascinating, I didn t know they even existed. What is the basis of Thumb Rings and why were they used exactly ? Would you
    Message 1 of 14 , May 14, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      Well met,

      >I can go to a museum just a few hours from here and get actual, period
      >examples of thumb rings (hundreds of them), and I can show the same thing
      >in hundreds of places around the world. I can show chronicled
      >documentation of their use.

      I find this truly fascinating, I didn't know they even existed. What is the
      basis of Thumb Rings and why were they used exactly ? Would you
      please inform me, I'd be very grateful, thanks.

      Fenris MacGowan

      ________________________________________________________________________
      Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
    • j'lynn yeates
      ... Hash: SHA1 ... thumb rings are used in asiatic archery. most often you will find them in the cultures that use the short recurves common to the asiatic
      Message 2 of 14 , May 15, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
        Hash: SHA1

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Mario Boulanger [mailto:fenrisleloup@...]
        >
        > I find this truly fascinating, I didn't know they even
        > existed. What is the
        > basis of Thumb Rings and why were they used exactly ? Would you
        > please inform me, I'd be very grateful, thanks.

        thumb rings are used in asiatic archery. most often you will find
        them in the cultures that use the short recurves common to the
        asiatic horse-nomads (also in china and some ages of japan). instead
        of drawing the string euro-style with the fingers of the hand you
        wrap your thumb around the string a draw it with that thumb while
        locking the draw in place with the finger(s) of the same hand ... the
        ring protects the thumb as a shooting glove does in euro-style (have
        a nice custom bronze one i made many years back for this style of
        shooting).

        in now way, shape, or form is it a "mechanical release". in fact,
        the eastern thumb draw is more difficult and in many ways more muscle
        intensive than the more common euro-centric style of shooting. try
        it next time on the range and you will see and understand the
        hows/whys ....

        'wolf
        ... who favors these eastern composit recurved bows

        -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
        Version: PGP Personal Privacy 6.5.3
        Comment: public key for jyeates@... at certserver.pgp.com

        iQA/AwUBOR8gXs50zdvN3Vp0EQIH4gCfYAX29ktQ1IiWkM+EfULAFJUwY2cAoOFQ
        MtyVDlaXIQAOHoNOCv7I/wyg
        =Y7/1
        -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
      • Chris Nogy
        One of the largest collections of archer s thumb rings is in the museum at the University of Missouri,. Columbia. Thumb rings were used when drawing a bow
        Message 3 of 14 , May 15, 2000
        • 0 Attachment
          One of the largest collections of archer's thumb rings is in the museum at the University of Missouri,. Columbia.

          Thumb rings were used when drawing a bow string with your thumb - as your thumb is not strong enough to hold the string by itself, the angle your thumb makes when you catch it's tip under your index finger forces the string into the crease behind the knuckle, a very painful place to constantly keep that much pressure.

          The thumb ring covers that part of your thumb, re-positioning the string and allowing it to slip off the thumb quickly when the index finger is slid off the thumb tip.

          It is common in almost every near, middle, and far eastern style of archery. But it does require that you shoot off the thumb side of your bow instead of the finger side.

          They are made of all sorts of materials, from hardened leather to horn to stone to metal. They are made in numerous shapes, sizes, finishes, so many it is difficult to catalog all of them. But they all have a similar purpose - to protect the drawing thumb against injury.

          I have lots of information on why thumb releases developed, why the technique requires shooting off the 'wrong' side of the bow, and other stuff, but there is too much to post general list. Please address any specific questions to me privately if you need specific answers.

          Later

          Kaz
        • Mario Boulanger
          Well met my Lord, Thank you, very well appreciated. Au Revoir, Fenris MacGowan ________________________________________________________________________ Get
          Message 4 of 14 , May 15, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            Well met my Lord,
            Thank you, very well appreciated.

            Au Revoir,
            Fenris MacGowan

            ________________________________________________________________________
            Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
          • melthemouse
            Hi everyone! I m new here, and new to the SCA. A friend and I were discussing different methods of drawing bows and the question of thumb rings surfaced.
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 30, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi everyone! I'm new here, and new to the SCA. A friend and I were
              discussing different methods of drawing bows and the question of thumb
              rings surfaced. Can anyone tell me more about their history, and if
              they are still commonly used today?

              Anyone here shoot with their thumb instead of the three fingers? What
              are the advantages/disadvantages? Must this draw be done exclusively
              with oriental bows, or can it be used with western longbows, flatbows,
              and recurves?
            • John Rossignol
              ... Hi, and welcome. Whereabouts is here ? Thumb rings, or variations thereof, have apparently been used since ancient times, and are still used today. They
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 30, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                melthemouse wrote:

                >Hi everyone! I'm new here, and new to the SCA. A friend and I were
                >discussing different methods of drawing bows and the question of thumb
                >rings surfaced. Can anyone tell me more about their history, and if
                >they are still commonly used today?
                >
                >

                Hi, and welcome. Whereabouts is "here"?

                Thumb rings, or variations thereof, have apparently been used since
                ancient times, and are still used today. They are accoutrements of the
                thumb draw (often called the "Mongolian draw"), which has long been the
                favored method throughout most of Asia and the Islamic world. The Huns,
                Mongols, Chinese, Japanese, Persians, Turks, etc. all used the thumb
                draw. It probably originated with horse archers on the steppes of Asia
                and easternmost Europe, and as far as I know, has been universal amongst
                them at least as far back as the Scythians. The Byzantines used it,
                too, perhaps having picked it up from the Huns they employed as mercenaries.

                In this style of draw, the thumb hooks around the bowstring below the
                arrow, and then the index finger locks the thumb down on the far side of
                the string. The arrow is usually placed on the side of the bow opposite
                the bow arm. The string is pulled back by the thumb, not the fingers.
                The thumb ring generally helps snag the bowstring and protect the
                archer's thumb, but the exact effect depends on its design and
                materials. Some thumb rings are just thick rings worn down below the
                joint of the thumb, but many have a tab that extends toward the tip of
                the thumb, between the thumb and the bowstring. Archers from some
                traditions use the thumb draw, but use a glove instead of a ring. A few
                don't use anything, but just build up calluses. A ring of some sort,
                though, is far and away most popular.

                "Kay's Thumbring Book", by Kay Koppedrayer, is a great source of
                information about the history, design, and use of thumb rings. It can
                be a little hard to find, but I know it is available through
                www.horsebows.com .

                >Anyone here shoot with their thumb instead of the three fingers? What
                >are the advantages/disadvantages? Must this draw be done exclusively
                >with oriental bows, or can it be used with western longbows, flatbows,
                >and recurves?
                >
                >
                I have done some shooting using the thumb draw, although, sad to say, I
                haven't practiced it enough to become very proficient. Luckily, these
                questions require knowledge rather than skill. ;-)

                One advantage of the thumb draw is that, when one has become proficient,
                it allows a somewhat cleaner release than the 3-finger draw, especially
                when one is in a hurry. Some say it can become almost as clean as a
                modern mechanical release.

                Another advantage is that, if you reach the point where hand strength is
                the limiting factor, it may make it easier to draw heavy bows --
                however, this may depend on your particular hand.

                Probably the biggest advantage of the thumb draw, though, is that it
                allows an archer to shoot a very short bow without experiencing "pinch".
                Pinch is what happens when you draw a bow back far enough that the
                string forms an acute angle which pinches your string hand from the top
                and bottom. Among other things, a lot of pinch makes a clean release
                almost impossible. Generally, the shorter the bow, the more acute the
                angle of the string at the nock point when the bow is drawn, and so the
                greater the pinch. Although in modern times taller versions are favored
                for standing archery, historically horse bows have been quite short --
                generally only 1/2 or 1/3 the height of a longbow. Drawing such a bow
                with 3, or even just 2, fingers results in a lot of pinch, and one
                finger just isn't strong enough. But a thumb works fine, and is still
                narrow enough to escape pinch.

                The main disadvantage to the thumb draw is that a good release is harder
                to learn than with the 3-finger draw. It took me a while before I could
                even hit the hay bale at 20 yards, let alone the target. Nocking the
                arrow is not as intuitive, either (although once perfected it is very fast).

                A thumb draw will work equally well with any bow. However, if you are
                concerned with historical authenticity you should remember that it was
                probably never used by western archers during medieval times (unless you
                count the Byzantines as western). Certainly it would seem a bit out of
                place to use the thumb draw while shooting a western-style bow such as a
                longbow.

                Hope that helps.

                John
              • Kinjal of Moravia
                ... strength is the limiting factor, it may make it easier to draw heavy bows however, this may depend on your particular hand. ... for me it is a necessity.
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 30, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  >
                  > Another advantage is that, if you reach the point where hand
                  strength is the limiting factor, it may make it easier to draw heavy
                  bows however, this may depend on your particular hand.
                  > .....................................................

                  for me it is a necessity. Severe athritus and Farmer's Palsy cause
                  my hand to shake using a 3 finger draw. With the thumb ring I can
                  lock my thumb knuckle into the corner of my mouth and achieve a
                  smooth set -- with a straight line from knuckle, string and arrow.
                  I cannot achieve maximum draw, but my bow has the same stength (50#)
                  from 29-31 inches so it matters not. Also, using the ring is more
                  friendly to a 'push-pull' draw -- easier on my aging frame.

                  Kinjal
                  >
                • zzdragon@sbcglobal.net
                  My partypoker name is ThreeDman69 ... From: melthemouse To: Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 1:12 PM
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 30, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    My partypoker name is ThreeDman69
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "melthemouse" <mrspix@...>
                    To: <SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 1:12 PM
                    Subject: [SCA-Archery] Thumb Rings


                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Hi everyone! I'm new here, and new to the SCA. A friend and I were
                    > discussing different methods of drawing bows and the question of thumb
                    > rings surfaced. Can anyone tell me more about their history, and if
                    > they are still commonly used today?
                    >
                    > Anyone here shoot with their thumb instead of the three fingers? What
                    > are the advantages/disadvantages? Must this draw be done exclusively
                    > with oriental bows, or can it be used with western longbows, flatbows,
                    > and recurves?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ---8<---------------------------------------------
                    > Brought to you YahooGroups Ad Free in 2003 by Medieval Mart
                    > Get Medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.medievalmart.com/
                    >
                    > [Email to SCA-Archery-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com to leave this list]
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • melthemouse
                    Thanks for the responses and information! I hope one day to be able to see this in action, or even try it. Here is this forum. Geographically, I am in
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 30, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Thanks for the responses and information! I hope one day to be able
                      to see this in action, or even try it.

                      "Here" is this forum. Geographically, I am in Atlantia, specifically
                      the Barony of Nottinghill-Coil (hope I spelled that right!). :-)
                    • John Rossignol
                      You are quite welcome. I m way out in the West, but maybe we ll get a chance to shoot together someday, who knows? Good shooting, and have fun. John
                      Message 10 of 14 , Dec 1, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        You are quite welcome. I'm way out in the West, but maybe we'll get a
                        chance to shoot together someday, who knows? Good shooting, and have fun.

                        John (Barony of Darkwood, Kingdom of the West)

                        melthemouse wrote:

                        >"Here" is this forum. Geographically, I am in Atlantia, specifically
                        >the Barony of Nottinghill-Coil (hope I spelled that right!). :-)
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • i_griffen
                        Greetings Afternoon All I am trying to research the usage of Thumb Rings. The links I had have disapeared. Does anyone know of any links that would help with
                        Message 11 of 14 , Sep 29 11:49 AM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Greetings Afternoon All

                          I am trying to research the usage of Thumb Rings. The links I had have disapeared. Does anyone know of any links that would help with my reseach?

                          Iain Griffen
                          Aten
                        • Guy Taylor
                          This may help.   Guy Greenman Archery ... From: i_griffen Subject: [SCA-Archery] Thumb Rings To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com Date:
                          Message 12 of 14 , Sep 29 11:59 AM
                          • 0 Attachment
                             
                            Guy
                            Greenman Archery

                            --- On Wed, 9/29/10, i_griffen <i_griffen@...> wrote:

                            From: i_griffen <i_griffen@...>
                            Subject: [SCA-Archery] Thumb Rings
                            To: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 11:49 AM

                             
                            Greetings Afternoon All

                            I am trying to research the usage of Thumb Rings. The links I had have disapeared. Does anyone know of any links that would help with my reseach?

                            Iain Griffen
                            Aten

                          • The Greys
                            There is this book http://www.3riversarchery.com/Books+DVD%27s+Educational+History+Kay%27s+Thumbring+Book_c42_s18_p268_i6343_product.html that discusses
                            Message 13 of 14 , Sep 30 7:12 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              There is this book http://www.3riversarchery.com/Books+DVD%27s+Educational+History+Kay%27s+Thumbring+Book_c42_s18_p268_i6343_product.html that discusses history, types and use of the thumb ring. Kaye's Thumb Ring book.

                              http://silverhorde.viahistoria.com/main.html?ThumbRing.html this site shows how to make a leather thumb ring but also has lots of links for sources.

                              cog

                              --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "i_griffen" <i_griffen@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Greetings Afternoon All
                              >
                              > I am trying to research the usage of Thumb Rings. The links I had have disapeared. Does anyone know of any links that would help with my reseach?
                              >
                              > Iain Griffen
                              > Aten
                              >
                            • jbl
                              Another spot is Spitfire horsebows he has an eduacation section on there with pictures of the shot sequence and some videos. There is also a memebers only
                              Message 14 of 14 , Oct 11, 2010
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Another spot is Spitfire horsebows he has an eduacation section on there with pictures of the shot sequence and some videos. There is also a memebers only forum that you could join that is VERY helpful.

                                ATARN has some great information about all aspects of Asian archery and has severallinks on how to build a thumb ring. There are also several good videos from ATARN on youtube that show how to use a thumb draw.

                                I have built several rings using horn, a PVC pipe union and leather. The leather ring took about five minutes to make. I cut the leather to the size of my thumb, punched two holes on the bottom and took a leather boot lace and thread it through the holes tied it on to my thumb and bingo-thumb ring.

                                To start off with the thumb draw I would recommend a 25-30# and work your way up to the weight you normally use. I have been shooting with the thumb draw exclusively over the last two years and I find that I am more accurate and faster then I was with a split finger release. There is a learning curve but I really didn't find it as hard as many make it out to be. Good luck and if you need anymore info just ask.

                                Dmytro

                                --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "The Greys" <cogworks@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > There is this book http://www.3riversarchery.com/Books+DVD%27s+Educational+History+Kay%27s+Thumbring+Book_c42_s18_p268_i6343_product.html that discusses history, types and use of the thumb ring. Kaye's Thumb Ring book.
                                >
                                > http://silverhorde.viahistoria.com/main.html?ThumbRing.html this site shows how to make a leather thumb ring but also has lots of links for sources.
                                >
                                > cog
                                >
                                > --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "i_griffen" <i_griffen@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Greetings Afternoon All
                                > >
                                > > I am trying to research the usage of Thumb Rings. The links I had have disapeared. Does anyone know of any links that would help with my reseach?
                                > >
                                > > Iain Griffen
                                > > Aten
                                > >
                                >
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.