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Discuss BEST method at the Recurve Bow within Archery Interchange UK Forums; Most kind, gents, most kind. Starting out (again) in a new competitive culture, it seems, ...
  1. #46
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    Most kind, gents, most kind.
    Starting out (again) in a new competitive culture, it seems, well, much like the others I've witnessed in my nefarious past. There are real gems of people who are true sportspeople at heart, and then there's some who are, let's say, not so forthcoming. Naturally, the latter kind don't post much on fora (forums) like this.

    For those of you who are on your own and don't have ready access to coaching or clubs, some suggestions:

    - Get a gang together. Maybe three or four peers. Share gear and transport if you have to (and I remember that most of us had to, in the very beginning), but get arrows downrange on a regular basis, or do warm-ups, circuit training, practicing at home, one way or another. But get it done.

    - Look up "Form Master" and also "reversals". You could probably make your own Form Master for not a lot of money, out here they're around $35 new. Very useful for getting your initial form sorted and also for practicing on those days you can't get out to the range.

    - Beg, borrow or steal some large pieces of therapeutic rubber bands or straps. You'll see on many of the archery.tv or youtube competition videos that most of the archers use these to warm up or practice form. There are two main exercises, watch the videos to see what they are. These are fairly cheap or free if you're connected to anyone medical.

    - notice the archery.tv youtube channel above. Plus other video links on this forum. Very useful resources.

    - Discuss amongst yourselves and on the forums. read any and all books you can get your hands on, videos, etc.. You'll have to keep your interest alive, actively. Otherwise pub crawls take precedence, and the archery goes out the window.

    - Attend a club meeting or visit a coaching session en masse. This will usually get people's attention, especially if you do it on a regular basis. Don't be ashamed of bad form or bad scores, you're doing it all on your tods, which is more than can be said for most.

    Be prepared to take a bit of guff from the old timers there, but this is a good thing: those who bother to give it to you will have cared enough to do that, and will probably spend loads of time telling you exactly what you've been doing all wrong, and, if they're the good kind of sports folk we seem to have here, they'll then go on to tell you exactly how to do better, and invite you to come back for more.

    And that's about all that most of us ever get, if we're lucky.

    HTH
    JM2c, YMMV of course.
    Cheers!
    Chris






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  3. #47
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    Andy, hello

    Yes, I believe I agree with you. I've been doing some historical research over here as well, and it seems that the likes of Rick McKinney and Jay Barr (and many others I've yet to come across) have also contributed to "the method" to greater or lesser degrees, at least in influence. Which stands to reason, as pretty much all sports techniques and equipment choices have been influenced by their champions.

    The exigencies of standing archery would seem to be common throughout the world and its ages, however, and so most of the basic solutions to address the issues would reasonably be similar if not the same, with variations coming in to account for height/draw, bow length and material, arrow composition, hunting/target and so on.

    So the principle of bone support would be logical and reasonable, given the number of arrows one must fire per day in order to be competitive (this is the same as competitive rifle shooting), string/sight allignment and anchor the same. Stance and NPA (natural point of aim) as well. Consistency too. Which means gripping and hooking the same, drawing, releasing and follow-through the same, breathing the same.

    Which leaves not a lot more to be accounted for in the cycle, no matter who describes it.

    Then there's equipment variations. What kind of riser. Limbs. String. Grip. Stabilier. Sight. Nock, Arrow. Sling. Tab. Vane/fletch/wing. Point/ FOC.

    Now we're talking, because unlike in guns and many compound bows, we are the weapon, along with the equipment, so every time the equipment changes, we're going to have to make minute changes in our shot cycle to compensate.

    And because we're really talking about a cybernetic process (in our instance, a combination of human and machine, and the science of how we humans govern that machine - how our bows and arrows give us feedback, and what we do about that feedback), and there's variation in the machinery we own and use, there must be, by definition, a variation in our form.

    In the same way that the identical equipment used by two archers would yield slightly different results, so the same archer using two variations on equipment would also expect different results. Or, put another way, an archer has to change the human part of the equation (i.e. the form) in order to make two variations of equipment yield the same results (i.e. put the arrow in the 10X).

    And so that's why we all can, and must, develop our own minute variations to the basics on our way to the gold.

  4. #48
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    Chris RL that has a good ring to it! Nice.That is my response to your post#46.

    And so that's why we all can, and must, develop our own minute variations to the basics on our way to the gold.
    post #47
    Could you clarify your thoughts on that, please?
    I assume you mean change the way we shoot slightly, if we change equipment.
    The other way I interpreted that was that if the equipment( one bow etc) changed its performance from shot to shot, we would need to change as required.That would seem an impossible task; but, I had to ask.

  5. #49
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    Geoff, hello!
    Yes, exactly. If we change even our finger tab for another model, our form has to change, however minutely, to compensate, because somewhere along the line, our human/bow system has changed.

    Now, probably most of us won't even notice many of these changes, but I can tell you that just yesterday I added an extra layer of leather to my finger tab and, for me, the feeling of my hook changed, and everything changed.

    Most high level competitors have a back up bow. Only the richest or most sponsored have two identical setups, so most have to change their form slightly to accommodate the backup bow if they lost a nock point in between shots, for instance.

    The other way is, actually, also true, isn't it. We already change we way our bows perform as a whole - by changing the sights, stabiliser weights, V bar angles. And our arrow flight changes accordingly.

    And if one day we could have variable bows (i.e. variable tiller, fistmele, fine draw weight tuning, vari-nock, vari-limbs and the like), we'd be fiddling with those too.

    Seems impossible, but compared to traditional wooden bows, a contemporary Olympic recurve is very variable. Only the present rules prevent us from changing bow configs between arrows. Or maybe that's just the small size of the prize money and the relative lack of sponsors. After all, Nike introduced variable height athletic shoe soles decades ago, and that's pretty sci-fi, isn't it?

    But wouldn't it be cool, for instance, if one's degree of muscle fatigue over the duration of a match were estimable, and then a vari-limb could be programmed to compensate? Sounds like sci-fi too, right? And of course it is - for now.

    Cheers!
    C

  6. #50
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    Now, probably most of us won't even notice many of these changes, but I can tell you that just yesterday I added an extra layer of leather to my finger tab and, for me, the feeling of my hook changed, and everything changed.
    Heehee, I have been down that road in my rercurve days. Get the face wrong and it's like someone else is holding the string.Or... it feels like you are holding a very different string!
    I think I have passed the wrong message to you, sorry. What I was meaning was adjusting our form to adjust for variations in the bows/equipment, when the bow had a fault and wasn't repeating exactly on every shot. Things like loose limb fit, or sticking button etc.
    However, an interesting post!I like the idea of adjustable shoes. Could come in handy as we sink into the mud on wet boggy fields.Or adjustable heels to tilt the archer into the wind as the gusts increase.
    The main thing is , I now understand what you were saying earlier. Interesting thoughts; and I agree.

  7. #51
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    Geoff, hello!
    Oh yes, variations in the bow do get us every time.

    One morning it took me three consecutive let-downs and wondering what the heck was happening to me -- before I discovered just how far off my clicker had drifted after it had come loose.

    It was the first shot at seven in the morning, so perhaps I was a little slower on the uptake than I could have been. But as a beginner that was a lesson for me. Something in the system felt wrong, and I guess it's only with experience that quick identification and remedy is possible. Or an observant coach, of course.

    One thing my coach did say that I take to heart, though, is that the feeling inside the body can be, and usually is, a lot more sensitive than most people think. A lot of the fine tuning I'm doing now isn't readily observable any more - he's using a video camera on me and says he can't easily see it, even in slow motion. For instance, it used to be when I hesitated between anchor and extension, you could see my anchor move along my jawline as my hold collapsed. Nowadays it's one beard whisker drift, if that. It still feels like a big deal, inside. And in terms of a 10 and an X at 90 meters, it probably is.

    C

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    Heehee, when the differences don't show in the body we need to look elsewhere. One of those lights that doctors use to examine inside the ears might be helpful!!
    I've just been using a laser pointer on a friend's bow. It is interesting to see when the sight moves towards the gold and how long it settles on there. It is very interesting to see variations in the pattern, too.I found it is useful in more ways than I imagined.

  9. #53
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    More on topic, here's something that's been up on CNN recently:

    Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

    About Koreans and archery, pretty much cementing in what we're all talking about here.

    Cheers!
    Chris

  10. #54
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    Great video - thanks

    Quote of the day has to be Peter Suk with "its no secret - whoever works hardest will win"

    Andy

  11. #55
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    Yes, I like that one, too.
    I suppose it is true in the context of his students. I have seen archers working very hard, but possibly on misguided tasks.

  12. #56
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    And that's why you big shots need to keep a sharp eye out for errant youngsters.

    Whether or not they'll take your advice is, of course, something else entirely. That's another huge cultural difference, right there. Or maybe it's just the young/old deal all over again. just in our arena.

    A sense of humour would help all round, in that case!

  13. #57
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    Hi Chris........... I'm struggling with your last post............. I can't work out what sparked it off. Was it something I said, or someone else?

  14. #58
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    You, Geoff.

    You folks here have the more experienced eye, you can see what's going on, and not going on.

    So there's two options - intervene, or laissez faire.

    Intervention is maybe not only the Korean way, but for us too, because let's face it, we can work as hard as anybody else, better, if we put our minds to it.

    There's so precious little structure (in our western cultures) for the rest of us that we have to look out for each other.

    Which is a thorn, probably, in everybody's side, because it flies in the face of our own individualistic cultures and personalities (mine included), but I don't see any other way we can more efficiently help each other improve.

    Of course that leaves the old fashioned way - laissez faire, let them be, then beat them hollow. Then they maybe start to take notice...

    (or more likely, they'll get into whinging mode and blame their equipment, the shooting conditions, the weather, etc...)

    Not as efficient in the longer run, and probably more painful too.

  15. #59
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    Hi Chris, I think the term "big shots" had me baffled. To me that sounds like folks who are experts in their field; at national level or beyond.On a scale from 1 to ten I am 1.5 steps from being a beginner.

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    Geoff, that's okay, there are people less advanced than you too.

    Let's put it this way. Us Westerners are used to advancing like we drive - we mind the person ahead of us, in front of us. If we're competitive, we try to beat the person ahead of us.

    The Easterners tend to mind themselves first, and then the person behind and under them. Not too great for fast driving ahead, but better for teaching youngsters.

    In competition, both systems work, but the second only works when the entire culture does it. In other words, it's a huge stretch of trust for us westerners to believe that if we mind the person who's coming up, the person who's ahead of us will take care of us.

    The difference, it seems, is between the social creature and the individualist.

    Yes, we're western, and yes, we're individualist. But yet here we are, on a forum, collaborating...

    And you won't be 1.5 steps from a beginner for long.


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