[Warbow] Drawing a warbow to ear


Active member
I'm trying to get into warbow shooting, but I was wondering does anyone have any methods they can pass on in regards how to draw a warbow?

Aside from videos I can't seem to find much, videos are all very well but I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for so are there any texts/links around that may be able to help?


New member
Forget the ear thing. It puts you in the wrong position straight away! Think of "drawing to the ear" as a slightly misinterpreted idea from medieval artwork/documents. You're actually drawing down to the right collar bone / start of the right shoulder. That stops you trying to draw too high and short.

Did you see that video I put on the English Longbow Facebook page, of Joe shooting the 210lb bow? That's a good place to start, as it shows somebody with flawless technique shooting a bow just at the absolute limit of his capabilities. Joe has a lower elbow than most as he's incredibly strong but you can't really go far wrong copying his movements.

In essence however, you want to be pushing hard into the bow with the left arm and clenching that tricep hard so it doesn't fold under the weight, lifting the drawing arm up and across your forehead (imagine using your thumb to trace your eyebrow or hairline as it comes round) and then pulling the elbow down smoothly to let leverage and shoulder/back muscles to catch the weight. You then push your chest into the draw like doing a chestbump with somebody.

Your arm should stop dead at the end, when the elbow and shoulder lock fully. If you try bringing it back to the ear you'll find it bloody hard work, as you're aiming for an anchor point like target archery instead of letting the body mechanics do their thing and only stopping when you can't go any further physically.

Big thing to remember with shooting a full medieval draw is that everybody will do it differently due to body shape and strength. You have to be willing to drop the target archery idea of following "correct" form and having a consistent anchor etc as it just won't help. If you were to sit on YouTube for an hour, or go to a dedicated Warbow shoot you'll see a different style from every archer. Watch Joe shooting, then compare it to Glennan Carnie, or watch Jeremy Spencer and compare it to Keith Collier or compare Mark Stretton and Ian Sturgess and you'll not see the same form/technique twice. Let your body do its thing, using a high rolling elbow and pushing left arm and you'll develop your own form within. It might mean dipping and rolling back like Glennan or drawing straight back like Joe but give it time and you'll get there!

Del the Cat

Well-known member
You didn't respond to my last post on the topic so I'm sulking :hissyfit: ;)
I think the key point is draw to forehead/eye level to about 28" draw then bring the right elbow down to get the last few inches. Don't get hooked up on actual length... not everyone can draw 32" not even the Mary Rose Archers as many arrow shafts were only 28"
BTW... I'm agreeing with Will for once :shocked: the anchor is nearer the right shoulder/armpit/pap.. I have to say pap 'cos the nannyish censorship on here won't let me mention the three letter word first and last 't' middle one 'i' (sighs and rolls eyes) can't say c0ck either!