The Renegade Archer.

“So, you’re an archer (too)!”

me: “Yep” ^_^

“What kind of archer?”

me: ummmmmm…

The truth is I’m sort of homeless when it comes to archery styles. 

The first impression would usually be that I am a traditional archer, and that is not wrong. After all, all the bows I own so far are unmistakably traditional bows (beautiful traditional Hungarian bows that tend to attract attention at shooting ranges).

my current bow.
my current bow.

I shoot handmade wooden arrows acquired either at traditional markets or from a local arrow maker. I shoot quite quickly and like relying on instinct, and am at my best out in the wilderness shooting at random targets of different distances and terrains. My number one party trick is quick snap trick shots at cards, easter eggs, balloons, whatever… conventional targets have the occasional habit of scaring my arrows.

Heck, I’ve got “traditional archer!” written across my left index finger, in form of a scar, from times when my *shooting over the finger* technique needs some -ahem- experimentation and maintenance.

But. Among other trad archers, I am often the odd one out.

This is because the majority of my technique looks more like that of modern recurve shooters’. I also take meticulous care to shoot as consistently and precisely as possible. I like to aim, double aim, triple aim, and control everything down to my breathing and pulse for sniper-esque accuracy (trad coach: “stop aiming already and just shoot!!” ). I will pore over arrow grouping diagrams and videos of me on an endless quest to eliminate miniature technical mistakes and come a little closer to flawless.

…and *engineered* bows and arrows fascinate me. (I’m total nerd when it comes to arrow aerodynamics. Did you know rockets and arrows are almost identical? :3 ) It is where the wisdom of our ancient ancestors meets with today’s technology and produces something glorious.

Which is why a couple of weeks ago I picked up an old recurve from the club and decided to start training with it in earnest. In fact, I’ve grown to love recurves so much that I’m planning on buying my own in the first week of february! So maybe I’m just a recurve archer at heart, then?

No. Not quite.

Even though its a modern bow, I’m still keeping equipment to the bare minimum, and will also do so on my future new bow. The only gizmo on the bow I’m using is a simple aiming sight, and I tend to use that rather sparingly, as a guideline rather than the primary aiming reference. I shoot extremely fast compared to the other recurves at the club. I shoot with my glove or with just fingers, and detest tabs. My anchor has evolved into a hybrid version of traditional and olympic anchor, which I think works fantastically but nobody else seems to be doing it.

I’m the odd one out on this side of the fence too.

Not that I mind. I constantly learn and improve, and adapt helpful techniques from one bow style to the other on the quest for the prefect shooting technique for me. As a result, my scores with both bows get increasingly competitive.

Therefore I definitely am not doing anything wrong. I guess I’m just the renegade archer :3

I wish joyful shooting to all fellow archers! Winter is definitely setting in (in the northern hemisphere at least), so I wish for you all to have a cozy indoor range! (Or adequate shooting gloves. Or enough determination to go outside nonetheless.)

kitty hugs to all~

~Joouna

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