The Beginner’s Guide to Traditional Archery

Why shoot traditional?
Why would you choose a simple stick bow over today’s shiny, technologically advanced compound monsters? While it is true that modern advances have made archery more beginner friendly, the traditional longbow remains potent, lighting fast, and great fun.

Modern advances have reduced the need for archers to have perfect form and complete control over their body. This translates to a sport which is more accessible and immediately fulfilling compared to the time-honed training of the past. Nonetheless, the foundations of good archery remain unchanged regardless of the make and model that you hold in your hands. Possessing the skill to shoot well with traditional bows directly translates to the ability to shoot well with modern bows. The opposite is not true; those who have relied entirely on modern gadgets to shoot often have to start fresh when using a traditional bow.

The simple longbow was the foundation of entire empires. That being said, shooting a traditional bow generates a strong sense of nostalgia for those with an interest in history. Furthermore, the traditional bow does not suffer from the “next best thing” syndrome. You do not have to spend money on new accessories to improve, making traditional shooting an economical decision. Finally, you get bragging rights. Traditional shooting is regarded as more difficult than modern archery and can garner respect from others on the line. This is especially true if you are out-shooting modern equipment with your simple stick bow. Also, traditional bows are uncommon at most ranges and will likely get you several looks from curious archers.

If you follow the recommendations in this guide you can expect several outcomes from shooting traditional archery. First, you can expect a noticeable learning curve, even if you have shot modern equipment in the past. You will have to train your body to repeat the same motions repeatedly and you will need to get used to aiming your shots with the tip of your arrow. Next, you can expect sore fingers, even with finger protection, if you need to build up your calluses. You can expect to shoot faster than most modern archers; traditional longbows can loose as many as fifteen accurate arrows in a minute if you have honed your skills. Finally, you can expect a great sense of accomplishment as your arrows begin to move closer and closer to that bull’s eye and you know that you did not rely on any superfluous technology.

You may wish to join an archery club. Here are a couple of clubs to join:

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