Archery is a skill of bow to propel arrows to a distant target.

In ancient times, archery was used to hunt and kill prey so that families would have food on their tables. Also, archery was vastly utilized in combat by kingdoms so that enemies would be reduced before hand to hand combat commenced.  It was an essential skill in our world’s history up until the invention of the gun.

Nowadays, we only know archery from movies like Hunger Games, Avengers, and some computer games with long ranged attackers. Recently, the Philippines won its first Olympic Gold from Archery in the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China by Gabriel Moreno.

Today, Archery is mostly employed in hunting and in sports.

A lot of hunters love the bow because of the primal feel it gives and the nobility of the form that archery has. Also, the bow is much flexible, weighs less, has less recoil and makes less noise when shooting.

As a sport, it demands tremendous focus, discipline and consistency from a person like golf and bowling.  One wrong move can send your arrow a few yards away from the target.

Also, using a bow looks cool.

Starting out

In the Philippines, you can learn archery from school, archery ranges and some sports clubs.

Notable archery ranges are Benel, Kodanda, and Gandiva. I’m a regular at the Kodanda Archery Range.

Benel Archery Shop in Mandaluyong showing Bow Stabilizers

Benel Archery Shop in Mandaluyong showing bow stabilizers

 

Before buying a bow and arrows, it is suggested that you try out the sport and get a feel. At most archery ranges, they will offer a 1 hour beginner’s course where they will teach you the tools, basic form, and safety rules. (Yes, you can hurt someone with a misfired arrow). At first they will give you a house bow which is basically a bare bones wooden bow with a pulling weight of 18 lbs.

(The minimum age that most archery clubs would teach is 7 years old.)

From my personal experience, shooting arrows for the first time is an exhilarating experience. There is an inexplicable high at moment of release of the arrow. Getting an arrow to the bull’s eye is also rewarding since you feel like you’re Robin Hood.

Kodanda Valentine's Day Archery

Kodanda Valentine’s Day Archery

And if you got friends with you, you can have a mini contest between yourselves and the loser treats out for lunch. I have brought a lot of friends to the archery ranges as a way to break out from the normal gimmick places and most of them enjoyed the whole experience. The girls would always get a profile picture of them in an aiming stance and tag themselves as “Pinay Katniss Everdeen”.

(Ahem, possible date place perhaps)

Aiming higher

Higher levels of archery demands a lot.

It is physically demanding in a sense that you need strong arms to push and pull the bow and string, a lot of stamina to draw a lot of arrows, and a stable back to stabilize your whole body.

Mentally, it requires you to intensely focus on your target while feeling the strain and stress of the whole arrow pulling sequence.

Getting in to this sport requires a significant investment. Owning a beginner bow costs around 25k-30k and you will likely buy a lot of peripherals. There is a lot of technical stuff too in archery where the bow has to be matched to your height, arm length, strength and eye sight.

What 50 Meters Look Like in Archery

What 50 meters looks like in archery

 

And yes, the expensive ones look very beautiful and intimidating. I have a Japanese friend who has a black and gold bow with a 40 lbs draw weight which can absolutely kill a bear in 70 meters.

(The upside of having a customized bad ass bow is that no one else can wield it properly. Since it is matched to your body, an untrained person who steals your bow will be swallowed by the bow if they try to shoot it. 🙂 )

I hope you guys will give archery a try. I pray that in the future, more people will pick up this awesome sport and more medals will be picked by the Philippines through archery.

 

Kilo is an occassional contributor in the PGG blog and a senior member of the PGG forums. He has a passion for health, working out, and good food.