Is there anyone of us who hasn’t heard about Robin Hood? Nobody? Well I thought so. And do you know what was his main skill, which he used in order to achieve such a legendary status? Ok let’s try to play association game! What ancient skill, battle and Robin Hood have in common? I am quite positive you all thought it’s archery and you thought well indeed. Today practiced only as a sport, archery can be described as one of the most skillful Olympic disciplines, which originates from distant history when it was used for battles and hunting. Even then in the Middle Age archery required years and years of practice but those who managed to master it at the end became immortal in folk tales and fairy tales where the best archers like William Tell, famous Switzerland hero who performed astonish shot targeting an apple placed on his soon head, just like Robin Hood managed to beat invaders with bravery and unbelievable things they did with a bow and arrow. So what would be the common things to know about archery? First of all that in modern days archery is mainly recreational activity, but also has been an Olympic sport since 1900.
History of archery
Based on the some sources first trace of archery could be found even some 10,000 years Before Christ. After that soon it become common and most important hunting and battle method all the way through history of human civilization. Many battles were won with help of archers. Perhaps the most striking example which support significance of archery through history were Mongols with their famous leader Genghis Khan who lived in the end od 12 and the beginning of the 13 century. Mongols were well known all over the world, from China to Europe, as fearless warriors who did not have permanent place of residence but were constantly moving from one place to another. But what was so special about them and gave them such supremacy on the battlefield was actually the fact that they were excellent riders with special archery skills to ride and shot at the same time, which they were constantly practicing from the early ages. Just try to imagine yourself today riding without the hands and shooting at the same time. Sound incredible, wright? Therefore, it was no coincidence that at that time nations all around the globe were so afraid of them. Another great example represent period were English technological supremacy with long bows bring them victory in many battles as they archers were simply superior compared to enemy. Fame and popularity of archery started to fade after the invention of gunpowder as new weapons like guns and rifle and than especially cannons were absolutely superior and archers could not resistance and handle their shooting power.
One of the remarkable things to know about archery is that unlike some other ancient human skills and abilities it did not vanish after it was overrun by some new technologies and inventions and lost it’s main purpose. Actually archery survived simple by it’s new heroes who were thrilled by adventures of famous legendary characters we already mentioned. They wanted also to become masters of archery and therefore were practicing in order to achieve high level of skills. Thus it is not surprising the fact that archery tournaments managed to survive to these days and even developed, as archery has become summer Olympic sport since 1900 up to today whit a few breaks. It is also part of the modern Paralympic games. Today archery mainly refers to shooting competitions where goal is to accurately shot target from a different distances and it is most popular in USA and Europe. Also it is widely represented in the video game industry, thus it is to be expected that popularity of archery as a recreational sport will only increase with time.
Bow and arrow as a main part of equipment are definitely one of the things to know about archery. Modern bows are nothing like old ones if we are talking about production materials. In the old time bow were produces from the different wood species unlike modern bows where main material become synthetics like Dacron for example which gives a higher level of strength and endurance to the bow. Of course both types have string that connects distant parts of bow. Similar modern arrows are constructed from materials like composite materials, fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc. unlike old ones that were all constructed from wood. Like in any other sport today there is common to have some additional accessories as part of the equipment. With a lot of strength needed and used in aiming and shooting there is relatively high possibility of injury In archery thus protective equipment is a common thing and it contains first of all different types of gloves or archer tabs in order to protect shooting palm, special rings like thumb ring with similar protective function but made for the specific finger – thumb, bracers usually made of leather and with aim to protect inside part of shooting hand, chestguards used to protect chest primarily for female archers, etc. Really interesting part of equipment is a release aid, which is specially constructed trigger for string release that helps archer to aim and shoot with more precision. Modern archery also have various stabilizers, dampers, rests, etc. All of them have one similar purpose simply to secure better shootings.