Archery has fascinated mankind for thousands and thousands of years. Whether it was on the war field or the hunting ground, it was archery which made man victorious.
Archers have been an indispensable part of Egyptian, Indian, Greek and Persian civilisation, and were highly adorned and respected. In fact, special training was provided to people who wanted to master the art of archery.
Bows come in different types, such as longbows, shortbows, flatbows, recurve bows, crossbows and compound bows.
Longbows as the name suggests are very long; the length of the bow is equal to the height of the user and in some cases even exceeds the height of the user. The limb of the flatbow is wider and the cross-section is rectangular in shape.
A shortbow is shorter in length, light weight and has a short range as they were basically used for hunting purposes.
With a crossbow their limbs are mounted in a horizontal manner and not in a vertical manner. The compound bow is designed in such as manner that the archer can be at ease while mounting the bow.
An arrow is made up of a shaft and has an arrowhead which is at the front portion of the arrow. These arrowheads are made of metals or some other materials that are used to target points. In order to properly shoot an arrow the archer has to maintain a proper stance. The posture of the body, the eye and the way the archer is holding the bow should be proper.
Sight shooting & Instinctive shooting
These are two different methods that can be adopted by an archer while they’re shooting an arrow.
In instinctive shooting the archer has to completely concentrate on the target while shooting the arrow. It requires a lot of practice. Whereas in case of sight shooting the archer can adjust the pins which are there on the bows to target an object, this is relatively easy. Previously instinctive shooting was the norm but at present sight shooting is more preferred.
As the civilisation started advancing materialistically, people started thinking of developing some mechanism which was more lethal and more effective in comparison to bows and arrows. Development of firearms was a step in this direction; it made bows and arrows completely obsolete.
Bows and arrows were extensively used in wars until soldiers gave way to firearms. The kingdoms that did not possess firearms started losing their stronghold and were defeated in the war field. Firearms had many advantages over bows and arrows, as they had a longer range and were more lethal. The soldiers using them didn’t require lots of training and no major skill was required to use these weapons.
Archery has become a sporting activity – some even use it for recreational purposes and join clubs. Although today archery has lost its sheen, we should not forget that it has played a pivotal role in shaping human civilisation.