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Archery

Archery or toxophily as it is sometimes called, is the art of shooting with the bow and arrow. Bows are still used in some countries for hunting, but more popular today as target shooting, in which archers shoot at rings on a target, scoring points according to which ring they hit. In distance events there is no target and the archers compete to see who can shoot his arrow farthest.

There are a number of special words used in archery to describe the various parts of the bow and arrow. The rod that forms the main part of an arrow is called the shaft, the point is known as the pile and the notch at the tail end is the nock. In the middle of the bowstring is the nocking point, which is made to fit the nock exactly.

Consequently, when the right hand (called the shaft-hand) draws back the strings, the arrow remains in place without being held by the shaft-hand. Three fingers are hooked round the string, one finger above the arrow and two below. The weight of a bow is measured by the force needed to draw it fully. It also depends on the weight and strength of the archer.

There are five main actions to be learnt for the correct style of archery: standing; nocking; drawing; holding and loosing. The following directions are for right-handed archers.

Standing

Stand sideways, shoulders and heels at right angles to the target. Only head is turned towards the target.

Nocking

Fit the arrow to the nocking point so that the shaft lies on top of the knuckle of the first finger of the left or bow-hand.

Drawing

Lift the bow-arm and hold it out towards the target. At the same time, draw the string back to the chin with the shaft-hand so that the first finger comes underneath the jaw, with the string touching the middle of the chin and the nock of the arrow underneath the aiming eye.

Holding

Pause for a second or two to get everything steady and the aim correct.

Loosing

Allow the string to slip off the fingers smoothly, without a jerk. Make sure that the aim is not altered during the loose and that both hands are held perfectly still until the arrow lands.




info from http://groups.msn.com/LegolasSanctuary-TheRoyalPalace/archery.msnw
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