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hi,

i started archery with a longbow when i was 12, and ended up getting pretty good with it.

i have since moved to compounds and love them.

however, i tried picking up my old longbow the other day and noticed how inconsistent i was at hitting the target at all.

anyway, was watching impossible shots yesterday and saw Byron Ferguson shooting with what he described as "becoming the arrow"

was just wondering what it was all about.

seems like it works pretty well for him.

thanks

Garth
 

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Taken from Byron Ferguson’s book “Become The Arrow”

Chapter one:

What is “become the arrow?” It’s a philosophy, a belief, a projection of self and of self-confidence, a tremendous amount of concentration. No it isn’t Zen, but it certainly is much more than mechanical and/or technical success. It’s a way of knowing and believing in your archery gear and in yourself that heightens your enjoyment of shooting and ought to heighten your success.


My 2 cents:
Byron Ferguson is an incredible traditional shooter. Like the rest of us though he was not born with this ability. It took many years of work and practice. During this time he developed a "style" or "method" of bare bow shooting that is both accurate and consistent. This style/method of shooting he describes as "becoming the arrow". It's a catch phrase that keeps him in the life style he's accustomed to. I applaud his work!
 

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To me it means consistent draw including all elements of good form, solid repeatable anchor, total mental control over whatever sighting method you choose, a clean repeatable release. All this built into your muscle and brain memory so that it's as natural as walking. Then you are the arrow.
 

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Not sure if I'll do it justice but I asked him this very question after an exhibition shoot a few years ago. In loose terms, this is what he said...

"It's when you no longer physically see the arrow and it's orientation to the target (i.e focused gap shooting). It's there, and your brain recognizes it's there but you don't pay attention to it while instead focusing almost entirely on the point of aim alone."

Again, I paraphrased the above. He told me to make a mental effort to focus 90% on the target and 10% on the arrow. He predicted I was probably doing more like 50/50 and after really trying what he said and truly analyzing my own methods, I'd say he was probably close to correct. All that said, I'd say constant repetition probably makes this all happen anyway. :D
 

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"Becoming the Arrow" has been pretty well covered. I think Ferguson puts a little more emphasis on things that don't need emphasiszed though. Truth is, he just practiced alot and, having been an athlete in his younger years, picked up the eye-hand coordination pretty readily. The truth is, it's all barebow shooting, the effort and care you put into it determining your final capabilities.

I enjoy trying to do the trick shots Ferguson can do, and can do many of them (of course, much closer- 5 paces- and not NEARLY as easily as he does) but try to follow proper target stance instead of Ferguson's loose form he advocates.

But that's just me and my opinion:).
 

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The truth is, it's all barebow shooting, the effort and care you put into it determining your final capabilities.
I agree...most of the techniques we discuss here are barebow shooting techniques...but the technique an archer chooses also plays a roll in determining what an archer's capability will be...not just the effort and care they put into learning it.

Some aiming techniques are just generally harder to master than other aiming techniques to achieve the same level of consistant accuracy with under specific circumstances.

As much as some archers want to believe that all barebow aiming techniques are equal...reality gives us a clue as to the truth of the matter.

All one has to do to verify it is to study the different classes in competition and aiming styles to see there are inherent advantages with certain aiming techniques.

The truth of the matter is...some aiming techniques have inherent advantages under specific circumstances when compared to other aiming techniques and have a easier learning curve for most people.

For example...most good archers, who use String Walking or Face walking will have an easier time scoring higher in a typical field round than a good archer aiming Instinctively with all else being equal. Just as most good archers, who aim Instinctively will have an easier time hitting moving targets quickly at different distances than an archer using String walking or Face Walking.

Ray ;)
 

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Ferguson's basically preaching the same thing that Gary Sentman has (via studying Howard Hill, to some degree) been saying for the longest time, and since Gary's older and been around a lot longer than Byron...
 

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start by shooting cats!

you just have to be consistant, i am getting goodish groups with my new grizzly at 15 yards
 

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Ray- Excellent point. I flit from instinctive to gap to point of aim so much depending on the situation I kind of forget the other styles like Face and string walking. My apologies:)
 

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Ray- Excellent point. I flit from instinctive to gap to point of aim so much depending on the situation I kind of forget the other styles like Face and string walking. My apologies:)
kegan,

No applogies needed. I was just trying to shed some light on a subject that often gets heated and you just happened to bring it up.

I pretty much aim exactly like you do which I believe makes a very well rounded archer, who is able to make just about any shot by taking advatage of using the specific aiming technique that has an advantage under that specific circumstance.

Whatever an archer chooses to use for an aiming technique should ultimately be made by them based on their goals, abilities and personality with no preasure of any of them being right or wrong...or more trad or less trad.

Ray ;)
 
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