A lot of compound shooters use a bent elbow when they shoot, probably because the draw adjustment on their bow is too short.
With a traditional bow you should extend the bow arm, actually push the bow hand at the target while drawing. Push-pull it's often called. It might take awhile to master it just like walking and chewing gum at the same time, but it's worth the effort.
forget the olympic shooting style unless you are strictly going to be shooting targets, get a copy of G. Fred Asbell's book "Insticntive shooting" this my friend will put you on the road to successfull recurve shooting. it is a must have book for all traditional shooters
Actually, you never know what you might learn from other archers.
I've learned a good deal from olympic archers as well various Asians and other indigenous groups. I've even learned something from the Brits, which is sort of unusual when you consider they often pontificate on subjects they know virtually nothing about.
So please don't dismiss anything out of hand. Give it a try, then decide for yourself. The world's full of experts dispensing expert advice. Much of it is free and worth every penny.
I do not cant the bow, tried it and its o.k. but, I shoot with the bow in a vertical position, split fingers. I push with the bow arm and pull with the string arm. Bow arm fully extended and elbow locked. Using a tab I place my top finger at the corner of my mouth and, my folded thumb at my jaw bone as reference to have a consistant anchor. I also shoot a bow with a flipper rest and a single sight pin. Then with bows off the shelf and bare bow I shoot the same only when shooting I use a split vision method of seeing the tip of the arrow and the intended spot in which I want the arrow to hit all at the same time. I shoot different in a different manor than some but, it works well for me. Also when I was young I still remember the days of the recurves with a raised rest and single pin before the wheels came along. I like both bare bows and a recurve with a rest and pin. With both though I find I don't change form as far as that goes. I also keep my string arm elbow on the same level or plane as the arrow. Form takes time to get consistant but, once you find somthing that you can consistantly repeat and either group arrows well or hit your intended spot stick with it. I find that there is differences in each others form. The most important thing is to not develope a form that is poor and, results in inconsistant, frustrating shooting sessions. Take it slow and, when things go bad--stop and think things through. Make little corrections and even practice by not even shooting arrows but, concentrating on the form and mentally exam what you are doing right on to the follow through part of the shot. I do this often by just drawing the bow and, thinking about it as I do. Then I will put an arrow on the string after a few practice draws and see how I do and, exam myself again. Even after many years of shooting I find there are days when I am tired or stressed out that things don't go well. This is when I have to work a little harder at it. Anyway to each his own I guess. In my neck of the woods most guys shoot the compounds and I have my own ideas and joys when it comes to the stick and, string. Enjoy the sport and, shoot straight--good luck
Here's something that I wrote on a thread on another message board. Its just my opinion....
After a few days of going out to the range and concentrating on different forms this is what I've noticed.
Instinctive shooting is just sub-conscious gapping. Canting has the same effect of shooting with 2/3 under, it just brings the arrow closer to the eye to lessen the gap between the arrow and target. I believe split-finger shooters like Asbell and other instinctive shooters canted to lessen the gap so their sub-conscious could memorize the gap more easily. Especially at the closer distances when the gap is larger.
Form-wise, holding vertical (or near vertical) is better I believe. Since your body is aligned vertical, your back can stretch out to pull the bow back. When canting and leaning over the bow, its harder to stretch your back muscles all the way. It is also much easier to do consistently. No matter what anyone else says, having a consistent form is necessary for accuracy, especially at the longer distances.
The main reason most 2/3 fingers under gappers do not cant is that they do not really need to, their gap is small enough.
With all this being said, I believe if you shoot split then canting is the best way to go. You just have to work harder and make sure you cant the same for every shot. There are probably people who can shoot split and not cant, but for the most part unless someone is practicing a lot or has a natural ability they need to cant so their sub-conscious can do its thing easier. If you're shooting with 2/3 fingers under then its probably better to hold the bow as vertical as is comfortable, unless you want your point-on to be closer.
I wouldn't dismiss Olympic archers so easily. There's a reason why they are so consistently accurate and a lot of it is form.
If you do a search on the Leatherwall (www.stickbow.com) there's a ton of stuff about gap shooting. Basically its using your arrow tip to help you aim. When you draw back and hold at anchor you should see the tip of the arrow in your sight picture. At different distances the position of the arrow changes. Gap shooters know what the gap at different distances are and they aim accordingly. For me, at 20 yards the tip of the arrow is roughly 2 inches under the target. So my gap at 20 yards is 2 inches. At 30 inches my gap is about 1 inch and at 40 yards the tip of my arrow covers the target. Over 40 yards I start placing the arrow tip above the target. Once you do it enough it becomes second nature.
Split fingers is the style of release where you have 1 finger above the nock and 2 under the nock. 2/3 under is where you have all your fingers under the nock. If you anchor at the same spot with both styles, the arrow will be closer to your eye with 2/3 under so your gap is smaller for the closer distances. With split fingers my gap at 20 yards is like 4 inches, which for me is too large. With that large a gap I can't concentrate on the target as much and my shooting gets inconsistent. With 3 fingers under I can see the arrow tip easily in my periphearal vision while staring at the target.
Assertions about what people might do subconsciously strikes me as at best highly speculative.
That said, in my own experience just canting the bow as opposed to bending at the waist whereby the entire upper body is canted doesn't yield consistent results. This may or may not confirm the gap shooting issue.
However, it is also true that actively pushing the bow toward the target can yield hits even if the bow is horizontal and pointed to the offside. However, in that case consciously gapping the arrow can yield unpredictable results so I suspect again that concentration on the target is necessary to get proper hits.
One of the things the gap shooting theorists also seem to ignore is that there are numerous techniques for anchoring or shooting a bow that don't involve the traditional English or American high anchors on the face. How would a Turk, for example, gap an arrow that is effectively being launched from over his head?
Thus, I think, the gap theories are propounded based on very limited experience of the total range of techniques available. They also ignore the ability to hit targets in almost total darkness. In short, they ignore the motor process almost entirely, attributing everything to some sort of visual reference exclusively. This might go a long ways in explaining why people have difficulty acquiring instinctive shooting skills. They rely on only one human sense, vision. How does one gap a basketball?
Another factor which is rarely mentioned is instinctive shooting with a pistol. This comes from a different shooting discipline but is no less relevant. I have successfully and consistently hit bowling pins at 25 yards with a pistol fired from the hip. There is no way that the pistol's muzzle could be seen even peripherally when held that low so that in itself might bely the gap shooting scenario. Moreover, attempts at visually aligning the pistol typically produce high misses, consistently.
This is not to say one can't employ gap shooting profitably. But it does suggest that taking gap shooting to be the true process by which instinctive shooting is successfully achieved might be just a little bit presumptive.
Would you say, then, that eye dominance is overrated, i.e., it is not important to shoot lefthanded if one's left eye is the dominant eye, and that it is of much greater importance to shoot with both eyes open?
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