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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I began my quest with my first bow in January. Thanks to all of the great advice given here on the forum I am having a lot of fun almost daily trying to develop good form. I have progressed in the area of form and accuracy over the months but have a ways to go. I would like to hear what everyone has to say about "reaching full draw and how do I determine what full draw is for me?" Thanks to you all in advance for any words of wisdom you can provide.
 

· Mildly delusional
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This can be a sticky subject the way you're asking the question. All I can tell you is what full draw is for me.

As I draw the bow with my back, there comes a point where if my elbow were to continue it s rotation, it would end up behind
My head and shoulders, not the nock of the arrow or my bow. My elbow, forearm, and hand create a relatively straight line. My chest is expanded or slightly stuck out, much like a soldier at attention. My shoulder blades have moved closer together because of the back tension, and my chest expansion. At this point in my draw, a slight movement brings me into my anchor point. It happens to be a small depression in my skull right behind my ear that the knob of my thumb where it meets my hand fits into like it was made for it.

My stance is really perpendicular to the target. It pushes closed to the threshold of my bow arm not clearing the string. This maximizes my draw length to squeeze every last pound out of my limbs I am capable of. I am only 5'7", but my DL is just over 28 1/2".

I hope this will help you find what full draw is for you. Feel free to ask should you have questions. Keep in mind that I really try not to "coach" others on what to do because I'm not sure others should do the things I do the way that I do them. There are others here much better at that and I respect them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Halfcawkt. Proper back tension is still, at this point, a work in progress. Since I don't have a watchful eye to help correct my form errors, I am "feeling" my way through these details. The bow arm is out front and easy to see. Feeling the correct pressure of the bow grip in the hand is apparent. The elbow position of the draw arm is totally a feel thing. I am more convinced than ever that I need someone to photo my elbow alignment in order to know "full draw" and what the right feel is.
 

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P -

There's nothing "sticky" about it (sorry half).
A full draw means you've reached a solid anchor, with bone on bone contact and your shoulder alignment is optimal, meaning using as much bone support as possible.
The only variable is the choice of anchor point(s).

That really is all there is too it.

Viper1 out.
 

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I found smart phone video to be really effective.

Stealing a line from a guy on YouTube... Back tension should have the sensation of placing your hands around an arrow with your fists touching each other. Now bring your fist up to touch your collar bone. The arrow should run parallel with your shoulder line. Now gripping the arrow tightly, try to pull it apart by rotating elbows toward your back and expanding your chest. If doing this properly, your shoulder blades should be trying to come together.

For me, at full draw there is a spot my shoulder settles into. Sort of like a depression the ball of the joint nestles into. It sort of feel like watching a wheel bow hit letoff once I have rotated my elbow into position. This may be my old shoulder injury from football and martial arts training, though. If you can't find that spot, chalk it up to that.

There is a vid on YouTube on arn moe's channel on the rotational draw. Worth a look if you haven't seen it. He is a member here and could answer questions you may have on it. He is an archery instructor.
 

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I knew if I responded, one of you gurus would jump in to correct me. Thanks viper, that's I was after.
 

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There is a lot of good bio-mechanics on the web by Steven Elliot. Rick McKinney's book also has some very good discussion and photos as Does Larry Wises "Core Archery". Here is some advise on what not to do.
When I was teaching myself how to pull through a clicker I would request my wife to please take some pictures. (mirrors work OK but I prefer the picture) To get her attention I would have to yell from the basement. To solve the having to yell problem I suggested that a bell would be appropriate. By tapping an arrow on the metal floor support one can make a pretty good bell. I began with "Honey when you here this sound it means I need you (tap pole and nice bell sound) Her response "Oh, when YOU here this sound (several seconds of complete silence) it means I ain't coming." All kidding aside taking photos of your alignment is invaluable to the archer but maybe not the same value to the uncompensated photo taker.
 

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I will add Archery Anatomy by Ray Axford. The issue is that full draw is miss-understood to mean that you have achieved anchor. You can draw another inch and a half after anchor by further aligning your shoulders. If you don't get to anchor you are DOA. That is just a requirement. The rest will take time to learn. Just saying back tension is not going to solve the problem. I can get back tension just by squeezing my scapula together, but that does not necessarily engage my back in the shot. There is more involved and if you really want to know, then a good coach can really help. Also stretch bands and a mirror. You aren't going to learn it very easily with a heavy bow. I use an 18 pounds bow when I am trying to retrain my muscles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the great input. I read your replies before I went out to loose a few this afternoon and am pleased that I made some improvements. Also watched Arn Moe's vid. on the rotational draw and tried the exercise pulling the arrow Half described. I can actually feel that the back muscles were worked today.

Five Arrow, I learned many years ago not to ring the bell!! I got to be an old man by being a fast learner but thanks for the reminder!! LOL
 

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Compound or Traditional?
2 separate disciplines, two different definitions
To those competent with both the differences are not significant.
 

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I will add Archery Anatomy by Ray Axford. The issue is that full draw is miss-understood to mean that you have achieved anchor. You can draw another inch and a half after anchor by further aligning your shoulders. If you don't get to anchor you are DOA. That is just a requirement. The rest will take time to learn. Just saying back tension is not going to solve the problem. I can get back tension just by squeezing my scapula together, but that does not necessarily engage my back in the shot. There is more involved and if you really want to know, then a good coach can really help. Also stretch bands and a mirror. You aren't going to learn it very easily with a heavy bow. I use an 18 pounds bow when I am trying to retrain my muscles.
A bit of thread drift, But..

Hank, What arrows are you using with an 18 pound bow and your draw? I'm teaching my self drawing just less than 30lbs at 30 inches and growing.
 

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I use what I have. I don't worry about tune. Actually, the 18 scaled 24.5 at my draw. I have shot tournaments the past couple of years with lower weight "bridge" limbs. I was able to shoot FITA field with 26, 30, and 32 pound bows. I set up some VAP 500 for these. I am now back to my normal competition weight.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

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I think of it as...

You are at an anchor, such that you achieve that anchor without using bicep or rotator cuff muscles. I.e., you are pulling only with your back and rhomboids, and you're pretty much in a spot where, to go much further, you'd have to re-engage the rotator cuff to 'overdraw'.

The problem with reaching anchor as a definition, is that you can choose an anchor point significantly short of a 'full' draw, and it usually involves collapsing, and sacrificing alignment. I.e., thumb knuckle on your chin can be an anchor, but it usually means awful alignment.
 

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Not so sure I agree with Viper??? I think it is sticky. Where is full draw on a guy shooting a clicker. I'm thinking that's pretty sticky or...

Is full draw the anchor point which is the end of external movement (according to KSL Shot Cycle II) and the beginning of transfer to hold. Viper???

That might be a little far from the results Pappadaddy was looking for. But if it gives him the idea that shooting a bow is more like shooting a rifle than shooting a shotgun, we're getting somewhere. What I mean is that a lot of trad shooters acquire the target and release - like a shotgun (acquire the target and pull the trigger). They should acquire the target and use back tension to pull their fingers off the string (like squeezing the trigger). You don't know when you're going to release.

Bowmania
 

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Todd -

Full draw is at the clicker break.
The clicker is adjusted to that point and NOT the other way around.
Just remember the clicker break really has to be accomplished within 1 - 2 mms of anchor or trained shooters. More than that, and the shot is toast.

What I mean is that a lot of trad shooters acquire the target and release - like a shotgun (acquire the target and pull the trigger).
And that's why they have shot-gun like accuracy.

They should acquire the target and use back tension to pull their fingers off the string (like squeezing the trigger). You don't know when you're going to release.
That theory went out with competitive archers and riflemen a long time ago. Unless a trigger (clicker) is used, the best shots know exactly when that shot is going to happen - consciously or subconsciously.

Viper1 out.
 
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