[Korea] Korean Archery

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Bahng Uh Ki, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Bahng Uh Ki

    Bahng Uh Ki Valued Member

    Was lucky enough to see the Men's Gold Metal team Korean Archery bout today. The South Koreans have quite a reputation, and deservedly so. The South Korean men were defending their title, and evidently the women are just as good.

    While the official bow is recurve, I did notice they were NOT using the traditional thumb draw. How common is the thumb draw? Only for traditional KMA types? What does it do to the body mechanics to draw to the chin and nose, as opposed to the shoulder? Is it the difference with using a thumb draw?
  2. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    I think it's more to do with the mechanics of aiming. Use a sight and the chin and nose works best. Hunting when a sight can be less effective due to unknown distances draws
    to the shoulder/ear? (I was a target shooter).
  3. Bahng Uh Ki

    Bahng Uh Ki Valued Member

    Could you give me more detail on that? I don't get why if there isn't a sight on the bow that you should aim differently.

    Drawing to the shoulder can give you, what, eight more inches, and hence more power? And the angle of the arm makes a difference, doesn't it? I'm supposing that drawing to the nose AND chin would cause the elbow to be at a better angle, natuarally, and a shoulder draw doesn't give you two points of contact, which would mean one would have to pay more attention to the elbow. Any of that make any sense?

    I've never shot one of those fancy all made up recurve bows. Would like to try.
  4. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    You may be right that a target shooter sacrifices power for accuracy. Very easy to get the bow string in the same place every time when using your nose and chin for alignment. I thought it also had something to do with looking along the arrow for targeting. I see if I can dig something out later.
  5. Bahng Uh Ki

    Bahng Uh Ki Valued Member

    Thanks! I appreciate it.
  6. psbn matt

    psbn matt great sage = of heaven

    is it possible that drawing to the shoulder with a trad recurve bow might be related to lofting, at least i think thats what its called when you shoot the arrow up to rain down on the opposing army, rather than target shooting?
    just a thought.
  7. Studude67

    Studude67 The hungry fighter

    Korea had won every possible gold medal in the Womens Archery since the 1984 olympics in Los Angeles, that however ended the otherday when one archer won silver instead, behind China. Ive been able to watch all of the korean coverage here and its been great! One of my students' father is an olympic silver medalist twice in wrestling, he now coaches the national team and is in Beijing at the moment!
  8. Bahng Uh Ki

    Bahng Uh Ki Valued Member

    And an interesting thought.

    What I hear is that the draw changes the angle that the arrow leave the bow at. I'm assuming that the fancy made up modern recurves they use in the Olympics have notches for where to nock the arrow, which traditional ones do not have. So, traditional recurve archers could chane that loft when needed, by moving where the arrow was noched. In the modern fancy recurve, everything is adjusted for automatically, and in traditional recurves, the archer has to adjust.

    Is that what you meant?
  9. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    All archery techniques, regardless of origin, have best results when an arrow is nocked perpendicular to the string. If an arrow rest is not built into the handle of the bow (or an attached piece as with modern bows) then *eyeballing* this angle is the best anyone could expect. If ancient warriors did choose to have an arrow rest (which ensures consistency), simply tying a contrasting colored thread at the *appropriate* spot on the bow string is all that would be required to achieve the same thing as the modern metal nock anchors (although wrapping a small strip of a malleable metal such as brass/bronze onto the bowstring could have been done in ancient times, I'm just not aware of it). FWIW, I prefer to use a thread instead of a metal nock anchor when I shoot.

    The thumb draw is more generically referred to as a Mongolian draw. Consult this image:
    Related article HERE

    IMO, the thumb draw most likely evolved from the *instinctual* pinch draw after bows capable of more weight were developed (note the similarity in hand position). But realize I'm just guessing about this, with no supporting data whatsoever.

    When GM IHS recently emphasized that Korean traditional archery be practiced as part of KSW (about ten years ago), one of the best websites with any information similar to what was being taught was Horseback Archery. Back then, this website mainly covered Hungarian & Tukish methods (which considering the Mongols probably carried the tradition that far west isn't too unlikely). Even though this website has evolved much since then, in my opinion there are now many better web resources.

    Take a look at these two similar yet different links on Wikipedia:
    mounted archer
    horseback archery
    Both of which have external links at the bottom of the page.

    This is one which lets you glimpse the contents of a book, just click the PREVIEW tab:
    Mounted Archers of the Steppe

    Another good resource which has been around a long time is ATARN:
    Asian Traditional Archery Research Network
    This site has loads of links. I've inserted the two most pertinent to this thread discussion below:
    --they're authored by Prof. Thomas Duvernay, one of the leading proponents in KukGoong - 국궁 {Korean Traditional Archery}--

    Korean Traditional Archery
    KTA-part 2

    Hopefully, this will help in your understanding of a great tradition, and how it differs from current trends in the field of archery (which BTW is why the Olympic teams use the Mediterranean Draw -- because that's their standard).
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  10. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    I was looking more closely at the image I put in my last post and realized something that I think is important to bring out. The Mongolian Draw is depicted as having the thumb tucked into the index & middle fingers. This seems to verify a misconception that many people have that the bowstring should sit in the crease of the thumb (formed by its only interphalangeal joint).

    I have been instructed that the bowstring should rest on the pad of the thumb, not the crease. Trust me, the more weight your bow has, the more aware you become that the crease is wrong. Of course, I've found that using the pad works best when not using a thumb ring (most thumb rings protect the entire end section of the thumb, both crease & pad, and require improved strength in the interphalangeal joint I mentioned).

    This doesn't mean that the thumb isn't supported by the other finger(s), but I tend to only slip the tip of the thumb into my index finger, not unlike the *flicking* technique used to launch marbles (if you're familiar with this game). I also find it easier to make a smooth release with this method as my thumb in only slightly tucked in.

    As long as I'm adding to my original post, let me clarify something that seems to be misunderstood (I gave closer scrutiny to the reply BUK gave to Matt).
    This statement infers that the LOFT is somehow affected by the nock position of the arrow. Loft in archery is achieved simply by aiming up into the sky at an angle, allowing the arrow to reach further (i.e. making adjustment for the pull of gravity from *grounding* its flight too soon). The position along the bowstring where the arrow happens to be nocked, has nothing to do with loft in this sense (I stand by my statement that best results are obtained from an arrow that is nocked perpendicular to the bowstring).

    FWIW, a good example of the loft technique in archery can be seen in movies like Troy or 300.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  11. ImaJayhawk

    ImaJayhawk Valued Member

    There is also a web site that has Prof. Duvernay's book shown.
    It has a lot of info about Korean Archery and the Traditions.

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