So, I went back to the range on Sunday, and had a lovely time putting sharp pointy things into a crappy target made out of masking tape. My groupings are getting better, thank you for asking. But it got me thinking about the stuff that people don’t know about archery, whether because they watch too many movies, or because they haven’t yet discovered this most interesting and rewarding of martial arts.
I took a trip out to the Burnaby Archery Range again to do some more practice with my faithful yet rather crappy 18lb Wildcat bow. This time, we were shooting at 25 yards instead of 20, and I did notice the difference! The good news is that I seem to be getting better – when I’m not tired, that is. And I get very tired very fast, unfortunately.
Yesterday, I went shooting with my own bow for the first time. My bow is a Rakim Wildcat, an 18lb recurve that I can’t help thinking of as being only for complete archery beginners, but it’s a very nice, serviceable weapon to get trained up.
For my pains, I got a giant, red, already-turning-weird-colors bruise on the inside of my forearm. I slapped my arm with the bowstring twice, and the bracer I was wearing just happened to not cover that part of it. So mistakes were made, more or less.
So, roleplaying games. The typical RPG has statistics for each player character – in the case of D&D, my system of choice, those stats are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. Stats are used to determine a base level for a character, and they usually affect various skills and abilities a character acquires over the course of the game, particularly in how that character handles weaponry in the case of fantasy RPGs. One thing that comes up very often, that just happens to be wrong, is in the use of Strength for melee weapons, and Dexterity for ranged weapons.
Think about Lord of the Rings, for example, as being the progenitor of this idea. Aragorn uses strength to wield a longsword, and Legolas (being an elf) is dexterous and uses a bow. In D&D, Strength is not applied to ranged weapons, and Dexterity is not applied to melee weapons. Elves are very good with bows, humans are good with swords, etc. Surprise surprise, this doesn’t really hold true for actual real life.
Okay, remember how I posted about Lars Anderson? He’s the archer whose video has been blowing up the interwebs for the last few days. I would be remiss if I didn’t now post an update, after hearing from the experts.
As I’ve mentioned before, I train swordplay in Academie Duello. I’ve also had the opportunity to pick up an archery class with Patricia Gonsalves of Lykopis Archery. And it was awesome! I was so stoked about it that I was already pricing up a bow of my own. Then Lars’ video came out, and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor – but. BUT. The first thing on my mind was “What do the experts think?”
Okay, we’ve all seen Legolas do some pretty crazy shit, alright? Well, trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Meet Lars Anderson, a Danish archer who apparently went back through a lot of old manuscripts, started with the notion that everything in them (even the stuff that modern archers said was impossible) was totally true and not just invented to make a guy look good, and then trained for years. This is the result.