Friday, June 22, 2012

Alex And The Bow and Arrow


Song:   Sylvan Song

Group:   Heart





I had bought this child's archery set for Alex to learn about one of the various
means of body and mind control...this time through the art of Archery.

This particular set is a beginner's.

It comes with a target and backstop...
2 carbon fiber arrows...
and a compound bow.

As this is an offset pivot pulley compound bow
 (which is essentially a cammed pulley system)...
once the bow has been pulled to full draw...
it becomes easier to hold the position.


It is very reasonably priced - I think it was about $30.00.

Today...
after Alex had finished his studies...
off we went to our neighborhood hillside path.



We had, once again, gone part way up the nearby ridge to set up our shooting range.

The target is approximately 7 yrds. away.



As Alex had never held a bow before...
I had to show him the basics of arrow nocking, bow holding, string pullback and release.

Alex had done fairly well for his first time.



The arrow in the dirt to the left was Alex's first shot.

The second shot had hit the target
(the hole in the target to the right of the arrow was a close range test shot...
just to have him practice the mechanics of the release...no aiming).



Alex knocking the arrow...ensuring the different colored fletching is facing outwards...
so as not to strip it from the arrow upon release.


Alex drawing his arrow.


Although good form, which allows a consistent sight picture and release...
is generally necessary for accurate shooting...
Alex had a hard time drawing and holding from the jaw release position.  
I had him just low hold and release for now...
as he was concentrating on the mechanics of arrow release.  
In the future, I will have him jaw release.


We had only walked a short way up the path as it had a perfect shooting backstop.


The value of Archery is the teaching of mind discipline through the body.

Using Archery to learn to consciously relax unnecessary tension in the body
during a task that reflects the state of body...and so the mind...
through the trueness of the draw and release as reflected in the accuracy of the arrow...
is just one of the original forms of biofeedback.

Although it is a form of shooting...
it is more difficult to master than with firearms
 due to the degree of mind and body mastery necessary
to effect relaxation over the gross motor control while it is stressed
(drawing and holding under the tension of the bow combined with a relaxed release).


-------------

Firearms are more fine motor control as you are generally in a stable position
with no real physical tension...just the fine movement of trigger control and breathing.

However...
do not get me wrong...
firearms are still very difficult to master.  

I will be teaching Alex the basics of firearm control through the use of a BB gun soon.


------------


The real mastery aspect of Archery comes with the control of the large muscles
of the body to a degree normally reserved for the smaller ones.

Through conscious relaxation of the body...
breathing is relaxed, natural, and deep.

When the breathing is relaxed, natural, and deep...
you become aware of it...and so may coordinate your body's actions to it.

When you coordinate your body to your breathing...
you are moving the largest muscles first...
which makes the chaining of movement efficient.


Just as in mind...
it is with body...
think large (overall picture / concepts)...
move large (relaxed large motions coordinated with the breath)...
the small will take care of itself.

In any skill...
it is being able to relax under stress that is the most difficult to master...
because it is the body's natural tendency to tense up under stress.

So, once you learn the basic skills of movement in whatever endeavor you choose...
it is not what you do that matters...
but what you do not.

Body mastery is to constantly subtract all unnecessary motion and tension...
until efficiency is realized...
then to be able to do it consistently under stress.

In a word...
as always...
Simplicity.

Through simplicity of mind...
simplicity of body occurs.

Always strive to simplify the complex...
whether it is of the mind or of the body.

Archery is just one way to achieve this.

I will be exposing Alex to a wide range of activities to teach him mind and body unification.

Alex is good at seeing patterns.

When he realizes that simplification (which allows relaxation)...
is the key to all motions...
he will be able to quickly master new physical endeavors...
as well as see a key to happiness in life...
stress negation through relaxation...
and an uncomplicated life through simplification.

2 comments:

  1. My dad enjoyed archery and built a small archery range in our backyard when I was a child. So, I became proficient at it (though it has now been many years since I've done it). Back then, while my dad had a compound bow, they did not have them for kids so I used a recurve. It will be good training for Alex.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I too had done a bit of archery as a child. I find it relaxing. However, I had almost gotten into hot water on numerous occasions when I would make modifications to the arrows and launch them to see what they would do. I would add small wings to the front of the arrows or I would modify the tips (I stuck on dart tips) so they would be able to penetrate harder objects (from normal field tips).

    I want Alex to enjoy using his body in different ways in conjunction with the outdoors. The association of natural beauty with his activities should reinforce the enjoyment...and so the retention of that which is learned.

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to comment on this article.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...