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Monday, 14 July 2014

Archery - Aim for the Best

The moment when the arrow leaves the string, brushes pass the bow and cuts through the air before landing on the target board with a thud. The feeling is seriously amazing (but it won't complete without the thud, if you know what I mean, hehe). I was lucky enough last semester to grab one of the limited places in the archery class on Saturday morning (to fulfil one of the requirement to graduate, we have to take two credit hours of co-curriculum activities, so why not we choose something interesting)! Archery is not as common as bowling, so the chance to lay a finger on a real bow is quite precious to me *evil smile*. The class consisted of only thirty students (out of thousands of students in the university) instructed by Mr. Ashraf, a cool facilitator from Sports Science (having a cool facilitator means less stress, more fun, hahaha, I am truly grateful).

Kikyo. (image taken from wiki Inuyasha)
Due to the influence by anime (my favourite Kikyo from Inuyasha), I fell in love with archery like looooooog time ago, just that I didn't have the chance to do so. We were always reminded by Mr. Ashraf that that weapon can kill, and we did believe in that (as proven in the anime, too, haha). For safety purpose there are a few safety gears we have to put on during the shooting section: chest guard, arm guard and finger tab. You can choose not to wear those things though, just be ready to suffer some pain which can bring bruises and swollen skin, as a result of fast-vibrating string after releasing it. A pair of enclosed shoes is a must so that you won't accidentally spear your feet by arrows embedded under the grass, accidentally. Last but not least don't walk over to the target board when someone else is shooting! That's the most dangerous thing to do (and the silliest one). Of course don't crowd around someone who is shooting, too. There are some other precautions too such as don't use an arrow without the bullet (the head, fast moving air travelling into the hollow arrow will cause explosion) and don't pull the string when there is no arrow on the bow (the vibration of the string might hurt you as there is nothing that ease the vibrating force, and that sound might freak people out as people might think that you are trying to shoot when it is not shooting section).

It looks cool in ready position holding bow and arrow, right?
The quite accurate posture while drawing the arrow (that's Mr. Ashraf standing behind). 
After learning about all the equipments, knowing how to install a bow from pieces (the putting on the string part is so hard that I still fail to do so now, not enough strength maybe?) and practising using a tyre strip (to get used to the stretching while drawing the arrow) for a few classes, we finally got to start shooting. The equipments we used were the basic one like what you see on the photo above. The bow we were using was a wooden recurve bow (if not mistaken? according to some information on internet) and arrows with fallen fletchers (the 'feathers' at the end of the arrow) due to low maintenance. The fletchers are very important to make sure your arrow travel in straight line without much diversion. If you shoot using an arrow without fletcher, your arrow might end up at other's target board. It technically changes direction with a jerk. We started off at a distance of less than ten meters (i think?) which is super lame seriously. But even with distance that near sometimes we failed to simply hit the target board (stupid arrow without fletcher!). I could successfully pull the string for the first few shots but after that it started to get unstable as my energy drained.

Cheng Chu Sian, our national archery player demonstrating a super consistent shooting skill during one of our classes when he coincidently practising on the field. It is surprising how a person can get all the arrows on the same spot on the target board.
The equipment he used. Looks awesome!!!
Ready! An archery tournament in our university. Archers stood side by side quite close with one another.
Target boards lined up at the stadium. I wonder whether the archers will accidentally shoot the arrow on others' board.
Besides weekly practices, we were compulsory to take part in the Co-curriculum Mega Carnival where all other co-curriculum sports classes (tennis, basketball, badminton etc.) worked together to organise this event. We were free to choose what form of activities we wanted to carry out during the carnival, so we decided to so something like an archery class open to limited number of university students (we called it 'clinic'). It was not something difficult to do as we just taught the participants about things we learnt before, but it rained that morning! The wooden bow should not be exposed to water to avoid damage. So we had to halt the activities and just stayed around, looking at the rain mundanely and observing some primary school kids having football match in the rain.

Target boards under the overcast sky on the hill. That's where the clinic was held.
The crew in red (my classmates, hahaha) searching for missed arrows among the grass. The efforts gone into the drain after rain as some of the arrows got underground deeply due to the wet and soft soil. 
Posing around after the activity. Ah I should look cooler than this, hahaha...
Kai Tian, a super cool girl especially when she is riding a motorbike, hehe...

I should have written this post long time ago before the semester ended but it is still good to stir up some memories in this time, right? Hahaha. I am glad to know some awesome friends in the class and also our facilitator. Thank you everyone for the great experience I had for the last semester. Thank you Mr. Ashraf, hope that we might meet in the future. =)

Bonus photo! Mr. Ashraf showing off his skill! =P

1 comment:

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