I had always seen archery being portrayed as a simple sport, yet an extremely beautiful one, in various movies and books. I was so interested in this sport that I finally signed up for a class. I was extremely excited when I first entered the doors of the classroom. Two of my friends went with me and were just as excited as I was. In my mind, I was
already fantasizing how perfect this class would be, but I later figured out that archery wasn't as easy as it looked. Our instructors were very helpful in guiding us along our way. To my frustration, the very first thing they made us do in archery wasn't to immediately start shooting; it was to discover our eye-dominance.
As I later learned, eye-dominance is basically the key to everything as an archer. It determined how one stood, aimed and it also determined which hands they used
to hold the bow and to draw back.
I was surprised when I discovered that I was left-eye dominant, which meant I was stronger in my left eye and would therefore draw the bowstring back with my left hand.
We were taught the proper way to stand, hold a bow, and aim an arrow according to our eye-dominance.
I was already engaged in this new sport and enjoyed learning the basics immensely, though I had yet to shoot my first arrow.
After a while, we finally started shooting, which I was very happy to do. There were many various types of bows in the class, but we were only allowed to use the recurve bows.
The majority of the class used the large recurve bows, which stood up to around my shoulder, and had a drawstring weight of about thirty pounds. I initially thought that due
to its large size and stronger force, I would be able to shoot the arrow further and with more accuracy.
When I attempted to pull back the bowstring, however, I was entirely thrown off by the sheer weight of the bowstring. I hadn’t expected it to be so heavy! Even though my arrow still hit the target, it was extremely off.
After a few more tries, one of my instructors suggested that the larger bow was far too heavy for me and eventually I switched to a smaller bow with the drawstring weight
of about twenty-five pounds. I was rather skeptical about the change and wasn’t too convinced that it would make a difference.
To my surprise, the smaller bow’s drawstring was far easier to manage and when I released the string, it hit the target right above the bull’s-eye.
I gained more confidence at this achievement, though my previous excitement was starting to die down. I started listening more closely to the instructors when they
gave us advice. Their words stuck with me when I tried applying my newfound knowledge to my form.
“Two important things to remember while doing archery are the stance and your form,” one of the instructors told me. Indeed, I found that I had a much better aim when I was straightened up and had good balance.
Though the class was very amusing and lighthearted, we were always aware that archery was not only a sport and a game, but also a weapon. When it came to safety,
our instructors were extremely strict. They marked off the space between the quivers and the targets, which we were not allowed to enter at all unless we were ordered to retrieve our arrows.
Despite all the difficulties I had in my first class, the experience was overall amazing and very fun. I had my fourth class a while ago; I have strengthened considerable and am now able to handle larger bows as well as aim accurately. None of this would have been possible if I had never gone to my first archery class. I hope to learn and improve a lot in archery in the future.