Archery originated from a Latin word, arcus. It means the art, sport, practice, or skill of using a bow to shoot arrows. In ancient times, archery was used for hunting, combat, and in some cases, war. However, things have changed, and it is mainly used in recreational activities and competitive sports in modern days. A person who participates in archery is known as an archer or a bowman. An expert of archery can, at times, be referred to as a toxophilite.
A brief history of archery
Archery has been in existence for many generations. In fact, it is among the oldest arts still in practice up to date. Many archive materials show evidence of ancient archery throughout the history of humanity. A good example is the evidence of archery to the late Paleolithic period back in 10,000 BC. During this time, the Nubian cultures and the Egyptians used bows and arrows archery to hunt and welfare purposes.
Archery was introduced in Japan by the Chinese in the 6th century, and since then, it has gone through a revolution of techniques. In modern Japan, archery is practiced in the form of the martial art known as Kyudo (way of the bow). It is majorly practiced for moral, spiritual, and physical development after certain ritual movements. As for the Greco-Roman period, archery was primarily practiced in hunting and personal exploits but not warfare.
Archery continued to gain popularity, and in 1583, the first known competition in archery took place. This event was held at Finsbury, England, with 3000 participants. During the years of war, that is, 1618-1648, it became clear that archery cannot be used as a weapon of war. This was after the gunpowder was introduced. Hence, archery has been developed as a competitive or recreational sport.
Health benefits of archery
In the early days, archery was majorly used for hunting. However, things have changed, and it is now regarded as a sporting activity. It is also listed as a competitive Olympic sport. The most impressive feature of this form of entertainment is that participants are required to be strong, endurance, and focused. All these features are crucial to keep your body healthy and fit.
Most people regard archery as a hobby. While it may be so, surprisingly, there are so many benefits you get to enjoy if you practice it. If you have delayed plans to take part in archery lessons or haven’t seen the need to encourage your friends and family members, these benefits are meant to show you what you are already missing.
Without further ado, here are some of the many things you stand to benefit from as an archer.
Improved hand-eye coordination
The training you get when learning archery improves your body balance and hand-eye coordination. The hands must work together while performing different tasks such as aiming and firing the arrow on input from the eyes. To succeed in archery, balance is paramount. While aiming and making the shot, the body is supposed to stay still. In the beginning, this might seem like an uphill task, but with time and practice, your coordination improves. The core also becomes stronger at gaining control of the body’s balance, which significantly assists accurate shooting.
Strengthens the body
If there is a hobby you can engage yourself in and get a chance to enhance your body, it would be archery. When practicing for a proper draw, you must use the arms, hands, core, shoulders, and chest. All these muscle groups have to be maintained for several seconds before releasing the arrow. With practice, the major muscle groups of the upper body become powerful thanks to the act of drawing and firing the bow.
In archery, you must be focused. Before you release the bowstring, you need to have tuned out all the directions and focus on their form. These are things you cannot do if you are not obsessed to details. Therefore, when you play archery, you gain the necessary skills to deal with life situations. It won’t be hard to cope with a challenging situation.
Improved social skills
The beauty of archery is that an individual or a team can enjoy it. During a tournament, an archer gets a chance to mingle with other archers. It is during such times when they learn about different challenges and how to overcome them. Another essential thing you get to learn as an archer is to work as a team. When working as a team, you have to support one another for the group to succeed.
Moreover, archery is a sport open to people from all walks of life. Tournaments in archery don’t have strict barriers. This makes it possible for individuals from different backgrounds to form strong and lasting friendships. Both the young and old can benefit from this sport in a big way. It provides an excellent opportunity for a family day out. Children as young as 6 years to adults in their 80s can use a compound bow to enjoy their archery skills. So, anytime you want to spend some quality time with your loved ones doing something creative, consider archery.
Archery is an activity that can help you improve your confidence and boost your self-esteem in a commendable way. Every day is a learning day, and when you see your skills improving, your confidence grows as well. Competition in archery can either be against oneself or against others. You have the freedom to choose the kind of success you want to achieve. These are some other things that make this sport interesting.
Participating in archery can offer you a great form of exercise. For instance, when you physically draw a bow, the energy is expanded. When you walk to the target end to end to collect arrows, it is an excellent way to burn calories. Archers walk about 8 Kilometers each day. They can also burn between 100 to 150 calories every 30 minutes. You see, archery is just like other exercises that you do to lose excess weight and become physically fit.