Monday, November 21, 2016

Out of the Box 6: Maria Tries Archery

The bow and arrow (also known as archery) is an ancient weapon that goes all the way back to at least 71,000 years that was commonly used for warfare with Egyptian, Persian and Roman armies. It is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history. Archery is the art or sport of shooting arrows from bows. In today's society, bows and arrows are still commonly used for hunting and recreational sport: Archery.

Archery’s popularity started when it was included in the second Olympic Games in the early 1900s (followed by 1904, 1908, and 1920). After 52 years of break, it reappeared again in 1972 until the present date. Bow and arrow played an integral part of civilization—it played a huge role in hunting and gathering society.  Archery has a few similarities with fencing in a way that they’re both considered a combat sports with its own weapon (fencing:sword; achery: bow and arrow). I find the idea of weapons in sports thrilling, so I jumped on that bandwagon without hesitation. Nevertheless, archery is not as foreign to the layman in comparison to fencing. If you grew up in the US, you’ve most likely experienced archery in middle school or in camp (as my friends pointed out). Since I grew up in the Philippines, archery is completely a novel experience for me. So I was excited. I felt like I'm finally experiencing what y'all did in middle school, since I skip that entire experience, ha =P
For my 26th birthday, I decided to celebrate with my cousins by trying something new: Archery. This was an appealing activity for me since none of us have ever done archery before, nor do we know what to expect. Of course, there’s a Groupon for this and as expected, it was quite a drive. We traveled all the way to Coon Rapids to check out Average Joe’s Archery to give it our first try. The package we got was the 2 hour archery session that includes virtual hunting experience plus free two drinks. It was the first snowfall in Minnesota and we arrived late, so we ended up skipping virtual hunting and stuck with a traditional bow and arrow action. We didn't miss out much. After all, why play virtual hunting if you can actually practice your archery skills? Two hours seems long in theory but it went by so fast once you really get into the groove of things.


You first walk-in and check for your reservations. The vibe and the crowd were definitely different than what I'm used to (not necessarily a bad thing). Most people who do bow and arrow are veterans and actually use it for hunting, which is pretty cool.  Since we are beginners, we went to a basic room with our target plastered in the wall. No mazes, no traps, just simply a decent spaced room where we can all practice to shoot together.

If you want to try Archery, you'll need to get a reservation since space is limited and not much room for walk-ins.  Spaces are often reserved for archery/range time. My cousins and I were escorted to an empty room (called the Party Room, woo!) where we get to shoot bow and arrow privately. Before we started, the instructor tested which eye is dominant and the results determined if we get a right or left handed bow. As expected, I was right hand dominant. Some bows are harder to pull. As a newbie, this was not a good way to start practicing. You can ask your instructor to adjust the tightness of your bow. Veterans of archery likes it tight because it helps with speed and accuracy.


In this room, we all get to play together for 2 straight hours. There were some basic rules we needed to follow: No more than 5 arrows, must say “clear” when picking up the arrows, must hold the arrows horizontally with both hands as you walk back (for safety precautions), and  simply have fun!
The instructor taught us the basics of archery: How to hold the bow, how to put the arrow in the bow (unique color facing the outside), and how to pull the bow properly (aka close to your jaw before releasing). After a few demos, he let us play amongst ourselves.

I started off fairly strong for a beginner (had a few that’s close to the bullseye) and eventually got worse (unfortunately, lol). Nevertheless, it was a fun experience. My cousin, Kathlea, kicked ass in archery with 3 bullseye shots. 

I'd definitely love to try archery again. Perhaps I can graduate and try the actual mazes they have and get a better feel for the experience. I can see myself doing archery recreationally. Although I'm not sure if it's something I can apply for actual hunting itself. Sounds fun in theory but not sure hunting is my thing, and that's all right.

YAY! RECOMMEND! Archery is a really fun activity! It almost reminded me of a milder version of shooting guns with an added bonus of no recoil when you release the arrow (safer and cheaper alternative). I recommend archery for a fun experience and frankly, a good date activity! It can be a fun romantic experience with your significant other or even just a fun activity with family and friends.  If you’re looking for a fun and novel activity with a date, archery would be an awesome activity to do!

1 comment:

  1. Archery is definitely super fun! I'm glad you liked it. I like it even more than shooting guns or crossbows myself. It makes you feel like you're a character in LotR or something, ha.