Any archers in the house? (Bow holding question)
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28-08-2011, 11:34 PM
Any archers in the house? (Bow holding question)
Putting this in a few forums.

I recently watched James Cameron's Avatar again because I found a Collector's Edition with a bunch of added scenes, but anyway. I noticed that the Na'vi hold their bows in a way that I have not seen anywhere else and cannot find outside of the film.
They hold the bow in their dominant hand and hold the string with their palm facing away from their body.
Never seen it anywhere else.

Anyway I tried the hold myself and it is very effective, at least for me.
I found it to be more accurate, more powerful (I think because there is less time on the release due to the possitioning of the string hand) and less tiring. Though I did have some trouble at first because I didn't possition my back properly (didn't have a Na'vi girl to slap my stomach until I got it right xDD) and ended up giving myself a couple of nice bruises.
This is in comparison to the standard hold with your dominant hand holding the string, palm towards body. (I also tried reversing the 'na'vi' hold with dominant hand on the string but wasn't as accurate for me)

Still I cannot find any reference to this way of using a bow being used anywhere in historyic or modern day archery.

Wondering if there is any archers who can tell me something about it, maybe tell me if and when it was ever used in real life , maybe stories of trying it yourself?

Here is a picture for a little reference.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CZ_OuX-aZqw/TD...00/120.jpg

[Image: sigone_zps207cf92c.png]

Leonard Nimoy
1931-2015
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30-08-2011, 10:33 AM
RE: Any archers in the house? (Bow holding question)
I shoot a compound bow. I wouldn't be able to shoot that way if I wanted to because of the set up of the bow. The first thing that comes to mind as to why someone would want to hold that bow in that way with their hand facing out is that the hand serves as a buffer or blocker between the string and the face so the string won't catch the face. I don't know, maybe the string vibrates as soon as it's let go and could possibly hit the face on historic not as well made bows, but I am no expert and am pretty much just babbling.
It could serve as being more powerful like you said, but again I don't shoot a traditional bow so I don't know.
Maybe James Cameron had him shoot the bow that way because he doesn't know anything about shooting bows and that's what looked right to him.
Hope some of that made sense. Smile

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. – Susan B. Anthony
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30-08-2011, 01:44 PM
RE: Any archers in the house? (Bow holding question)
I'm 100% sure that it was used in Avatar just to look good, but I was surprised by how well it works.

I've never had a problem with catching my face with the string, but I found that it was more than my elbow and wrist were with rather than against eachother that made it so much more effective on the release. It also gave more freedom to lock your shoulders into place.


Those compound bows are the standard for sporting events and such aye? The type with a 99% failure rate if you accidently dry fire? xD I tried one of those my friend had, didn't like it one bit. Felt like a toy, and felt like I was just an add on, not the master of the bow. Alot of things on it really, just made it feel to me the same as firing a bow on a game; the bow fires itself, you just press the button.

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Leonard Nimoy
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30-08-2011, 05:14 PM
RE: Any archers in the house? (Bow holding question)
Yeah I use the compound for hunting. I don't think you're giving compounds enough credit though, there's really a lot that goes into shooting one, especially when you're drawing back on an animal. Much more than just pulling the trigger.

I've shot the traditional kind too. I discovered it at a church camp when I was a kid and had so much fun with it that I made my parents get me one and a target for my next birthday. It was just a cheap one, and I spent a lot of time in the back yard shooting it. I don't know a lot about traditional bows. Are there varying degrees of quality with them? Or is it just a stick and a string for all of them? Sorry for my ignorance Big Grin

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. – Susan B. Anthony
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30-08-2011, 06:44 PM
RE: Any archers in the house? (Bow holding question)
I don't really know all that much myself, but there is certainly a lot of variance depending on the design, materials used, size, length of string compared to unstrung bow, etc.
Most bows I've come accross have had a 28 - 30 inch draw length with a weight of around 50lbs. Bows used in warfare in olden times though would normally be between 90 and 120 lbs weight on a 28 inch draw. Some English Longbows might have been around 200 lbs, but it's more likely that they averaged between 140 - 160 according to most studies.

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