Friday, 4 November 2011

Mongol's Archery and Archery Tickets

The Old Mongols have their own technique for shooting, known as the "Mongolian release." The Mongols, if right-handed, keep their bow in the left hand, pushes it forward as the right arm pulls the string all the way back to behind the ear. The left arm is now fully extended, and the release is near. However, now comes an interesting part. Since this bow has immense power, the Mongols have to use a special technique to hold the string during the drawing of the bow and before the arrow is released. The technique is as follows: The string is held by the thumb, since this is the strongest finger. Still, it is not easy to hold 166 pounds comfortably. Thus, the thumb is supported with the index finger curling around, placed atop the outermost joint, exactly at the base of the nail. The other fingers are also curled, forming a fist. Even so, this is not enough. Hence, the Mongols use a special ring on which the string is hooked before release. This thumb ring, a cylinder that fits around the outer part of the thumb and protects its pad from damage as the string is released, is typically made from Chinese jade or agate, but leather, metal and bone is also known to have been used.
Mongolian soldiers used to shoot while sitting on horseback, and with deadly accuracy. This was done by skillfully timing the shots to the moment when the hooves of the horse were in mid-air, so as to avoid disturbing the aim when they hit the ground. When we are talking about Mongolian bows, the first thoughts go the military use, although hunting and target practice certainly were more prominent activities. Every day was not filled with war, but hunting and the training of various skills were part of the daily routine. However, we will start with the military aspect.
In the military, each soldier carried two bows on horseback. One bow was for long-range shooting, another for shooting at close distances. Also, each soldier had two quivers with arrows for different purposes. To mention but a few of these, there were armor-piercing arrows with a particularly heavy arrowhead of tempered steel, there were incendiary arrows for setting buildings afire and spreading fear in the enemy ranks, as well as whistling arrows for signaling. Of course, the majority of arrows they carried were ordinary arrows where the arrowhead and length of the shaft were adjusted to the normal range at which the particular type arrow was to be used. The standard, according to James Chambers, was that each soldier should have at least sixty arrows with him or her. Yes; it merits mention once more that the strongest and most courageous Mongolian females rode along with the men and fought bravely. Also, the women who did not ordinarily participate in military activity nevertheless had to learn how to wield the bow, a necessary skill for self-defense as well as hunting.
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