Becoming an Archer in Calontir
If you are a new member and want to try archery or thrown weapons in Calontir, the following page is made completely for you. A survey was sent out through social media to the populace of Calontir, and the populace responded. This page is intended to guide only and in no way should be referred to as gospel on how to participate in arts and sciences in Calontir.
You would like to get started participating in archery in the Kingdom of Calontir, but you don’t know where to start. What would the experienced members tell you to do?
- Go to your local practice–they will have loaner gear you can try out. Then go to as many events with archery as possible, talk to people about their gear, what they like, what they recommend.
- Find out where your local practice is.
- Have them follow me to the Archery Range where I can introduce them to my fellow Archers and the Archery Marshalls.
- I ask them whether they are right or left handed, which is their dominant eye, and hand them one of my loaner bows to begin teaching them how to shoot. I give them a run down on range safety, and the basics of shooting, and let them loose for a few rounds. After that I offer them pointers on how to clean up anything major they are doing that is detrimental to their continued learning.
- Find local archery practice and GO! There are archers all over the Kingdom who love to share their craft. Find nice people.
You have been shooting archery for a little while. You confide in an experienced member that you’d love to hone your skills. What advice would an experienced member give you to get better?
- Practice. If you can manage it, every day, at least 100 arrows. Concentrate on form.
- Find time to be able to watch them shoot and offer advice based on their particular technique and what seems to be going wrong.
- Go to local practices and ask the more experienced archers for help/advice. Take what advise they give and use what works for you.
- Start by having a conversation about what their goals are, and what they’ve done so far. There’s no point re-inventing the wheel. I have them demonstrate their current technique. If it is a skill outside of my own skill set I may pull another, more experienced, person or persons in on the demonstration. If they aren’t doing anything obviously wrong I question them more deeply about what different parts of their body are doing during the activity. If they can’t explain what that part of their body then they should spend a bit more time paying attention to it during practice. If they have some bad habits that are obvious to an outside observer, but not to them, the I recommend practicing their draw at home in front of a mirror. Also…practice…I know it sounds really basic, but I learned the most about myself, and my archery, when I was practicing every day. Most of those practices didn’t even have anyone else there, but it helped so much.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Point them to the people who have demonstrated the ability to take archers to the next skill level — not award level.
Where can you get constructive feedback on your archery skills?
- At any archery event or practice.
- Ask an experienced archer to observe you. Try to get someone with the same equipment that you have (ask a crossbowman if you shoot a crossbow, for example).
- Most of the more experienced archers, Boga Fyrd or Huscarls are happy to help with advise and suggestions.
- Marshals, fellow fighters, video recordings.
- On the line.
We asked experienced members how did you get started in archery within Calontir or the SCA?
- I went to my first event and someone loaned be a bow. I was hooked.
- Went to an event, saw the archery. It looked interesting, so I asked if I could try it. Was loaned bow and arrows, shot very badly, but it was fun, and those around me were very encouraging.
- By going to events and asking around about where and how to participate.
- After reading about the exploits of the 14C English archers, I wanted to give it a try.
We asked several experienced Calontir members: What has been the most rewarding part of participating in archery within Calontir, for you?
- Calontir has an awesome archery community. I love how archery is recognized in the kingdom.
- I love going to the archery intensive events, like Autumn Arrows and King’s Company of Archers. I like talking to the other archers, being part of the community. Going to other kingdoms and shooting with their archers, and being accepted immediately as a fellow archer. I don’t win, but the shooting itself is fun. While Baronness, I loved seeing my archers shoot, and encouraging them, even if our team didn’t win.
- That things keep staying interesting, that our group as a whole keep getting a little better, a little more period, looks to find new ways to have fun and yet stay competitive.
- For me, shooting is it’s own reward. The equipment that we use in the SCA is typically less complex than modern archery equipment. That means that you have to learn about a lot more about different parts of your body, and how to control them on a very finite level, in order to achieve your desired outcome. There is something very zen-like to the entire experience which I enjoy.
- The Camaraderie of the archers and the skill needed on the line.