The Bow Hand

Discussions about traditional "arms".

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CDFingers
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The Bow Hand

Post by CDFingers »

It's hard to separate follow-through from the bow hand and the bow arm. So shoot me. It may be a fiction to write about such a small cog of the over all machine as the bow hand alone, yet over the several decades I've been seriously working on my form I have developed some specialized awarenesses about my body with respect to archery. One of these awarenesses concerns the bow hand.

We know we do not grip the bow. Nah. Gripping torques the bow one way or the other, or up or down or all of the above. So we lay the bow in the crook of our hand and relax our fingers in a loose curl to later catch the bow, as the tension on the string will hold the bow in place for the shot. Here is where this awareness for me comes up. Archery is pure physics--vectors, in fact. At full draw, I imagine these vectors in my bow hand. I want all the points of contact between bow and my hand to focus themselves strictly on the target. I can change point of impact quite easily by allowing a small imbalance of forces in my bow hand--this is how I call my misses: "rats. High left." I can feel where it went, and it wasn't where I wanted. Mis-focused vector.

The bow arm must factor in. I have a small bend in the elbow which straightens out on the shot--this is where the follow-through comes in to play. In the bow hand the forces must be balanced both left to right and up to down, focusing the vectors on the target. If these forces are balanced AND if the drawing hand and elbow lie in the straight line to the target, then the follow-through will also focus on the target. The crook of the hand functions like a rear sight at release. That is, we imagine the rear sight following the arrow into the target.

If the forces between the bow hand and bow handle are balanced, and if the forces in the bow arm produce the proper follow-through, and if the release hand and elbow conspire properly, well, then, that's a good thing. The arrow will fly as intended.

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SpaceRanger42
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Re: The Bow Hand

Post by SpaceRanger42 »

I have never subscribed to the "no grip" idea for the bow hand. I think it is great for target shooters along with all the gee gaws and doo dads they use to counter the physics of the action of the bow itself, but it isn't my bag. You can grip a bow with out exerting enough pressure to torque your shot and if you are moving and shooting you sort of have to learn to do this or you end up tripping over your stave if you prefer traditional bows over compound.
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Re: The Bow Hand

Post by CDFingers »

Yes, this is target shooting, both traditional and compound. A deer heart is about the size of my fist, so I can miss exact center by an inch or so and still get an ethical kill. This awareness in my bow hand and that loosey grip can be translated into small differences in target impact which aren't significant with respect to, for example, a deer heart.

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