Archery Class Times
One Week Free Pass
Pa-Kua Chinese Archery
Archery, like martial arts, has a wide variety of schools of thought and styles of practice. Most people are only familiar with a more Western/European style: the bow is very large like the English longbow, or set with pulleys designed to multiply power, like a compound bow. Both are traditionally shot from a stationary position, drawn with the index and middle fingers, and sighted by looking down the arrow shaft. Such styles can loose bolts at high velocity over long ranges, but their limited mobility and cumbersome weapon sizes are notable drawbacks.
The Mongols crafted a weapon and style with these limitations in mind: they made their bows much shorter, and in a recurve fashion to offset the loss of power. The smaller bows also allowed archers to fire while moving, and they were particularly deadly on horseback. The bowstring was drawn with the thumb, and fired from chest level, creating a more “intuitive” style of shooting. The ancient Chinese were so taken by this practice that it eventually was adopted by their militaries. Sadly, around the turn of the 20th century, the practice was nearly lost as China modernized. After many years of research and practice, and with the help of one of a few people left with the knowledge of this art, the Pa Kua school was proud to offer this traditional style of archery as one of its classes.
Archery is as much about the archer as it is about the target. A proper shot requires patience, timing, and total control over the body and mind. An archer must be fully present and focused. The Archery discipline in Pa Kua teaches students how to cultivate these skills, encouraging students to be present in the moment and in control of their emotions and breathing. In one class, students could be honing every fine movement involved in a perfect shot. In another, they will practice firing off arrows in rapid succession, while moving in and out of cover, and even at each other (safely with padded arrows, of course). If developing a sharp eye and mind is your goal, the Archery discipline is right for you!