Please welcome to the page, guest blogger Shad Engkilterra.
Once upon a time,,,I was a young author who was trying to get the word out about my books. Somehow I finagled my way into doing a book signing at the local comic book shop. Shad was there, and he graciously purchased one of my books. Since then we have developed a friendship, helping each other out with various projects, and seeing each other whenever we rarely happen to be in the same place. Shad always shoots straight, with or without the bow.
Here is his piece. Enjoy
I typically use a low draw weight bow – a 22-pound Snake to be exact. It’s a no frills bow that can be shot right and left handed. It can also be used for thumb release. Beyond the arrow rests, there are no sights, no pulleys, and no extra equipment. I don’t shoot with a glove or an arm guard. It’s me, the bow and the target. The arrow only exists as an instrument to tell me how well I am shooting, and contrary to popular belief, it does not tell me that by hitting the bull’s eye every time.
I am an instinctual archer. I focus on my form and being in the moment. The minute my mind wanders, I can see it in the path of the arrow. I have to bring back my thoughts to my form. Feet, knees, hips, abs, shoulders, both eyes open, point at the target and let fly. There is no aiming. I just point and shoot. If my body position is correct and my mind is emptied of everything but focus on the target, the arrow hits.
I practice instinctual archery because it is empowering. There are many machines that we put our faith and trust in; these machines also take our power away. Cars are convenient and can travel long distances quickly; they also remove the trust that we have in our own ability to get a place without a vehicle. Phones allow quick access to the Internet and take away our power to know if we remember something correctly. When you can look it up, you don’t need to remember; you also will second guess yourself and look it up even if you know the information is true.
Think of a convenience that you use, and chances are that it takes the power from you and gives it to the machine. With instinctual archery the power is yours to use. You have to learn to trust that your body and mind work together; you have trust that you know how to point. Then, you have to let it all go. No one else is responsible for the flight of the arrow. Nothing else is responsible for where the arrow goes. It’s you and the bow.
I also practice instinctual archery because it centers me. I have to clear my mind in order to achieve the best results in my form. I have to focus on the moment and on the target. I can’t let worry or thoughts intrude on my archery. When I do, the arrow misses the target or hits far off from where I was pointing. Letting things go for even 10 minutes, allows me to feel calmer the rest of the day.
There are a lot of reasons to practice archery in any of its forms. Some like powerful bows. Some like precision. Others just like to look cool. For me, it is getting back in touch with my inner self and realizing that I have the power to hit the bull’s eye without the aid of anything more than a string and a stick.