Archery is one of the easiest and simplest sports to understand, as it involves a person aiming and shooting at a target using a bow and arrow. I feel that Archery is quickly getting very popular ever since the movies; Brave, and the Hunger Games came out. Both movies feature a heroine whose main choice of weapon is a bow and arrow. As such, more and more people are trying it out, whether it be in courses or on their own. I started doing Archery in my secondary school in Singapore, and have since been practising it for the past three years.
Known as one of the oldest sports in the world, Archery first began as a way to hunt animals down for food but later became the sport we know now today. The bow and arrow were ancient tools that were invented during the latter parts of the late Stone Age around 64,000 years ago in South Africa, replacing throwing spears. The arrow heads were made of stone in South Africa, but later on flint was used for the arrow heads instead. In the Bronze Age, Egyptians started doing Archery and Pharaohs used it for mainly warfare and hunting.
There are three kinds of bows to be used: the recurve bow, compound bow and the long bow. The recurve bow is a bow that has three parts: the upper limb, lower limb and the handle or riser. What sets a recurve bow from the rest is its limbs can be detached from the handle, and the tips of the bow curve forward. The long bow is a traditional bow that has the bow shape in a simple arc from one end to the other in a D-shape. The compound bow is a modern bow that uses a levering system, usually of cables and pulleys, to bend the limbs, which are much stiffer than those of a recurve bow or longbow.
There are many kinds of Archery in the world. In Japan, the Japanese martial art of Archery is called Kyūdō and is emphasised usually as an art form. It is more spiritual and some emphasise on the aesthetics aspect while some emphasise efficiency. The bow they use for Kyūdō is asymmetrical and looks like a long bow. In Korea, the traditional Archery there is called Gungdo. A traditional Korean bow is shorter and is more U-shaped.
In the Olympics, Target Archery is used. It involves competitors shooting a still target at a set distance. The standard Archery targets are made up of ten evenly spaced circles, two of each ring is coloured differently. The outermost rings are white, followed by black, blue, red and the innermost, yellow. The most famous Olympic archer is a Korean man named Im Dong-Hyun, who is formerly ranked number one as the best archer. He is also registered as blind.