Master archers in the past were remarkably fast and accurate, even though they used bows inferior to those in use today. So how did they do it? After years of studying ancient texts and paintings, Danish archer Lars Andersen discovered what made them such incredible archers, and is reviving those ancient techniques.
Master archers of the past brought ultimate power out of their bows.
Moving around and shooting from a horse requires very different techniques to stationary shooting. Today’s target archers, and even hunters, are stationary. They often hold their arrows in a quiver on their backs, and shoot from the left side of the bow. But this type of shooting does not work when moving quickly and having to fire multiple arrows rapidly, so the archers of old did not do this.
A master archer back then held multiple arrows in his draw hand so he could access them quickly. His quiver was usually worn around his waist or on the horse. He also fired from the right side of the bow, as that can be done in one motion. Saracen archers were required to fire three arrows in 1.5 seconds, and some could fire even faster. Andersen can fire three arrows in 0.6 seconds, and do so accurately. In competitions, Andersen fires twice as fast as any of his competitors.
Those master archers were able to shoot arrows accurately right- or left-handed. They also generated greater power by using both hands to shoot, with the bow hand pushing forward as the arrow was fired.
In the video, Anderson performs many incredible feats that you will find hard to believe, including splitting arrows in half that are shot at him, but anyone can develop similar skills with a lot of practice. Practice truly does make perfect, because this type of archery has to become totally intuitive.