Condensed: Armless Archer versus Rajesh Kumar at para worlds

Skill. Sometimes it’s used to compare two different styles.

Sometimes it’s made use of fairly. Sometimes it’s utilized in a bad way. It’s utilized by non-archers. “Oh, you do archery? Exactly how excellent are you at archery?

” “I’m … this good.” It’s used by archers … against other archers. “This sort of archery takes much less skill than this sort of archery.” Skill. A word that most of us recognize, yet few of us can describe.

And because of that, whenever we bring up the mention of “skill”, we always get into arguments because we come in with different understandings of what makes a person skilful. I’m here to lay down a definition and get you think about what skill means to you before you start applying it to other people.

What we usually miss out on in our evaluation of skill, however, is that skill has to be determined. Skill isn’t– or doesn’t have to be– an abstract idea that you slightly put on someone. Ability should have some sort of metric. This metric might be objective. It might be subjective.

But it has to be quantifiable. A skilled cook is able to make recipes that taste excellent. An experienced musician has the ability to reveal creative thinking and complexity in their work. A proficient artist is able to play pieces with circulation and also confidence. A competent instructor has the ability to deliver brand-new material in a meaningful and clear method.

So what is an experienced archer? An experienced archer can strike their target.

That’s it. This is something that can be determined– the frequency of their bullseyes, the dimension of their groupings, the factors on the scorecard. You might wonder about type.

Type is a large part of archery. You can observe and analyse an individual’s shot procedure or discuss the cleanness of their release. Archery is not a performance art. You can have the most effective type, however if you can not strike your target, that suggests absolutely nothing. Skill at archery is simply your capacity to hit the target.

That is all. If your definition of ability is various to what I stated, after that you are bringing something much more into the picture– an individual point of view, a biased point of view, an innate worth, a prejudice. And I’m going to shoot down some of these perceptions of skill. You might say that an experienced archer needs to be able to shoot a hefty draw weight. No, that simply implies that you are a more powerful archer.

You could claim that a skilled archer has to be able to loosened 3 arrows in 1.5 secs. No, that indicates you are a quick shooter. You could say that a skilled archer is able to use a selection of different bow types, on foot and also on horseback, ambidextrously. If you can do that, after that you are a flexible archer.

Their ability to hit the target, irrespective of what kind bow they are using, or what technique they use, is what defines their skill. A person practicing a particular form of archery might have additional parameters, and we may have to measure skill within these parameters, but that means that we can’t then take these measurements and apply them equally to a different set of parameters.

So now we come to the centerpiece: the tradshooter facility, the perfectionists that believe that shooting intuitively with a conventional barebow is the most skilful form of archery.

I acknowledge and, to an extent, agree with the general perception that because this particular style of shooting is more difficult that it takes more skill. The part that often gets overlooked is whether you are able to reach a level of proficiency in this chosen discipline. Allow’s state that I am shooting an indoor round, and I accomplish a certain rating with a substance bow. You do the exact same round with a conventional bow, as well as you obtain a comparable rating. Taking into consideration that it is normally easier to shoot properly with a compound bow, I would believe that you are certainly an extra expert archer.

Who is the more skilful archer? Can a traditional shooter really claim that they have more skill if they are attempting a task that has higher difficulty, but achieves a lower result?

Do I have less skill than you simply because I’m shooting a compound and you’re shooting a longbow, irrespective of what our scores were? And so we go back to our definition of skill: it is the person’s ability to hit the target.

Every archer will agree that it is the person, not the bow, that does the job.

We’re not putting our bows in shooting equipments as well as counting the bullseyes. It depends on us to implement the shot flawlessly, and also the errors are our own. Yet that is not constantly the situation. Sometimes, it is our equipment that is letting us down. Some bow types will certainly shed a lot more power in resonance.

Some products are naturally mosting likely to be a lot more irregular in varying conditions.

There is a reason why you never see barebow shooters at Olympic level. The bow type is legal in Olympic competition, but no barebow shooter– not even modern barebow – has ever shot the minimum qualifying score for an Olympic team.

Do we blame the archer, or do we fault the equipment? If you are truly going to measure skill, then you have to logically take equipment of the equation.

Let there be no differences in equipment. Let’s make everyone shoot at 15m with Genesis bows. Standardised distance, standardised bows. No one is disadvantaged or advantaged. May the best archer win.

Since forever, traditional bows have been touted as requiring the most skill to use. One can argue that compound bows demand the most skill.

They’ve got sights and stabilisers and cams. If the compound bow is engineered to do all the work– that means that every mistake must be the fault of the archer.

It is up to the archer to execute the perfect shot every single time.

Is that not the perfect definition of “skill”? And truly, if compound bows remove all skill from archery– why do we still see a score gap even at the highest levels?

If you got out of compound because it felt boring and you really enjoy instinctive barebow, have you considered that it isn’t really “skill”, but “thrill”? Does the thought that the arrow might hit the target– and it might not– excite you?

It isn’t just the simplicity or the naturalness of barebow. You’re really a thrill-seeker who thrives on having some control, but not complete control, over what happens with your shot.

But you’ve forfeited your ability to do so because now you’ve realised the true meaning of the archer’s paradox– that you want to achieve the perfect shot. You love the feeling of getting as close as you can. That is our “Skill Spectrum”– from crossbows and compound bows to Olympic recurve to traditional.

And even in traditional, we see the “skill difference” between barebow shooters who stringwalk and instinctive shooters who ban all aiming methods in competition. The reality is that this spectrum isn’t about what how much skill is required, but the relationship between the bow and its user.

Because you execute a flawless shot process doesn’t mean the arrow is guaranteed to find its mark, for recurves– Olympic or traditional– just. How good you are at controlling what you can is the mark of a skilled archer.


Condensed match from the 2019 World Archery Para Championships in โ€™s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. More archery at and

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Condensed match from the 2019 World Archery Para Championships in โ€™s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. More archery at and

Subscribe for more archery videos on ๐Ÿ‘‰ and click on the bell ๐Ÿ”” to get notified when new videos land.