Archery (special guest: John Jackson)
This is John Jackson, founder of Archery Tag.
Oh yeah, and so I wanna explain the origin story here, just how we met, so I was flipping
I'm still curious myself.
I think it was, was it Delta, American Airlines in the actual, the in flight magazine.
Oh ah, Delta Airlines, yeah, Sky Magazine.
So I'm with my girlfriend, flipping through the magazine like I always do in the airplane because I'm not allowed to touch my electronics cause they'll kick me in the throat. So I'm flipping through and I see this thing called Archery Tag. I was just like oh my god. It's like paintball, but with bows and arrows. Okay, and that blew my mind and my girlfriend is just like oh, oh boy. Here we go. So she knew I was going to be shooting with a bow and arrow pretty much what it came down to. So we will get to that, but I'm extremely fascinated by archery. I actually own a bow, I still have not. I put the string on, but I haven't even drawn and shot it because I don't have, I don't know the techn...
That's why I'm here today.
That's why you're here today. So I was
That's why I'm here today. Very eager to maybe go through some of the technique. A little bit of the origin, that's great. And I think we have about 20 minutes?
That's all I need.
And then I'd love to maybe have you shoot something off my head. (laughs)
Does anybody have an apple around here? I know we've got a cooking set.
We could do an apple. Anybody have an apple? Oh there it is.
Oh, by golly, I happen to find an apple here.
Okay, should we do that first? What do you think.
Yeah, why not?
Okay. So we've not met before. This is not something we've rehearsed.
No I've never met the guy, alright.
Dawn from the chatroom says don't do it Tim, we still need a few more books. (laughing)
Now what I'm gonna do is we're going to have Tim face the wall over here.
Now this is important.
So I don't mess up his pretty face, alright. I'm going to have you get closer to the wall there. A little closer. Little closer, alright. Now don't move. Can you stand still?
I can stand still.
Are you sure?
I'm incentivized to not move.
Are you scared?
A little bit yeah.
Good. (laughing) I have a foam tipped arrow here. It's nonlethal. There is no point hidden behind it. The thing that's really key, oh he's standing really still. The thing that's really key to hitting your target is to focus on your target. Much like Rick was talking about in fact, he took a lot of stuff that I was gonna say. Saved me a lot of time. The whole thing with the dominant eye and everything. So we all know your dominant eye now. So what I'll do, is I'll go ahead and shoot the apple off Tim's head. Then I'll kind of illustrate, and I'm gonna ask for a couple of volunteers that can come up here and we're basically going to teach you how to do the same thing in 20 minutes. So we're gonna see if we can knock that apple off his head. (thud) (laughing) I'm totally, totally sorry. (deep breathing) Okay, so, I was not focused on the proper target okay.
I'm like shaking. I need someone to put this on my head.
Alright, lets try. You alright there buddy?
I'm good, I'm good, I'm good.
Alright, okay, there. Okay, we'll try this again and see if we can get a little closer. It might take me a few shots, but you know. The key is to focus on that apple. In my case, I'm looking at that little white dot, the sticker. You draw back and you identify your apple, okay. (applause)
I almost swore, well done. First shot, that's pretty good.
Now I love shooting guys apples with guys with bald heads or not much hair where as Cory here, he's got a lot of hair. We might mess up his hair style.
Yeah there's not much damage that can be done that hasn't been done already.
Alright so can I get a couple of volunteers, we're going to get our targets set up over here. Oh um, Moira is it in the back. Would you like to try? Oh first thing, have you ever shot a bow before?
Okay, that's key number one. Is it Christine?
Never shot a bow? Come on up.
Do I get to try to shoot the apple off Tim's head? Well, um, everybody. Boy they're all eager Tim.
We'll see on your progress, master student.
Sandbags, right on the back.
I'm so amped up. Who needs coffee. I just like, have you pop out of the shadows pink panther style and shoot at my head in the morning.
So what we're going to do is we're going to teach the most important thing about archery. Just like basketball, shooting a basketball is form. Understanding how to get that arrow to the target, okay. Now what I'd like to do here, we're going to start out simple. We're going to take the center out of the target. And then we're going to work our way down. So I like to start with a larger target and then shrink that down to shrink your focus, okay. I'd like to give each of you a bow. I'm going to give each of you some arrows. You like orange.
Alright, now what I'm going to do is illustrate the proper technique you're both right handed I see.
I'm left handed.
You're left handed, okay. So you would hold the bow in your right hand.
Left eye dominant?
Yes. Okay now, the proper technique. I'm right handed so I'm going to illustrate this right handed. For a left handed person, you would do the opposite. Let me work with you Christine, okay. When you stand toward the target, I guess the best way to do this, trying to figure out. When looking at the target, you don't want to a lot of mistakes that I see new archers make is they try to sight down that arrow, okay. And that's a poor technique. The other thing they do, is they keep there wrist down, okay. They do that, just kinda like Rick was talking about throwing a basketball. You want to keep your shoulders kind of in line and level with the target. If you're shooting uphill, you'd lean back. If you're shooting downhill, you'd lean down, okay. There's also a proper way to hold the bow. I'm holding it with what they call a medium grip. That's a forward, and that's a low grip. You want to just, you know, something comfortable in your hand so it's easy to hold out there. I'll work with you on the arrow. The other thing that I kind of teach is when you draw your bow back, especially with traditional archery. A lot of people that shoot compounds shoot vertical because they use sights and releases and everything else. When I draw back a recurve, I angle that bow. You see how I kind of got that bow angled? Now I'll kind of illustrate this for you here. Do you see how when I'm sighting down that arrow, that arrow is right under my eye. Do you see that? That's important like Rick was talking about with getting that basketball up there, your sight went up. So by tipping that bow riser to the side, you can and bringing that arrow up under your eye, you can clearly see that target. And then you can get where you want to go. And that'll help you with your left and right. The up and down is where we really need to work on. Okay so, let's help both of you get that arrow nocked. Now, the other thing that I teach, again, there's different ways of doing this, some people will shoot three fingers under. Some people will do a split finger. I like to do a split finger, it's just a preference okay. The other thing that's really key with archery is anchor point. That helps you be consistent. Now with you over here, we're going to nock you on the other side of the string. So then you would draw it back. Angle that bow like that. Now you want to keep that elbow up in line with that arrow. You want to bring this back to your mouth. Same thing with you.
John do you mind if I use your bow?
Am I closing my right eye or my left eye?
No you close your right eye cause you're left eye dominant. You would do the same. Take your finger off the arrow and draw that back. Elbow up. Bring that right up to your mouth. Go ahead and just pull through. Just keep pulling your fingers back and release. Let go of your fingers. Let go of your fingers. Okay, that's a good shot. You hit the target.
John, how far do you tend to angle the bow to one side.
Just so you've got a clear sight window.
And your anchoring the actual nock here to the corner of the mouth?
Yeah I do with my finger right up here.
Okay, like a fish. Alright lets try this again.
Alright, I'll work with you one at a time. Now what I want you to do is once you get that arrow up under your eye, that's going to help your left and right. And then when you're looking down that arrow, I want you to focus all of your energy on that circle. Don't look at your, don't worry about the tip of your arrow. That should be in your peripheral vision. And you're going to see that sitting under the target. Kind of like when you shoot a gun, and you're looking at the sights, the target sits on top of the sights. So that hole will actually sit on top of this point.
So it should be the whole circle on top of it.
So the target is above the arrow point here.
Okay now draw that back. Bring it up to your mouth. Up to your mouth. Okay and just release the pressure on your fingers. Alright, we're gonna work through this.
I have a quick question for you on position. In terms of head position and what not. Are you standing upright and coming here or do you lean slightly?
Lean slightly. Let me illustrate again, okay. Hold the bow back just like this. And you see how, you see how my eye is in line with that arrow. Okay and I just, I kind of straighten out my back. And you release the pressure on your fingers.
How much do your fingers move? Do they stay right here when you release or do they actually come back?
You kind of bring back.
They come back, okay.
The other thing, okay, you got close. Here's your bow. We're gonna get you guys getting through the target. The other thing I want to show you is on your fingers when you're grabbing the string, just use the tips of your fingers. It's Moira right?
Come over here a little bit. Line up with your target. Here you go Christine. Look to your fingers. Elbow up, elbow up, elbow up. Relax with your fingers. Okay, you're getting small on your target. Elbow up.
I'm always, I'm always off.
Elbow up, in line. Keep your elbow up.
Just add a little stakes. Don't shoot the instructor in the eye.
Just relax your fingers and straighten your back.
When you say straighten your back, when I'm back here, are my shoulder blades coming together?
When you're pulling back like that its just kind of, like that, okay. And then you relax your fingers. And you keep your head like Rick was talking about with shooting the basket. Don't move your head to see where the arrow is going. And also, hold your bow there, still. Until that arrow hits the target. Cause a lot of people will do this to see where that arrow goes and that'll affect the flight.
Do you have a preferred foot position or is that,
Yeah I'm kind of skipping around, sorry.
Oh no, your fine.
Typically, men are built differently than women. I know that's something new that
I figured that out in the last two days. I've been noticing.
Alright and women, their elbow pivots in more. So if they stand in lined up with the target like this they're going to hit their arm. So you try to, Can I borrow your bow again? There's your arrow there. When you hold your bow out there, kind of, don't totally extend your arm out. Cause you're more likely to hit your forearm. See how its kind of bent? And so I hold my bow up, lined up with the target. Think of it like pointing your finger at the target. When you point your finger at the target that's the same thing with holding your bow. See if you hold your finger out there, you're gonna line that up with that target. So every time, you should be able to get that through the hole.
So I'm noticing that my groupings are consistent, but I'm shooting high. What I've noticed with, lets say, marksmanship and also potential archery is that I know I'm left eye dominant, but I can't figure out how to sight it with my left eye from holding it on the right side of my body. With marksmanship, I've ended up just using my weak eye.
You'd have to um, yeah you could actually use your left eye. And just turn your head a little differently and just look out your left eye.
I keep shooting to the right. But when I'm looking at it, like,
That's because you have to get that arrow right under your eye. The closer you get under your eye, then that will line up with that arrow. Right under your eye. Now what you did is you moved at the last second. The other thing that is really key if you watch me shoot, I don't hold it there very long. I usually pull back, identify your target, again, think of it like pointing your finger at that target. You bring that up, you draw back, fine tune, and let pull through the shoot.
When I'm pointing my finger though,
We have eight minutes to make it now?
When I've got my eye closed and I'm pointing, my finger should be right down below the blue circle, correct?
So I do the same thing with this?
Right. (applause) I'm now left handed but I'm going to try left handed.
It'll get better, it'll get better. I was close.
I'm not good left handed.
What's so counterintuitive to me is that it seems like I'm aiming so low to have it down here.
And I tell a lot of people, don't focus on the arrow. Focus on the target. When I shoot apples, I'm not looking at his head, I'm not looking at his butt. I'm looking at that apple.
I hope your not looking at my butt.
And again, aim small, miss small. So once we get these ladies to shoot through that blue target, which they will. We will get them to shoot through the red target. And then hopefully we'll put an apple on there. Probably not on Tim's head.
Put my face in that hole.
Lets start over again. Release. Okay now, I want you to pull your bow back, hold the bow up where you need to be. Bring your, okay now pull through the shot. Pull through the shot. See you're still holding it too long. Okay, you're getting close. Now remember where you saw that arrow. Now when you pull back again, once you get lined up with your eye, you're good this way.
If you're off on your left and right, that's form. The up and down is just a matter of gaging, you know, where your arrow flight's gonna be. But left and right, that's all form. What I want you to try to do. Is bring the bow up like your pointing your finger, draw back, pull through the shot. One fluid motion. Same with you. You're getting better. You're still looking at the tip of that arrow and not the target. That should be fuzzy, the target should be clear. Okay, well, we're going to work through this. I like a challenge. I like a challenge. I like a challenge. You guys are going to be so tickled by the end of this section or segment. Angle your bow back so you can sight down your arrow. Finger tips on the bow, on the string. Draw back and bring this finger right up by your mouth. You hit the edge see? Alright alright. We're getting there, we're getting there.
You know this is our point. As long as you're trending in the right direction, you're making progress. I'm serious.
The other thing that's really key to [Director] We have five minutes left so we have to work fast ladies.
The key is attitude. Having that attitude. Focus on that target.
So I see why you guys usually wear things here huh.
Focus on that target. There you go, finger tips. Draw through, draw through. You could grab another arrow there if you want. There you go. See, just a little high. Your left and right was perfect. Oh boy, didn't realize we were still hot Now the other thing I notice with you is you're pulling your pulling almost all the way too much. Because you're pulling past the tip of the arrow.
Okay so pull less. Pull less?
Yup. Let's do what you did. Let's have the tip below the target, the hole. Remember what you did on that last shot. Okay, pull through. Pull through. Oh right on the edge. We're going to get this. We're going to get this. This is what I live for. Now I'm starting to have fun. Too bad we're out of time. Alright, so pull back like you're pointing your finger. Get that tucked right under your mouth and not too much finger on it. Just your finger tips. Bring your finger right up to the corner of your mouth. Elbow straight, pull through, good. And release. (cheering) Now, she's moving up to the red ring. Come on now.
Close, so close.
Come on last shot, make it count. Focus on that center hole. Aim small, miss small. (cheering) One more, come on, one more, one more.
Alright, alright, alright, alright. (cheering)
I had to take that last shot. One more coach, one more. Put me in. (cheering)
That was great. Group hug, group hug. Oh that was exciting. (cheering) That couldn't have worked out any better.
That was like a Disney sports movie ending. (cheering) Awesome, that was great. John, thank you so much.
At the beginning of the show, now, if we had a couple more minutes, we'd have them shooting apples off Tim's head, so that's awesome.
20 minutes, that was pretty sweet.
That was 20 minutes.
Thank you ladies. And you've never shot before.
That was awesome, well done. That was an outstanding job.
Thank you for letting me shoot as well.
You're shooting great too.
I'm trying man.
And thank you very much John. We really appreciate you coming in.
Thank you, thank you.
To go from never having picked up a bow to hitting the bullseye in 20 minutes, that's impressive.
I am not an archery instructor. I'm not even a world class archery guy. I'm not even that great of a shot. But practice makes permanent. That's a saying I've coined, no. I hear that's in this new book that's pretty good. You know, and he's so right, you know attitude, repetitive, working on that form and practice. Muscle memory. I was shooting in my hotel room this morning. Probably made the neighbors wonder what I was doing in there. (thud) (thud) I shoot my arrows everywhere I go. That's the nice thing about these foam tipped arrows. They're really safe. And you know I shoot them in hotels.
The technique is the same, the technique is the same so for instance, like with marksmanship, we won't spend too much time on it but I have an M&P 45 handgun, long story, but anyway, you can get an M&P 40 or 45 replica made by Smith and Wesson that is the same weight and it shoots BBs. So I'll just sit at home and I'll do the exact, the exact same motion. And it translates, it translates.
It really does.
Thank you very much John.
We really appreciate it. (applause)