Archery Training


Last weekend, about 15 of us Jung SuWonWarriors practiced our archery skills.  It was a really fun time.  I hadn’t picked up a bow and arrow in several years and was a little nervous.  I wasn’t super skilled at archery to begin with and some of the people I was shooting with were very skilled. 

Here is a picture of the targets:

We started out with targets at about 10 yards away.  After two rounds, we stepped back 5 yards and repeated that until the targets were 30 yards away.  I actually can’t remember the yardage, but it is approximately correct, give or take 5 yards.  I felt good shooting at 10 yards but by the time we got to 30 yards, out of 10 arrows, I only could hit the target once.  Then, we stepped forward 5 yards after every other round until we got back to 10 or 15 yards away. 

Here is a picture of targets with arrows, I think at 20 yards away, mine are the orange/turquoise ones:

Not being able to hit the target at 30 yards wasn’t frustrating to me, but more educational.  Archery involves skill, aim, steadiness and a lot of patience.  When the target was close, if my technique was weak, I didn’t see it because of the fact that the target was so close, it was almost impossible to miss.  Shooting at the further targets showed me that my aim was off.   I jerked my hand a bit that was holding the bow, causing the arrow to wobble and I wasn’t pulling the string back far enough. 

I know for myself, if I had approached things with a competitive attitude and let myself get frustrated when I didn’t hit the target, I would not have enjoyed that time at all.  Dr. Tae Yun Kim wrote in one of her daily posts about making mistakes and how we tend to think that we are on a stage with people watching and judging us.  I was just focused on myself and I wasn’t trying to compare myself with others. 

This is what Dr. Tae Yun Kim wrote:

“Here’s the fact about mistakes. They are part of a natural feedback system in learning a task or accomplishing a goal. That’s all.
 
Mistakes are also essential to your progress. The minute you decide to achieve a goal that’s important to you, you will make mistakes. How did we humans get the idea that to be perfect we couldn’t make mistakes? Never making a mistake does not make us perfect. Never repeating a mistake (after we learn from it) is as perfect as we need to be.
 
Imagine the freedom you’ll feel when you don’t have to worry about defending or hiding your mistakes. Experience the increased energy that comes from this freedom! Welcome your mistakes into your consciousness as your friends and teachers.”

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