These Turkish speed shooters have some impressive and historic skills.
By now you’ve probably seen the Lars Andersen speed archery video. It hit the web in 2015 and now has over 42 million views. In the video he demonstrates an old style of shooting that allows the archer to shoot arrows as quickly as possible. Although archers tend to dispute the impressiveness of his skills, he was in fact displaying a historic form of shooting. One region that used the style extensively was Turkey.
In Turkish history, the bow and arrow holds a special standing. Like many other regions, archery was a central cultural tool for centuries. Their style of archery is comparable to that of the famed Mongolians. Like the Mongolians, their skills in mounted archery were very impressive by all accounts. Similar to may horseback archers, the Turks developed short bow to accommodate the tight shooting circumstances while on a horse. They also adopted the thumb release as part of their archery gear. Today you can still purchase short bows meant for horseback.
Today there are still archers carrying on the traditional archery that served the Turks so well in the past. You can watch this video of a few modern Turkish speed shooters to see this historic skills in practice. They certainly are impressive.
Like Lars Andersen noted in his video, these gentlemen have devoted serious time to their craft. The ability to shoot many arrows in the past was an essential skill and would take years to achieve. Not only did historic Turkish archers need to shoot arrows quickly, but accurately. You can see this necessary accuracy reflected in the video. Another skill for horseback archers would have been the ability to shoot from various positions, and at moving targets. This style of archery demonstrates instinctive shooting at its best.
In American, our modern archery practice doesn’t reflect the Turkish essential skills. We are generally taught to focus on each shot and take them one at a time. Our compound bows and crossbows simply don’t lend themselves to shooting quickly. As hunters, we also tend to shoot heavier bows and look for maximum penetration.
With all the differences, our modern approach shouldn’t be seen as second class. Both methods can be vert effective. Shooting English style can be just as effective, and instinctive shooters like Byron Ferguson prove that. Each style is seeking to accomplish different things, and suits the needs of the archer.
If you’re looking to expand your archery repertoire you might try some of the instinctive shooting like these Turkish archers. Rolling targets, flying targets, and swinging targets can all provide a fresh change up from the normal shooting routine. You might try giving some of these shots a try. Although I’m no Byron Ferguson, nor a Turkish speed shooter, I can say from experience it is enjoyable to try. Why not give it a try this offseason. What do you have to lose?