A family member of mine had the chance to teach me to shoot a bow and arrow the other day. Once upon a time, he must have been really quite good at it. It was really cool to learn from him.
Would Batman learn archery? I realize that there might be two potential camps on the question. One group would say that modern bows are leathal weapons that the Batman would never utilize in his war on crime and therefore since they are not potential tools would not bother to master. The other group would say that Batman strives to be an expert in all matters that might arise and archery (and firearms for that matter) are no exception. He would train in their use so that he would never be caught without the proper skills needed to solve a problem.
For this blog, I tend to side with the latter opinion.
We started with Robin Hood style tension bows (called a recurve bow). They were made of fibre glass or something but otherwise were exactly like what a merry archer would have used 600 years ago. We then moved on to compound bows. These are modern weapons engineered to be as light as possible and yet give the most kinetic energy possible to the arrow. Deadly weapons.
When you shoot an arrow you stand with your feet perpendicular to the direction you are aiming. If you are right handed, you hold the bow in your left hand and you keep your arm perfectly straight (your arm and your shoulders should form one staight line). You pull on the string with your index finger and your middle finger. Because the string should be hard to draw (pull back), you point the bow up at a 45 degree angle and as you pull the string back you lower bow till you are aiming at the target. Fire. See this link for a crazily in depth description.
Some important details:
Your index finger and middle finger should only just hook onto the draw string. You don't want to grab the draw string with a fist or else when you release the string to fire, your fingers are bound to get in the way. Just hook your fingers onto the string by the top most inside of your knuckle.
If the arrow keeps falling off as you draw the bow, you can hold it in place by your left index finger., just like someone who is just learning pool does to a pool cue. Once the bow is drawn, move your finger out of the way.
Don't grab the bow. Just like how you don't want to grab the string, don't tightly grasp the handle of the bow either. Just let it sit lightly in your hand. The point is that the archer will get in the way of a good shot by not being relaxed. Be relaxed and only have the most minimal contact with the bow.
When you draw the arrow back, you shouldn't pull back as far as you can. It is ideal that the string pass right in front of the corner of your lip.
Arrows have three feathers on the back end to stabilize the flight. Two of the feathers are the same color and the third is a different could. The odd color faces towards you, so that as the arrow leaves the bow, the feather isn't ripped off along the way.
Shoot on an out breath. I hear snipers do this too.
I don't actually know what else to say. Of all the things I have been introduced to for this blog, I don't think anything was more hands-on than archery. It's not particularily difficult to do but requires infinite amounts of practice to master.
Diagrams stolen from Aliran Tempur Ikhtiar.