The History of Archery
Archery has indeed built a name of its own in the arena of sports. But this sport has been in the arena for quite a long time now. In fact, the history of archery is very rich all on its own!
Let us take this time to look into this rich history of archery. First and foremost, if you think the history of archery dates to the time when people relied on this activity for survival, then you are quite right. Archery enthusiasts weren’t into the activity just for sport way back then. The colorful history of archery can show you that it actually began as a means of survival. Hunting, to be more specific.
In order for man to survive during the early years, he created tools not just to hunt for food but also as weapons for protection and warfare. The bow and arrow is among them. All throughout the history of Man, archery played a significant role. And as time goes by, archery has become more like a sport or for recreational purposes rather than a way of living.
Studies show that Man first used the bow and arrow for hunting more than 5,000 years ago. It was during that time when Man began to learn traditional archery. Later on during the “Medieval Period”, the traditional form of archery was used in almost every battle, war and conflict all over the world.
The traditional form of archery these days is just not for warfare, but for sports and recreational purposes. The competitive form of traditional archery is slowing fading out because of the modern archery equipments that are now used on almost all types of archery competition. Unlike the traditional archery wherein the archer would only use the bow and arrow, modern archery use more sophisticated and “state of the art” gears and equipments. The modern archery is a lot more accurate than that of a traditional one.
Take a look at the sport in itself. Archery is a sport that involves the shooting of arrows by means of a bow at a certain target. The history of archery dates back to more than 8,000 years ago. Imagine what kind of targets these archers would have been shooting then. Of course, these would be animals, for the sole purpose of survival. This makes sense because back then, there were no poultry farms and such who would process all kinds of meat and sell them commercially to customers worldwide! Thus, the history of archery very much involves hunting.
There’s also the use of archery in war. A deeper look into the history of archery would show you that the first cultures that adopted the use of the bow and arrow as weapons of war were the Native Americans, the Greeks, the Macedonians, and the Chinese. Armies of thousands of soldiers were trained in combat in the art of archery, so that they would be able to shoot down their enemies with precision and accuracy. And the bow and arrow were used as weapons of war for years and years to come! Yes, this is how rich the history of archery has been.
During the medieval times, however, the use of archery in battle gave in to the use of the more modern swords. Even when the crossbow was invented, which gives the archer more power and control than with the ordinary bow, swords were still the preferred weapons at the time. This marked the start of archery taking the background, and eventually into becoming the famous sport that it is now. But you just cannot discount the rich history of archery at any time. Because these bows and arrows were indeed used during significant periods in history.
Traditional forms of archery are mostly practiced by individual who like to hunt games using traditional archery equipments. Although bow hunting is considered as a traditional form of archery, it also uses several modern gears and equipments such as protective equipments and gears such as arm guards (also called “bracers”), chest guards, gloves and the likes. These types of protective equipments not only provide protection but also help the archer improve his or her accuracy.
Although modern and traditional form of archery may have some differences, they also share some similarities. Their main similarities are the bow and arrow. Even though modern archery equipments are more efficient the fundamentals are still the same (which is hitting the target as accurate as you can).
Whatever form it may be (be it traditional form or modern form of archery) it is still one of the oldest type of sport. And although during its course in history it was not used as a sport but a weapon. The basics of traditional archery have improved because of the innovations of technology. And because of that, the traditional form of archery will never fade out; rather it would just further improve.