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[Traditional Sports]


ARCHERY      


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Each culture has used the arrow and the bow by developing techniques in accordance with its needs during history. The middle Asian people were leading a nomadic life with the hard climate conditions, and the absolute necessities of this kind of life was horse-riding, hunting and the warfare. The people, living their lives on their horses, ate, drank, hunted, fought and even slept on their horses. These people attached importance to the arrow and the bow as well as they did to the horse. One of the very important features of these people was their ability of shooting their arrows to any direction while they were on their moving horses. This bow, made with wood, horn, nerve, and glue, was a short, elastic, and strong bow. The bow, called as “the Composite Bow” today, has been adopted from the above told bow.

The techniques of the archery on the horse, used by the Seljuks after learning it from the Middle Asian Nomads, was brought to the battlefield by the outstanding Ottoman troops of archer cavalry. Subsequently, the arrow shooting technique of the Ottomans is emanated from the Asia.

Like the whole Asians, the Ottomans pulled the bowstring (Kiris) with their thumbs and then left. This technique provided more superiority rather than today’s technique of pulling with three fingers did. The archer protected his thumb with a special ring, called as zihgir.

The Ottoman long-distance archers locked their bow stretching hands with a special system, called as “mandal”. The Ottoman archers pulled the bowstring, not to their breast part, to their jaws.

The arrow and the bow carried great importance during the warfare history of the Ottomans, and the fighting force, constituted by the archer cavalries, didn’t loose their importance for years.

Shooting arrow, while riding a horse, is a war art, demanding a great capability. Thanks to the stirrup, while the archer shoots his arrow, he gets on over the stirrup and lets the control to his horse. Thereby, he can use his hands.

The Huns gained superiority against the Westerner with this technique in the first wars, which they did in the west. They could easily and remotely shoot their arrows to their flanks, forward and backward on their horses, running like a wind. The most important and the most delicate part of the technique of shooting arrow and hitting the mark while mounting, which fazes the onlookers, is shooting the arrow in the very short undisturbed distant, when all of the four legs of the horse are off the ground, while it rhythmically runs.

The old Turks attached great importance to the sports of shooting and archery. A lot of social activities involved archery contests, like shooting away and hitting the mark. In some contests, the competitors shot the first arrow in front of the target, the second arrow by turning to their flanks, and the last arrow, when they turn about the target, after they passed by it.