Shooters Forum

Contribute to Trad Gang
Become a Trad Gang Sponsor







Trad Gang.com Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
MY PROFILE | directory login | register | search | FAQ | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » The Shooters FORM Forum » Eastern Grip with Mediterranean Release

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Eastern Grip with Mediterranean Release
YosemiteSam
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 45388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for YosemiteSam   Email YosemiteSam   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been playing around with shooting eastern style -- thumb release off a left-handed bow (shooting right handed). Nothing fancy, just with a production recurve. I had learned that eastern archers would often grip the bow with their pinky & ring finger, with some pressure on the middle finger and a loose thumb & index finger. Part of the reason, I have been told, was to induce khatra.

Lately, my bow arm wrist has been giving me some grief and this style of grip seems to be a lot easier on it than using the high grip of most recurves with the pressure on my thumb joint. I haven't noticed any difference in accuracy so far.

I'm wondering if anybody uses this style of grip for mediterranean release with no need for khatra. On selfbows, where I have a straight grip, it is very comfortable and lets me get a good feel of the arrow on my hand since my top fingers are more relaxed. But am I altering the balance point of the bow too much?

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

Posts: 755 | From: CA | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noctis
CONTRIBUTOR 2018
Member # 45322

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Noctis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey YosemiteSam

I also started practicing thumb release on an opposite-side recurve. I was drawing it to about 34 inches ... lucky it didn't snap. I now have a Manchu bow and shoot with both a past-the-ear anchor for Chinese style (similar to a Kyudo anchor), as well as a back jaw anchor for Turkish style.

When shooting my Manchu bow I use the grip you describe, mostly gripping with ring and pinky, while resting thumb on a half-floating index finger. There are three major forms of khatra: side khatra, downward khatra, and down-and-out khatra (for lack of a better term). Generally, pressure is also applied with the very base of your thumb if shooting with downward or down-and-out khatra, where the lower siyah (limb) comes toward the bow arm armpit. This is usually considered the most efficient form of khatra. I recommend looking up Armin Hirmer on YouTube for all things khatra.

As far as your question goes, I have also philosophized about grip and khatra with Mediterranean style, but the bottom line is that the follow-through trajectory of a Mediterranean release is antithetical to khatra in that it is far less elastic and more pinched. The basic idea of khatra isn't dissimilar to the idea of a loose, flat wrist grip when using a recurve or pistol grip longbow: to allow the bow's momentum to carry through without torquing it. With khatra there is a more literal "push" to further accentuate the momentum. I won't get into ASLs and similar longbows as there are plenty of accomplished archers who swear by a tight grip.

I see no inherent problem with using this type of grip with a recurve if it works for you. The biggest issue with using it with a pistol grip, I'd think, would be maintaining proper elbow positioning. Without decent pressure on thumb web it seems like it might be easy for the elbow to drift downward when using a recurve, thereby causing bone misalignment. Thumb release and the eastern grip doesn't naturally flow with the elbow positioning of a recurve.

Have you considered looking into a custom horsebow with a shelf? This would provide a bow construction more in line with an eastern grip style, but you could still shoot Mediterranean off the shelf. Saluki makes these, though they are very expensive.

As always, there is no right and wrong. Throughout history, every variance you can possibly imagine was used to hunt both animals and people successfully. Many Native Americans, some of history's most infamous and successful archers, used a modified pinch draw, which modern day archers would scoff at. I'd recommend looking more into khatra theory in general as it is often discussed alongside grip. It might open up some doors for additional trial and error. Good luck.

--------------------
Wing Gull - 64" - 45#@28”
Wing Presentation - 69" - 36#@28”
Black Widow MA X - 64" - 58#@31.5”
Alibow Manchu "Yarha" - 64" - 45#@35”
Mariner Ming Moon 6 - 53” - 50#@32”
Mariner Qing Dragon 2 - 64.5" - 54#@36”

Posts: 46 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
YosemiteSam
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 45388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for YosemiteSam   Email YosemiteSam   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for that info. I've been watching Armin Hirmer's channel a bit & wishing I could spend an hour learning a few things from him. Oh well. Next time I'm in Malta...

I see your point with the elbow position on a pistol grip. It's awkward, for sure. I finished tillering a new board bow and was able to try the different grip on that (straight handle). It's a lot easier to maintain positioning but it really pulled things out of whack. The bow shot a little louder, a little harder & my groups opened up. A traditional grip put things right again.

I've seen some short bow shooters using a push on the bow hand as a follow through on the shot. Not exactly khatra but certainly a dynamic follow through. Any ideas who has some good books or videos on this style of shooting?

I may yet get an Asiatic recurve. For now, I figure I should build up some thumb strength & learn the basics on what I have first. Hopefully, by then, I'll know better what I want to buy.

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

Posts: 755 | From: CA | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noctis
CONTRIBUTOR 2018
Member # 45322

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Noctis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd check out Alibow. Incredibly affordable, yet high quality, entry-level fiberglass horsebows. You can get one for under $100 and he responds to emails very promptly for being overseas. This is what I switched to from the opposite-hand recurve, and it is night and day. If you're going to spend any significant amount of time working your way into the thumb draw, I'd recommend just pulling the trigger on one. A recurve will never achieve the feeling of a horsebow. The difference in construction and energy transfer is vast. Having an appropriate bow to test techniques on will open a whole new world of possibilities that you can then translate back to Mediterranean.

For me the most complicated aspect of learning thumb draw was deciding on an anchor. There are dozens of variations and they all modify arrow elevation. The "cool factor" of a floating anchor was something I was really drawn to, but quickly discovered very few Asiatic-style archers actually use it. It needlessly complicates the angle of the shaft and allows for inconsistencies. The exception is Chinese style where I'm drawing past my ear - there my anchor is the fletchings on my cheek. I'd recommend just drawing with your thumb to whatever feels natural and go from there. I use back jaw because arrow stays at a similar elevation to my western bows. Resting lower thumb knuckle to face, or the flat of the thumb between the joints works well for me. Many Asiatic archers also use a top knuckle in the corner of the mouth anchor, contrary to popular belief. Really anything will work - all about comfort.

One thing I've recently worked out that was very hard to find info on was finger positioning upon release. Armin really helped me with this. I was nicking my finger pretty good and what he suggested was releasing in a way that leaves your thumb and index in an "L" shape with your thumb facing the target. This way your index is always "pulling away" from the string, instead of crossing it. Also, make sure to leave the "hole" you create with your thumb and index when drawing spaced out, so it's not cramped and allows for plenty of pressure on the arrow shaft.

I shoot instinctive and hunt split finger with a recurve. My biggest concern was that learning this new style would ruin my brain and interfere with my Mediterranean shooting, but it's amazing how the mind is able to compartmentalize. I can shift between the two - different anchors, elevation of arrow, etc. - without a blip. So don't let that concern you. Initially, it will take your brain time to adjust to the arrow being on the opposite side. A good way to ease into this is to somewhat purposefully bisect your vision with the bow. Eventually you'll be able to forget about it.

As far as the "pushing," it is a mistake to ever try to add movement purposefully, I think. It's all an equal exchange of energy from tension, not a linear forward movement like the word suggests. As far as your mention of short bows, I have noticed that khatra seems far more pronounced with very short horsebows. With my long Manchu bow, trying to shift it downward with momentum seems very awkward. I usually end up naturally going into side khatra. So maybe shorter bows just naturally provide better follow through due to lower dispersion.

I know that for me, exploring these new styles has enriched the sport to a degree I could never have imagined. There's so much history wrapped up in the different philosophies and techniques, and they almost always teach you something you can apply somewhere else.

Happy to provide more observations on specific form questions, at least when it comes to what has or hasn't worked for me.

--------------------
Wing Gull - 64" - 45#@28”
Wing Presentation - 69" - 36#@28”
Black Widow MA X - 64" - 58#@31.5”
Alibow Manchu "Yarha" - 64" - 45#@35”
Mariner Ming Moon 6 - 53” - 50#@32”
Mariner Qing Dragon 2 - 64.5" - 54#@36”

Posts: 46 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
YosemiteSam
Trad Bowhunter
Member # 45388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for YosemiteSam   Email YosemiteSam   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Without much thought, I figured that the fiberglass Alibows were going to be sub-par. I'm not a very picky guy on bows & just shoot a samick sage or bows of my own making (shoddy workmanship, I'll admit). But it seemed that $70-80 for a bow couldn't be all that great. You think otherwise? At least for learning's sake?

--------------------
"A good hunter...that's somebody the animals COME to."
"Every animal knows way more than you do." -- by a Koyukon hunter, as quoted by R. Nelson.

Posts: 755 | From: CA | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noctis
CONTRIBUTOR 2018
Member # 45322

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Noctis     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's a great starter bow, in my opinion. Horsebows in general are much cheaper, aside from the custom composites. I shot my Alibow for months before getting a Mariner and still go back to it. They seem to be respected in the community. Armin has a review for almost every model.

--------------------
Wing Gull - 64" - 45#@28”
Wing Presentation - 69" - 36#@28”
Black Widow MA X - 64" - 58#@31.5”
Alibow Manchu "Yarha" - 64" - 45#@35”
Mariner Ming Moon 6 - 53” - 50#@32”
Mariner Qing Dragon 2 - 64.5" - 54#@36”

Posts: 46 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply ~ PLEASE THINK BEFORE YOU POST! - Is your post trad bowhunting related? Check the FAQ or EMAIL if you're unsure!
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Shoot On Over To:


Contact Us | Trad Gang.com © | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2003 thru 2018 ~ Trad Gang.com ©

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1