[Warbow] taking up the warbow

Raven's_Eye

Active member
Ironman
10,000+ dead and hundreds captured? Slogging on foot in heavy armour through thick mud against 6,000 archers each of whom could shoot a minimum of 12 arrows a minute. 5 minutes in the killing zone, at least one quarter million arrows to negotiate. Beyond silly, borders on the Pythonesque. Sensible thing to have done would have been to pay them to go home.
Though argued stongly its debatable that the plate armour had evoloved from Crecy and Poiters in such that the process of hardening and tempering had become more understood, also that the quality of the arrow heads was variable ranging from cheap iron to proper forged steel. So the arrows themselves did little damage against the heavily armoured knights, and since the archers were more or less out of arrows by the time the first French battle had reached the lines the arguement about how much damage the bows did. The archers themselves being lightly armoured could move quickly in the mud and armed with heavy weapons; axes, maces, polearms could disrupt the heavily armoured knights in the flanks. Though knights were trained to wear armour so they could move easily in it, in thick mud falling over would have made it difficult to move, esp if people walked over you thinking you're dead, making an easy target for a quick dagger through the eye slot.
they did have knights in the 3rd battle, but after seeing the destruction of the first two battles they weren't used. But if they were used in the first waves chances are that there would be more casualties as the horses would have died faster not being as heavily armoured and caused obsticles for the following troops.
Though the archers (mostly) were the ones that did the unchivalrous thing of killing the prisoners, this was due to an attack on the bagage lines with cavalry that were eventually driven off. If those knights had come and fought rather than gone looting the battle may have turned out alot different.
Plus with so many titles on the French side again their failing was theat they had no real commander but lots of little ones who didn't really work together.

Looking back yes the French would have saved themselves money if they let the English walk to the harbour. But at the time the English were seen as easy pickings. They were a small army outnumbered almost 2-1 if not more, they were tired, not well fed, most were illand possibly dehydrated due to diaherra and vomiting. (if you read Bernard Cornwall books, though not entirly accurate at the drawing of the battle lines, one of the commanders tells his archers they aren't allowed to go into the nearby forest but to "sh*t where they stand"). Plus their baggage trains were loaded with loot that they had plundered, so at the time the army looked like it would pose no challenge, just the French were mismanaged, that was the main downfall.
 


blakey

Active member
The big thing is, if you watch the slow mo' he's holding the bow at full draw for an age!
If the forward momentum is valuable to distance, then one should be reaching full draw during the forward motion and loosing immediately. A bow held at full draw (on the tiller or in your hand) is dropping poundage all the time it's held.
Del
Absolutely. One of the many things that annoys me about movies about battle scenes is the time the lines of archers seem to hold at full draw. Very few directors seem to get it right. As you say it should be an immediate release as soon as you reach your anchor. I'm too decrepit now to shoot seriously heavy poundage, but i do still "shoot in the bow" occasionally for fun. 70 lbs is about all I can manage now, but I struggle to draw 50 lbs in the old Victorian target style. Getting inside that bow is a very interesting technique. I've never actually seen it done, just watched videos. The 'Big Bow Brum' ones were the ones that made sense to me, sitting back allowing your body weight to help make the draw. Seem some of Stretton too. One day I'll have to come back home to watch a warbow meet. It's a great historical/hysterical tragedy that that tradition was allowed to die out, and we no longer really know how it was done.
 


That is IMO an awfull loose.
I have nothing per se against a 'rolling loose' but to my mind that is a horrible example.
1. There is no need to go wander off or leaping off after loose.
2. The big thing is, if you watch the slow mo' he's holding the bow at full draw for an age!
If the forward momentum is valuable to distance, then one should be reaching full draw during the forward motion and loosing immediately. A bow held at full draw (on the tiller or in your hand) is dropping poundage all the time it's held.
Yeah yeah, I know I'll get the usual flak about 'can you do it' etc from the warbow guys.
Del
Im no expert, but i agree. You can see his draw length getting shorter as he lifts the bow before releasing.
I saw some tv of flight shooting once (some comedian and his mate in a campervan?) And they used a similar 'throwing' release and it looked very uncontrolled, can you actually get more momentum into the arrow with that sort of release?

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk HD
 


English Bowman

Active member
I think that the technique shown in the video is appalling and if anything will reduce the power going into the arrow, and will definitely reduce the accuracy of the shot. As for it being an authentic mediaeval technique, it probably is, as Ascham describes it in Toxophilus, in his list of things not to do. Poor technique has always been with us it seems. I am sure that the longbowmen that fought during the Hundred Years' War would not have jumped about like that.

Roger Ascham said:
In drawing some fet such a compass, as though they would turn about, and bless[16] all the field; other heave their hand now up now down, that a man cannot discern whereat they would shoot : another waggeth the upper end of his bow one way, the nether end another way.

Another maketh a wrenching with his back, as though a man pinched him behind. Another cowereth down, and layeth out his buttocks, as though he should shoot at crows. Another setteth forward his left leg, and draweth back with head and shoulders, as though he pulled at a rope, or else were afraid of the mark.

Another I saw which, at every shot, after the loose, lifted up his right leg so far that he was ever in jeopardy of falling. Some stamp forward, and some leap backward. All these faults be either in the drawing, or at the loose; with many other mo, which you may easily perceive, and so go about to avoid them.

some will take their bow and writhe and wrench it, to pull in his shaft, when it flieth wide, as if he drave a cart. Some will give two or three strides forward, dancing and hopping after his shaft, as long as it flieth, as though he were a mad man. Some, which fear to be too far gone, run backward, as it were to pull his shaft back.

One lifteth up his heel, and so holdeth his foot still, as long as his shaft flieth. Another casteth his arm backward after the loose. And another swings his bow about him, as it were a man with a shaft to make room in a game place. And many other faults there be, which now come not to my remembrance. Thus, as you have heard, many archers, with marring their face and countenance, with other parts of their body, as it were men that should dance anticks, be far from the comely port in shooting, which he that would be excellent must look for.
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
... can you actually get more momentum into the arrow with that sort of release?
Self evidently the laws of physics say if you have two identical looses but one is performed with the bow/archer moving forward st say 5fps then the resultant arrow speed will be 5 fps higher.
I've been roundly castigated for criticising the techinique by those who insist it gets the arrow further.
They are however missunderstanding my criticism... IMO it's the the leaping/strolling around after the arrow has gone that is an exagerated affectation and probably detracts from a well timed rolling loose which if correctly executed can presumably add to the arrow speed.
My other bone of contention is this who say the forward leap is a natural result of loosing any heavy bow. That is such blatant nonsens I won't evn bother explaining why.
If you trawl youtube you wil find some who do it well, and they will probably finish with their weight on the front foot and maybe take oneslight step forwards to preserve their balance.
Del
 


WillS

New member
Interesting that somebody mentioned the Big Bow Brum (Nick Birmingham) videos. I've watched a couple of videos of him shooting, and in most of the clips he does the little leap or skip so late after the arrow has left that there's no way on earth it can add momentum.

I think once you're drawing bows of 120# or so, technique becomes more about doing whatever you can to get the 32". It seems to go one of two ways - watch somebody like Nick Birmingham, and it's all strength and muscle power, wrenching 120# back as hard as you can. Compare that to somebody like Martin Harvey and it's all technique. Nobody knows how the heaviest bows were supposed to be drawn (nobody actually knows the genuine draw-weight of them either) so those that shoot them do whatever they can. Joseph Gibbs has an odd looking draw, very similar to Ascham's description of a man
Roger Ascham said:
cowereth down, and layeth out his buttocks, as though he should shoot at crows.
 


outcaste

Member
Im no expert, but i agree. You can see his draw length getting shorter as he lifts the bow before releasing.
I saw some tv of flight shooting once (some comedian and his mate in a campervan?) And they used a similar 'throwing' release and it looked very uncontrolled, can you actually get more momentum into the arrow with that sort of release?

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk HD
Hi,

I was one of the archers in that segment along with my good friend Jeremy Spencer. When we are loosing it does look a bit wild compared to other shooting lines, but we were looking to shoot a long way with bows of 130+ lbs. I would say however if I was shooting at a flag or a butt 240 yards away (with a heavy arrow) I wouldn't move at all and would expect reasonable accuracy at that range, especially if shot at a number of times. Both of us have shot at Church Fenton for the GB Flight Championships for over 400 yards (longbow) and if you go over the line it's a foul! Though here you are not trying to hit a target at 400yards!

I would agree with many here that much of the work is really done with a smooth release of the fingers. Though if you have drawn up a really heavy bow you will be aware of the compressive forces that occur when shooting 'in' the bow and how that can make the body react accordingly after loosing.


Alistair
 


Self evidently the laws of physics say if you have two identical looses but one is performed with the bow/archer moving forward st say 5fps then the resultant arrow speed will be 5 fps higher.
I've been roundly castigated for criticising the techinique by those who insist it gets the arrow further.
They are however missunderstanding my criticism... IMO it's the the leaping/strolling around after the arrow has gone that is an exagerated affectation and probably detracts from a well timed rolling loose which if correctly executed can presumably add to the arrow speed.
My other bone of contention is this who say the forward leap is a natural result of loosing any heavy bow. That is such blatant nonsens I won't evn bother explaining why.
If you trawl youtube you wil find some who do it well, and they will probably finish with their weight on the front foot and maybe take oneslight step forwards to preserve their balance.
Del
Fair enough on the physics, but is it going to be a significant percentage gain? (for, presumably, a significant loss of accuracy).

Mind you - I'm fully aware that archery in medeiaval (sp?) battle terms is not dependant on accuracy, rather volume of arrows.
 


Hi,

I was one of the archers in that segment along with my good friend Jeremy Spencer. When we are loosing it does look a bit wild compared to other shooting lines, but we were looking to shoot a long way with bows of 130+ lbs. I would say however if I was shooting at a flag or a butt 240 yards away (with a heavy arrow) I wouldn't move at all and would expect reasonable accuracy at that range, especially if shot at a number of times. Both of us have shot at Church Fenton for the GB Flight Championships for over 400 yards (longbow) and if you go over the line it's a foul! Though here you are not trying to hit a target at 400yards!

I would agree with many here that much of the work is really done with a smooth release of the fingers. Though if you have drawn up a really heavy bow you will be aware of the compressive forces that occur when shooting 'in' the bow and how that can make the body react accordingly after loosing.


Alistair
Thanks for pitching in on this! Good to have information from someone who actually shoots in this manner.

Have you done any comparative distance or arrow speed measuring to be able to say how much extra distance/speed the rolling loose gives you?
(FWIW that video got me very interested in flight/clout shooting as I watched it just as I was getting back into archery in general).
 


outcaste

Member
Thanks for pitching in on this! Good to have information from someone who actually shoots in this manner.

Have you done any comparative distance or arrow speed measuring to be able to say how much extra distance/speed the rolling loose gives you?
(FWIW that video got me very interested in flight/clout shooting as I watched it just as I was getting back into archery in general).
Funnily enough, I don't think I 'do' the' rolling loose' as discussed here, as I knid of draw up at 45 degrees and loose as qjuick as I can. I do tend to go up on one leg afterwards though!

Cheers,
Alistair
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
Fair enough on the physics, but is it going to be a significant percentage gain? (for, presumably, a significant loss of accuracy).

Mind you - I'm fully aware that archery in medeiaval (sp?) battle terms is not dependant on accuracy, rather volume of arrows.
A quick order of magnitude look at it.
Say the arrow speed is about 175 fps.
I'd say you can thrust/roll/leap forward about 3 foot, in probably say half a second? So you could be adding 6fps to the arrow speed.
That's about 3.5% which is probably worth having if you are flight shooting.
IMO It's a complete nonsense for warfare except maybe for use with light arrows at long range to provoke the enemy. IMO the bulk of the shooting would be in as smooth and controlled a manner as was possible under the duress of warfare. I hardly think they'd be lungeing around in the mud of Agincourt at the risk of loosing their footing etc. If you try speed shooting (I'm not suggesting that's what they were doing) to increase your panic/stress level, you'll prob find that smooth and steady is more productive than leaping about or rushing.
Again just my opinion.
Del
 


English Bowman

Active member
A quick order of magnitude look at it.
Say the arrow speed is about 175 fps.
I'd say you can thrust/roll/leap forward about 3 foot, in probably say half a second? So you could be adding 6fps to the arrow speed.
That's about 3.5% which is probably worth having if you are flight shooting.
IMO It's a complete nonsense for warfare except maybe for use with light arrows at long range to provoke the enemy. IMO the bulk of the shooting would be in as smooth and controlled a manner as was possible under the duress of warfare. I hardly think they'd be lungeing around in the mud of Agincourt at the risk of loosing their footing etc. If you try speed shooting (I'm not suggesting that's what they were doing) to increase your panic/stress level, you'll prob find that smooth and steady is more productive than leaping about or rushing.
Again just my opinion.
Del
Couldn't have put it better myself.
 


blakey

Active member
Hi,

I was one of the archers in that segment along with my good friend Jeremy Spencer. When we are loosing it does look a bit wild compared to other shooting lines, but we were looking to shoot a long way with bows of 130+ lbs. I would say however if I was shooting at a flag or a butt 240 yards away (with a heavy arrow) I wouldn't move at all and would expect reasonable accuracy at that range, especially if shot at a number of times. Both of us have shot at Church Fenton for the GB Flight Championships for over 400 yards (longbow) and if you go over the line it's a foul! Though here you are not trying to hit a target at 400yards!

I would agree with many here that much of the work is really done with a smooth release of the fingers. Though if you have drawn up a really heavy bow you will be aware of the compressive forces that occur when shooting 'in' the bow and how that can make the body react accordingly after loosing.


Alistair
Hi Alistair,
It's really good to be able to communicate with someone who actually shoots a heavy bow. I've been intrigued about this for years, and although I know that 'shooting in the bow' is very different to upright target, I'm still not exactly sure of the technique. I try to lean forward first onto the left foot, and then lean back attempting to use my body weight to draw the bow, sitting into the draw and then locking shoulders once I'm 'inside' the string. Don't know if I explained that very well, and certainly don't know if it's correct. All I do know is that I cannot draw a heavy bow in the target style. Do you have any explanation of a good technique? Brute strength no longer works at my age. Cheers
 


outcaste

Member
Hi Alistair,
It's really good to be able to communicate with someone who actually shoots a heavy bow. I've been intrigued about this for years, and although I know that 'shooting in the bow' is very different to upright target, I'm still not exactly sure of the technique. I try to lean forward first onto the left foot, and then lean back attempting to use my body weight to draw the bow, sitting into the draw and then locking shoulders once I'm 'inside' the string. Don't know if I explained that very well, and certainly don't know if it's correct. All I do know is that I cannot draw a heavy bow in the target style. Do you have any explanation of a good technique? Brute strength no longer works at my age. Cheers
Hi,

What you describe sounds pretty much what you would be looking for, do you push your chest out and rotate your shoulder? I'm not sure if this is directly connected, but depending on your stature you can run out of inches when drawing the arrow back and it is difficult to fight against your own biomechanics. Much of todays warbow shooting uses 31.5/32ins for the nock to shoulder dimension for competitive shooting, but if you look at the Mary Rose arrows you find two peaks of just over 28in and 30ins nock to shoulder. Food for thought I guess?

Regards,
Alistair
 


blakey

Active member
Hi,

What you describe sounds pretty much what you would be looking for, do you push your chest out and rotate your shoulder? I'm not sure if this is directly connected, but depending on your stature you can run out of inches when drawing the arrow back and it is difficult to fight against your own biomechanics. Much of todays warbow shooting uses 31.5/32ins for the nock to shoulder dimension for competitive shooting, but if you look at the Mary Rose arrows you find two peaks of just over 28in and 30ins nock to shoulder. Food for thought I guess?

Regards,
Alistair
Thanks for that. I do push my chest out. I'm not sure what you mean by 'rotate the shoulder'? I draw about 30" to touch my ear. In target I draw 27". I guess that we are taller on average nowadays than Tudor times? Any way, thanks again, I feel I must be doing it right. Cheeers
 


WillS

New member
Its really hard to describe such an intricate technique, but what I believe Alistair means by rotating the shoulder is that the right elbow (assuming that you're right handed) should essentially scribe a clockwise circle as you draw. This is instead of drawing straight back, Victorian style. Both styles utilise the shoulder and back, but rotating the shoulder helps get inside a far heavier bow and extends the drawlength without feeling like such an extreme effort. Sometimes the elbow can be seen rotating as high as the head when watching warbow archers.
 


Kieran Little

New member
I'm 18 and I've shot since I was 7 years old, always longbow.

I shot a 30lb bow for 5 years, 40lb for 3, 50lb for 1, 55/60lb for 1, I now shoot a 70lb bow and can for 15 dozen or so, and I'm moving up to the warbow soon hopefully, I just keep upping the number of arrows I shoot each session, I've never developed an injury from going up the poundage.

I've got a weird physique from it though.. haha

My advice is this, take it slow, stop shooting as soon as it becomes painful, whether thats your shoulder, your neck, your bow arm or your drawing arm, or drawing fingers for that matter. It isn't worth the time it takes to recover from an injury to get back into it.
 


Danelaw

New member
Go for it. Biggest factor to start with, are you a 7 stone wimp who couldn`t pull the skin off a rice pudding? Or is your core strength quite good before hand? It makes a difference obviously. I target shoot with a 92lb bow most saturdays for 5 or 6 hrs. It doesn`t take long to get used to it. Going up to 120Lbs plus , then you will need to take it easy and train up a bit. Be careful with some bows. I have tried a few 100lb plus bows that are a pig to draw, and the limbs are that slow the arrow falls flat on its face. I find Irondale makes a good high poundage bow, and they are quick.
 


blakey

Active member
If you are worried about jumping or skipping forward on the shooting line, this guy has a training regime to cure it

English Warbows On The Bruce - YouTube
I don't understand why he draws down into the ground, and then rocks back to loose? he's holding full draw for a couple of seconds and I don't understand the mechanical gain. If you lean forward bow slack, and then lean back as you draw you would come up to full draw as you reach your ear and loose instantly. That makes more sense to me. This looks entertaining, but it's so slow? And pointless. Or am I missing something?
 


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