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Question: Do you teach Winter Archery Lessons?

Q

"Hello!

Do you teach archery lessons during the winter? How much for 3 lessons? Are the lessons outdoors?

- D.S."

A

Hey D.S.

Yes, yes I do teach Winter Archery Lessons. Three lessons are $170 for 3 lessons (for 1 person). And yes, they are outdoors, although I limit myself to only teaching on days that are:

  • -5° C or warmer.
  • Not snowing or raining.
  • Not incredibly windy.

I recommend also reading my Archery Lessons Syllabus so you have a better idea of what each of the lessons will be focusing on. While Winter Lessons do have a stronger focus on skills that are useful during the winter, the overall scope of the lessons remains the same as the normal lessons.

If you have additional questions feel free to ask. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


About Winter Archery Lessons

2016-2017 Winter Archery Lesson Rates

Weekday Morning / Afternoon Rates (Start Time: 10 AM to 2 PM)

1 Student
$60 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.

Weekend Rates (Start Time
: 10 AM to 2 PM)

1 Student
$90 for 90 mins; 3 Lessons - $255; 5 Lessons - $405; 10 Lessons - $780.


Notes

All equipment is provided during archery lessons. Winter Archery Gloves are also provided in a variety of sizes. Buying your own equipment is not mandatory, but it is optional.

I also teach Archery Biathlon (combination of cross country skiing and archery), so if a person is interested in learning that they just have to ask. I do not provide the skis or poles however, so that is something you would need to purchase or already own if you are interested in doing Archery Biathlon.

Snowshoes are handy if the snow is really deep. Again, not mandatory.

Wearing temperature appropriate clothing is mandatory. I also strongly recommend bringing a thermos filled with a hot drink.

See Also

Winter Archery Practice, Part One

Winter Archery Practice, Part Two

Toronto Archery Lessons Syllabus

Q


Hi There


I’m interested in [archery] lessons, is there a syllabus?

- Daniel C. 

A

Hello Daniel!
Lesson 1
  • Safety Lecture
  • Eye Test
  • Aiming Lecture
  • Proper Form Lecture
  • Field Archery Practice
Lesson 2
  • Target Archery Practice
  • Arrowhead Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is on building quality form and good habits.
Lesson 3
  • Long Distance Field Archery Practice
  • Arrow Spine Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is to be using consistent back strength, which is key to long distance accuracy.
Lesson 4
  • Precision Target Archery Practice / Aiming Exercise
  • Bowstring Waxing Demo
  • Focus of lesson is to get rid of remaining bad habits that hinder accuracy.
Lessons 5 to 10
Topics Vary, tailored to the student needs/desires, but may include:
  • Adjusting for Wind Conditions
  • Long Distance Shooting
  • Long Distance Field Archery
  • Gap Shooting
  • Shooting at Moving Targets
  • Shooting while in Motion
  • Additional Precision Archery Practice
  • Instinctive Archery
  • Aiming Exercises
  • Flight Archery
  • Night Shooting
Lessons 5 to 10 also typically include a short lecture and/or demo on topics dealing with equipment maintenance, technical skills, etc.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Body Fat Analyzers vs Calipers: A Look at Two Methods to Measure Your Body Fat Percentage

Guest Post by Ruby.

Truth be told – one cannot depend on checking the weight alone when it comes to determining health status.

Weight does not give a clear indication of how healthy a person truly is. On the other hand, determining your body fat percentage offers a better insight on health status and serves as a more reliable method of charting physical improvement.

In general, there are two ways to check this. One is with the help of body fat analyzers and the other one is through the use of calipers. These two highly differ in precision, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness.

A Quick Check on Body Fat Analyzers

The modern-day body fat analyzers come in different forms. You can easily find the hand-held types these days.

Others are more comfortable using the body fat scales, which can be used just like the typical bathroom scales.

Body mass index and body fat are usually measured with the help of galvanized electrodes sent through the body.

For the step-on type, you will be required to stand for a couple of minutes without moving to obtain an accurate reading of measurement. You can compare the best body fat analyzers; see their features and advantages at bodyfatgenius.com.

Advantages of Using Body Fat Analyzers

As today’s body fat analyzers are digital, they can measure more than just the body fat. They can obtain measurements on the weight, body water percentage, bone mass, metabolic age, muscle mass, BMR, and the visceral fat.

In addition, these platforms can also be synced to your mobile phones or computers so you can see results and reports anywhere.

Disadvantages of Using Body Fat Analyzers

While some hand-held bioelectrical body fat testers may be affordable and offer fairly accurate reading, other types do not come cheap.

This is particularly true for the home-use body fat testers that are equipped with footpads.

A Quick Look at the Calipers

Calipers are used to perform the ‘pinch test’ or the skinfold method.

The two recommended areas for the test are the tummy and the thigh areas. The test begins by pinching the skin to raise the two layers of the skin and the adipose tissue.

The calipers are then clipped at about 1 cm at a right angle and the reading is done. Measurements are taken twice to get the median value which is used to calculate the estimated body fat percentage of the person.

Advantages of Using Calipers

Using calipers offers a number of advantages including a low cost and a relatively high level of accuracy. The digital type of calibers has quadri-features, which enable them to obtain four types of measurement ( inside, depth, outside, and step measurements).

Disadvantages of Using Calipers 

The use of the digital type of calipers also has disadvantages such as being non-water resistant. It takes a lot of time to take accurate measurement.

In addition, the use of calipers also requires a certain level of expertise to be used accurately.

Whether you intend to use a body fat analyzer or digital calipers, it is important to bear in mind the purposes of measuring body fat – to maintain a good weight, to be reminded to embrace healthier lifestyle choices, and to monitor your physical progress.

Training Muscles for Bowhunting

Q

"Hi Charles,

I enjoyed the lesson.

I would like to see you for more lessons but I need a week or so before I can commit to any further dates.

I’d also like to get your opinion on purchasing a bow. It would be great to have to teach me on my own."

Warmly,
Rachel P.

A

Hey Rachel!

Well, since I know you want to get into bowhunting I am going to make a rather specific recommendation:

Get two sets of limbs when you buy your bow

One set 25 lbs, the other set 35 lbs. The purpose here is so you can practice with the 25 lbs and build your accuracy and form, and then whenever you want to build strength you can switch to the 35 lb limbs.

Ontario Laws wise, you need a minimum 39.7 lbs (18 kg) at 28 inches for deer and 48.5 lbs (22 kg) at 28 inches for elk, moose or black bear.

However there is a problem. You have a shorter draw distance, closer to 26 inches. This means you will likely need 45 lbs or 55 lbs respectively for hunting those types of game, to make up the difference for your shorter draw.

You will be able to pull that poundage eventually and hold it, but like weightlifting you want to follow a gradual process. The bow you were shooting yesterday was 18 lbs at 28 inches draw. So 25 lbs vs 18 lbs will still be a step up from what you were doing yesterday, and 35 lbs is for the days when you want to building muscle faster. The problem with many beginner archers / would-be hunters is that they often try to go straight to the higher poundage bow, without going through the whole gradual process of building up strength. Think of it like dumbbells. People don't go straight to the 40 lb dumbbells and use them constantly, they get bored and tired too quickly while doing that. You want to practice with 20 lbs, 30 lbs and build up to 40 lbs so you are using proper form. (It is amazing how often amateur weightlifters cannot do a simple bicep curl properly, often sticking their elbows out on an angle and lifting partially with their shoulders.)

Some people prefer to do an even more gradual process. 25 lbs, 30 lbs, 35 lbs, 40 lbs, etc. However in my experience the 5 lb difference is barely noticeable. An extra 10 lbs is more of a shock in power and that builds muscle faster. Alternating between two or three poundages gives the muscles a chance to relax while still shocking them regularly.

Note - You might decide you are not ready to commit to having two sets of limbs yet, in which case just get the 25 lb limbs for now. You can always go back later and get more powerful limbs when you feel you are ready to make that step.

Building Accuracy First

With archery it is also really important to be building accuracy first before attempting to build muscle. Accuracy matters most of all and that requires good form. The problem with higher poundages it is becomes more difficult for people to maintain good form and people will often botch a shot because they cannot hold it steady.

Once an archer has developed good accuracy then they can switch to higher poundages and go through the gradual process of building strength, shocking the muscles repeatedly, switching back and forth between poundages regularly. It is also beneficial to have a 2nd set of limbs for "off days" when the archer is feeling tired, hungry, distracted, distressed and just wants a more relaxing shoot.

What To Get

The Samick Sage is the bow I typically recommend. Ask for 25 lb and 35 lb limbs. Make sure it is a RH model.

If you want to look at other brands / models, check out http://www.cardiotrek.ca/2016/09/recurve-bows-brands-and-models.html

You will also want the following:

Archery shooting glove - Make sure you get the correct size that fits your hand.
Arrows x 12 - Make sure you get arrows that have screw in arrowheads. Do not get the glue in arrowheads (they break too easily).
Arrowheads x 12 - 125 grains each.
Arrowrest - Either a traditional Bear faux fur rest or a more modern arrowrest, eg. Flipper. Ask them to install it for you.
Bowstring Wax
Bowstringer
Nock Bead - Ask them to install it for you on the bowstring. If not, I can show you how it is done.

The store I recommend most is Tent City because they have the best prices and good selection (and if they do not have it then they can order it). Expect to be spending about $350 if you are shopping at Tent City. It will be closer to $400 / $450 at other locations.

TENT CITY
Address: 1600 Steeles W, Concord, ON L4K 4M2
Phone: (905) 660-6885
Hours:
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Hours of other locations are listed on http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Equipment-in-Toronto.html

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Have a good weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Winter Archery Practice, Part Two


Winter archery is one of those sports which can be exceptionally rewarding and great exercise, but so few people even dare to go outside during the winter and try it.

I have written a fair bit on the topic over the years, including a Guide to Winter Archery for ArcheryToronto.ca a few years ago. More recently I have even been tempted to write a book on the topic, elaborating on an aspect of archery that few archers do and apparently don't know what they are missing.

See my previous post on this topic: Winter Archery Practice, Part One

Winter archery ends up having a very "survival-esque" feel to it. You are out there, embracing the cold and the wind, and you are learning to shoot despite the adverse conditions. Not everyone is into that, in the same way that not everyone is into going cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, ice fishing, or various other winter activities. But if the mentioning of those activities bring back fond memories for you, now you begin to comprehend my love of winter archery.

Contrary to popular belief, I do teach archery lessons during the winter. But I also pick and choose which days I go outside to practice. Which brings me to the following...

Five Tips for Winter Archery

#1. Check the forecast and schedule a time.

I set a goal every week during the winter of going outside at least once to practice archery. I look at the forecast, compare with my schedule, and then try to pick a day that isn't a blizzard, the weather looks sunny or mostly sunny, and thus I mitigate the worst weather conditions. It also means I am making an active effort to schedule my archery practice, as many people will often say they want to do something, but if they don't actually schedule it then they will forget to do it.

#2. Prepare for the Day.

This covers everything from having the right clothes to wear, bringing a thermos of hot chocolate, coffee or tea with you, and even more basic things like knowing all your equipment is packed up / in good condition to go shooting. If you forget to buy the necessities / repair equipment, and have them ready to go then the day of shoot might come and you will decide to skip it because "Oh, I forgot to re-fletch those arrows. I might as well not go." Preparing for something also implies that you should double-check you have everything, in which case I recommend making a list and confirming you have everything well ahead of time.

In my case "preparing for winter archery" during the Winter of 2015/2016 also meant growing a beard so it would keep my face warm while shooting.

Last Winter I grew a beard to keep my face warm.
Behind me is a friend I invited out to the range.
#3. Bring a Friend with you.

Archery is always more fun with a friend to talk to, regardless of the season. They might be already into archery, or they might be more of a spectator.

Just make sure that if you do bring a friend that they are not one of those who get cold easily, wear inappropriate/inadequate clothing when outdoors, and/or are whiners. Nothing is worse than doing a winter activity outdoors and you brought your whiny friend who hates being cold but apparently doesn't know how to prepare for cold weather. Instead bring the friend you know LOVES being outside in the winter, knows how to dress warmly, and embraces adventure and conversation. (If you are like me, you can think of a couple people already that fit that description. Or if you live in Toronto, send me an email and we can hang out sometime. I will invite a couple friends and we can make it a group event.)

Every year the Toronto Archery Club sometimes has several winter archery meetups too, usually one in early December, another in mid January, a third on Valentines, and a fourth on St Patrick's Day. That way you can also meet new people and enjoy the sport as a larger group.

#4. Know your Limits.

Knowing what distances you can accurately shoot at is handy. It is very easy to lose arrows in the snow if you are shooting at distances you know you are less than accurate at. You should also set a time limit for how long you are going to be outside. 90 minutes or 2 hours for example might be a good idea.

#5. Take Breaks.

With a winter activity like ice fishing all you really do is sit around and talk, maybe read and hope that the fish bite the hook. With winter archery you will eventually get cold and/or tired, as the cold will sap your endurance and strength. To remedy this you should take regular breaks to "warm your innards" with a hot drink, or possibly even visiting the indoors for a few minutes before later returning back outside. For example, one thing you should do before you even go outside is to take a bathroom break. A full bladder means your body is expending energy keeping all that liquid warm, but an empty bladder means you have more energy keeping YOU warm. Thus if you feel the need to go at some point, go take a bathroom break and you will discover you will be warmer afterwards because you will no longer be wasting energy keeping excess liquid warm. Taking regular breaks will also improve your endurance and strength levels, so that you are shooting better and don't start making mistakes due to fatigue.

Want more tips? Leave a comment below and I shall write more on the topic of Winter Archery.

Happy Shooting!

Examining some rabbit tracks in the snow.

Archery Question about Instinctive Archery

Q

"Hey Charles,
Going to get a little philosophical on you but just wanted to hear what your perspective is.

Don't people instinctively shoot when they practice a specific style of aiming after practicing it for a long enough time?  Kind of like knowing what notes to play over a given chord progression when improvising in music or being able to to counter punches by feel and timing because you have mastered those situations via practice.  Much like what Miyomoto Musashi goes into when he talks about mastering the way of strategy as a means of mastering any skill or art in the Book of Five Rings.

What makes this style of shooting different than any other style?  Or is my definition of instinctive different than what it is in archery terms? 

- Gordon M."

A

Hey Gordon!

Next time you see me ask me to demonstrate instinctive shooting for you and I shall do so.

There is a lot misnomers and confusions about Instinctive Archery. Some people mistakenly think it is a further progression of Traditional Style or Gap Shooting. Some people even think that Traditional or Gap Shooting IS instinctive, since they don't know the differences. This is why there is a lot of false information out there because some people don't know the technical definition.

It should also be noted that there is a difference between Instinctive, Subconscious, and Experience. Instinctive is laid out below, but shooting subconsciously and experienced shooting should not be confused with the former.

Instinctive Shooting
● Shooting with no set anchor point, ie. a floating anchor point that moves constantly depending on the whim of the archer.
● Shooting without any kind of aiming technique. No Gap Shooting, no aiming off the arrow head (Traditional Aiming), no sights, etc. Basically just shooting / "aiming from the hip".
● Shooting without any worries about proper archery form.

Pros
• You don't need to learn proper archery form to shoot instinctive.
• You don't need any sights, stabilizers or other gadgets.
• You can theoretically shoot around corners
• Fun. But with a downside. (See below.)
Cons
• Only accurate at very short (point blank) distances. Point Blank is anything under 30 feet (10 yards)). With more powerful bows the range of point blank can be extended, but accuracy will never be super accurate at mid or long distances and will instead look like a complete loss of accuracy.
• People eventually get bored of Instinctive Archery, mostly because of the lack of accuracy at mid to long distance. It is fun, but it eventually becomes boring and repetitive.
• People who shoot Instinctive too often will sometimes develop bad habits with respect to proper archery form, and this can then hurt their accuracy when doing other styles of archery. (This happened to a friend who was playing too much archery tag and his accuracy went down because he developed some nasty habits which took him months to get rid of.)
In a sport like archery, where the whole point is to be accurate, instinctive archery has a reputation for being inconsistent and inaccurate. This is why so few archers use the style. It is simply too inaccurate and thus least likely to be chosen as a style worth learning.

When it comes to archery then Accuracy Matters.

I would argue that it is best for archers to learn multiple styles of archery so that they are ☆VERSATILE☆. That way they can pick up any bow, shoot any style, use any method of shooting/aiming, and be competent at every style. They will likely still choose to specialize in one style of archery, but being proficient in every style of archery is also handy and gives the archer a deeper understanding of how to shoot regardless of the equipment being used.

In that sense I do actually encourage people to learn how to shoot instinctive style, but it should not be the only style you are learning. Learning multiple styles allows the archer to explore all the avenues of what it means to be an archer, and not be trapped into thinking "I am only a compound shooter and that is all I will ever be." or similar thoughts.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Follow Up Question

"Would it be kind of like the archery equivalent of fast draw shooting with revolvers?

- Gordon M."

If the revolver was shot from the hip (or something similar). Yes.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Autumn Archery Lessons in November

Please note that I am still teaching archery in November - partially because it is so warm lately. This year I have also had a bump in the number of people wanting lessons in November. Basically it is so warm that people are still asking for archery lessons.

My personal opinion is that Autumn is the perfect time of the year to do archery, especially September and October. But there is nothing wrong with doing archery in November, especially when it is unseasonably warm.

Autumn Leaves Archery Bracer
However this year it has been unseasonably warm. September felt like August. October felt like September, and now November feels like October. (I am fully expecting December to feel like November, complete with a green Christmas.) With it being so warm I thought I should put a note up here letting people know I am still teaching in November.

I do keep teaching during the Winter (for those brave enough to face the cold), but the number of brave people who are not afraid of the cold is short in supply. Thus archery does tend to be a seasonal sport, even though it can be done year round.

I think it is part of the reason why September to December is bowhunting season for whitetail deer. The weather this time of year is perfect for being outside. Not too cold. Not too hot. Also unlike Spring, it is also not too rainy.

In which case they really should be making camouflage clothing available in yellow, orange and red so that it matches the colours of the trees. Green camouflage makes no sense this time of year. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Lastly this is also the time of year people start prebooking archery lessons for the next year. So if your schedule doesn't work right now, you can always prebook for the next season.

One Final Note

With Halloween now over, that doesn't mean you should rush out and start worrying about Christmas. Remembrance Day is Friday, November 11th and that has clear priority in my mind. Canadian Veterans and members of Canada's Armed Forces get a 10% discount off archery lessons between now and November 25th.

Photograph by Tim Nichols

Balloon Animal Field Archery

Balloon Animal Field Archery

I saw a couple of archers doing this last Saturday and thought it was both amusing and a fun way to do Field Archery.

Field Archery is shooting at targets placed at random distances. During recreational field archery the goal is to hit the target and then next round move it to a different location, so you keep having to change your aim and learning where to aim based on the different distances. Field Archery is also a competitive sport, for those people who get really into it.

Myself, I routinely use a target ball, but Balloon Animal Field Archery seems like a fun idea too. I have also seen people do it with:
  • Regular Balloons.
  • Paper Plates.
  • Plastic Water Bottles.
  • Tim Hortons Coffee Cups.
  • Watermelons.
  • Whatever they have handy.
I should also mention that when doing this style of archery it is wise to add Wingnuts to your arrowheads (just unscrew the arrowhead and place it behind the arrowhead, then rescrew it). The wingnuts will act like hooks / anchors when they hit the grass and make it basically impossible for you to lose your arrows in the grass.
Happy Shooting!

Why I prefer to teach archery one-on-one, Personalized Attention + Professionalism.

Note: While I have listed this under "Testimonials" this is really more of a Compliment.

Today I got a compliment from a fellow archer. He praised me for how professional I am at teaching archery and how I give such personalized attention to each student I teach.

He had seen me teaching many times in the past, but last Saturday he and I both witnessed a complete amateur teaching and he had his eyes opened to what happens when someone who doesn't know what they are doing attempts to teach archery.
  • Let alone teaching 7 people at once.
  • With 3 bows that were too powerful for beginners to be using. Including one 85 lb bow the "instructor" couldn't even pull back properly.
  • At one point the "instructor" was trying to show off by shooting his 85 lb bow and accidentally punched himself in the face. (I wish I had a video of it.)
  • With a shortage of finger gloves / arm bracers, which meant people had to share them.
  • With no personalized instruction, which meant he spent no time correcting their form errors.
  • Running around like he was trying to herd cats.
  • One of his students dry fired one of his bows. (Much to the cringing of nearby archers.)
  • He insisted they call him "sensei". (Yes, the white guy is insisting he be called sensei. Cultural appropriation much? I have a word for idiots like that: Baka.)
No surprise they kept completely missing the targets.

I was doing some personal practice and I watched with amusement, at one point I had one hand cupping my chin with a big smile on my face. Another archer, a regular, was watching too and we were both amused by it. "This is fascinating." I remember saying.

To me, watching amateurs teach archery is a highlight. Especially when they are utterly clueless as to what they are doing. Let alone watching them try to teach 7 people at once.

It would be like being a professional daycare worker watching someone babysit for the first time ever and you give them 7 toddlers to look after. Or a Formula 1 driver watching 7 amateurs who have never driven before behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car and watching a non-professional driver trying to teach them how to drive a Formula 1 car. It would be extremely amusing to watch.

So let me compare to what I do.

#1. I prefer to teach people one-on-one.

One-on-one is the absolute best way to learn archery. I will sometimes teach 2 or 3 friends at once, but I cap it at 3. I never teach more that. Part of it is that I devote myself to giving personalized instruction to my students and you cannot give that kind of personalized instruction when teaching large groups. People learn faster when they get one-on-one instruction.

I have sometimes been asked to teach large groups of people (20 or more) but I always refuse to deal with such events and instead recommend one of the local archery tag locations instead (I have my favourites when it comes to who I recommend).

I don't want to dilute the quality of my teaching by trying to teach crowds of people. It just isn't worth it. I want people to learn how to do archery properly and to get rid of their bad habits, and to not become discouraged. Having a shoddy instructor can lead to people failing to make progress and becoming discouraged, thus giving up at a sport that they could have become good at.

I believe everyone has the potential to become a good archer. They just need the right instructor and the time to apply themselves properly to learning the necessary skills.

#2. Every shot is watched and analyzed for mistakes.

Every. Single. Shot. I leave no room for errors. We are looking for perfection here, with the knowledge that complete perfection will never be achieved. This process means I am watching the student shoot, correcting their form errors to get rid of bad habits and replace them with good habits.

#3. I use appropriate archery equipment for beginners.

Nothing says you are clueless of what you are doing like giving a bow that is too powerful to people who cannot even pull it properly. When teaching I have 5 different sets of limbs available, all in lighter poundages, so that guaranteed regardless of the size, height, age, or even physical impairment I have a bow that my students can shoot.

#4. The first lesson always covers the basics.
  • Safety Lecture.
  • Eye Test.
  • How to Aim Lecture.
  • Proper Form Lecture.
  • Field Archery Practice - which means I am starting them off slowly with an aiming exercise that will nevertheless be challenging and fun.
#5. Sometimes I do demonstration rounds, but only for the purpose of teaching.

One of the common demonstrations I do is called my "Canting Demonstration" during which I do 1 perfect shot and 4 shots during which I am canting 4 different ways, that way students learn what canting is and how it effects the arrow. This usually happens during the first lesson. I really should make a YouTube video on the topic.

Another common demonstration I will do is "Inconsistent Draw Power" during which I demonstrate what happens when I deliberately use different amounts of draw. Such as not using a full draw, over-drawing to the cheek ("Cheeking"), under-drawing, and using different amounts of back power.

Doing a demonstration round should never be about trying to show off. It should be about teaching the student what happens when you do something correctly and what happens when you do it wrong. This means you first need to perform a perfect shot and then demonstrate what happens when you change one little thing and how that ruins the shot.

#6. I never punch myself in the face.

Although I will laugh about people who do this. I still wish I had a camera recording when that happened...

#7. I provide all the necessary equipment.

Not just the bows, but the finger gloves, arm guards, bowstringer, arrows and everything needed for practicing archery. Students should not have to be sharing equipment back and forth.

#8. Students learn what dry firing is and why you should not do it.

In a nutshell, dry firing is when someone pulls back a bow and lets go with no arrow on the bowstring, resulting in a horrible twanging sound and the bow possibly breaking. It might not break the first time it happens, but it isn't something you want to do again and again until it eventually breaks. It is very bad for the bow for it to be dry fired. Physically, what happens is all the power stored in a taut bow is expended into the limbs of the bow and causes it to vibrate. Those vibrations are so intense they can cause micro fractures in the bow limbs and cause the bow to eventually break.

On a compound bow this is even worse. Dry firing can cause the cables to come off the cams, causing a huge tangled mess, plus the cams could snap or come off the axle. A compound bow that has been dry fired loses its warranty and after several dry fires will likely be garbage.

#9. I prefer to be called Charles.

Because that is my name. I don't need a title, honourific or otherwise.

#10. I do this professionally.
  • I take this sport seriously.
  • I have been doing archery for 27 years. Except for that big gap in university.
  • I have been teaching for almost 7 years.
  • I shoot every style of bow. All five major styles of archery.
  • I currently own 29 different bows.
  • I have competed, although frankly I don't like competing because it is too much about ego.
  • I enjoy bowfishing, archery biathlon and a wide range of archery activities.
  • I published a book in 2015 titled "Dreaming of Zen Archery".
  • I am currently working on my 2nd and 3rd books about archery. The second book is about recreational archery, and the third book is about archery sayings and what they mean.
  • I make my own longbows and arrows during the winter as a hobby. I have been making bows since the age of 10. I also enjoy woodworking, which I find compliments my skills as a bow-maker.
  • I believe archers should exercise regularly. A well-tuned body leads to more accuracy.
  • I have a tiny archery range in my garage.
  • I practice archery in the winter. I sometimes even teach it during the winter.
  • I enjoy shooting at moving targets and performing trick shots.
  • I never stop seeking perfection.


8 Fun Ways to play Pokemon Go + Exercise in Toronto

This is basically a sequel to my previous post from July regarding Pokemon Go:

Pokemon Go as a Workout Plan - How to get the Most Exercise and the Most Pokemon.

Since then Pokemon Go has continued to grow and thrive as a game / competitive sport. It is basically getting nerds and common people to go exercise and compete against each other, so yes, it is definitely a competitive sport. Hence the old adage:

"All it takes is for one person to lose an eye and it becomes a competitive sport."

Losing an eye isn't the issue. People have died playing this game. Usually from not paying attention to where they were walking. So pay attention to where you are going!

But to be fair, people also die while texting, driving while distracted by food, crossing the street while their cellphone is in their pocket and it just happens to have the game open. The game is probably no more unsafe than say window shopping with friends or other innocent activities.

Speaking of which here are 8 Fun Ways to play Pokemon Go + Exercise in Toronto and you will note I have chosen to list ways which are also safe.

#1. Visit the Roundhouse Park train yard near CN Tower / Steam Whistle Brewery.

Known as Roundhouse Park it is brimming with Pokestops (and quite a few Ponytas, so if you need to catch a Ponyta that is a good place to do it). A five-six minute walk around the park hits 10 different Pokestops without ever having to cross a street or put yourself in danger. Thus you can literally just walk in circles for 30 minutes and collect approx. 60 Pokestops.

Also you get a bonus every time you hit 10 unique Pokestops in a row, so this is a good place to do that. The bonus gives double items (minimum 6, maximum 10) and rewards 100 XP instead of 50.

In addition there is also free samples at Steam Whistle, the railway museum to visit, Ripley's Aquarium just north of there, and lots of old trains to look at.


#2. Visit Edward Gardens in East York, Toronto / Bring your bicycle!

Home to many exotic plants, lots of squirrels and other wildlife, Edward Gardens also has 25 Pokestops. A great place to walk or bicycle.

There are many different trails and paths inside Edward Gardens, and it doesn't matter which routes you take you will always find lots of Pokestops and lots of interesting things to look at. I ended up spending a lot of time during my last visit just doing photography.

If you walk south from Edward Gardens there are trails going all the way to Sunnybrook Park and eventually E. T. Seton Park. So also a good place to hit some Pokestops and then go for a long hike afterwards.

Edward Gardens is a great place to feed squirrels and pet them. They have some very friendly squirrels there. The video below is one I made during my last visit.



#3. Graffiti Alley in Downtown Toronto.

If artwork is more something that interests take a walk / bicycle ride / skateboard / rollerblades down to some of the graffiti filled alleyways in downtown Toronto.

Between Augusta and Spadina, just south of Queen Street, is Graffiti Alley. That alleyway and many of the alleyways in downtown Toronto are rife with Pokestops. Exploring the back alleys also keeps you away from cars and motorists, which are the bane of Pokemon Go players.


#4. Archery at E. T. Seton Park in East York.

If you are into archery, the archery range at E. T. Seton Park is also a Pokestop. You can shoot a round of arrows and then collect a Pokestop. Shoot a round, catch a Nidoran. Shoot a round, collect Pokestop again. You won't be hitting a huge number of Pokestops, but you will have a lot of fun doing archery.

Archery also involves a lot of walking (to collect the arrows after each round of shooting) so as a bonus you will get some walking done.

If you don't have your own archery equipment you can also get archery lessons.

#5. Catch an Onix in Downsview Park.

Downsview Park has many things you can do there, whether you prefer to walk or bicycle - but one of the things you can do is to look for Onix, one of those rare hard to find Pokemon. Onix has a tendency to appear near the west end of the park, towards Downsview Dells and Northwood Park. If you explore all 3 areas you will likely spot an Onix.


#6. Take up Bird-Watching

If bird-watching (or "birding") is something you have always wanted to do, here is your chance. You can walk around, take photos of birds with your phone, capture Pokemon, hit Pokestops, borrow books about birdwatching from the library (since libraries are often Pokestops), and basically become a great birder and have fun during the process.

In my mind someone should invent a phone app game similar to Pokemon Go, which encourages players to capture photos of birds to add to their collection. For people into birdwatching, it would be a fun game.

A good place to see both birds and hit lots of Pokestops (and a few gyms) is Moccasin Trail Park. The park is home to many historical plaques (like the one below), nature plaques about the local wildlife, and the above mentioned Pokestops / gyms. Also a great place for a bicycle ride / skateboarding / fishing.


#7. Take up Fishing.

There are plenty of different places to go fishing in Toronto. Along lake-shore there are many Pokestops and places to go fishing. There are also a great number of parks in Toronto where the fishing is pretty good. Moccasin Trail Park is one, but you can also go to High Park - which has a good number of Pokestops and an abundance of places where you can sit and collect items while waiting for the fish to bite.

When fishing I recommend getting up once in awhile and switching locations or even taking a break from fishing to walk around and enjoy the other things the parks in Toronto have to offer.

#8. Horseback Riding at Sunnybrook Park.

Okay maybe I am just biased here because I really like horses, but it seems to me that spending your time riding horses and either playing the game while on horseback, or playing the game when you are relaxing in Sunnybrook Park, is a good thing.

Also Sunnybrook Park is a good place to catch Eevees and a variety of water Pokemon.


There you go! 8 ways to have fun playing Pokemon Go, do it safely, and get exercise in the process.

Not satisfied? Leave a comment asking for more and I shall do another post like this. You will need to subscribe to receive the notification.
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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