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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

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