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Whistling and Howling Arrowheads

Sometimes it is fun to shoot whistling or howling arrowheads as part of recreational archery. The trick here is that they are either:

More expensive than regular arrowheads.

Or homemade, which means you likely spent a good chunk of time making them.

Whistling or Howling Arrowheads come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, antiques, steel, brass, homemade, traditional designs, modern designs, and so forth. Historically whistling or howling arrowheads to send signals to allies on the battlefield, or to scare the enemy by shooting thousands of them all at once.

If you decide to make your own, there are some relatively cheap and easy ways to make your own whistling / howling arrowheads. The process of making them can be fun by itself, let alone the fun of shooting them.

Recreational Archery Instructor Certificate Program

Cardio Trek's Recreational Archery Instructor Certificate Program

There are lots of archery instructors in Canada, but there is no one school or academy that teaches archery instructors. It simply isn't popular enough to support a large school geared towards the topic, unlike countries like South Korea where archery is so popular it is routinely taught in high schools Canada simply doesn't have infrastructure, resources or the numbers of people to support any such academy.

Archery Canada for example is a governing body for organizing competitions. They play an active role in connecting athletes to instructors / coaches, and certifying certain types of coaches - but they don't operate a school or academy for coaching or for instructors. They leave that to the larger archery community.

Note - Archery Canada has also become rife with allegations of favouritism, corruption and nepotism - which explains why Canada does so poorly compared to other countries like the USA and South Korea.

Archery Dojo in Japan

Money is a big factor when it comes to building archery academies. In Japan there are archery dojos dedicated to the practice of Kyudo. In South Korea, archery is ridiculously popular and taught in high schools, universities, etc. eg. I learned Olympic archery while I was living in Jeonju, Jeollabukdo - at Jeonbuk Daehakkyo (University) / 전북대학교. And then there are the Americans, who are obsessed with winning competitions are basically just throw money at the problem so that they have a monetary advantage when it comes to training.

But in Canada, where hockey is our universally accepted sport, just finding an archery range to practice in is difficult. Finding a hockey rink is significantly easier, I have two hockey rinks just down the street from my home. Tennis courts are more popular. We are fortunate in Toronto however to have the Toronto Public Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park (generously donated in Ernest Thompson Seton's will to the city). But most Canadians don't have access to a proper archery range - and indeed, the Toronto range isn't really a proper range because it faces east-west, instead of north-south which would be proper - so you are facing north and the sun isn't in your eyes while shooting (the reverse is used in the southern hemisphere).

Thus, since we Canadians don't have any such academy or school for training archers or archery instructors, I have determined that maybe it is time I introduce a certificate program for archery instructors. As the saying goes "If you want to promote an activity, you should teach it." Which logically means that if you want to really promote an activity, you should train more teachers.

In the past I have already trained several archery instructors, mostly people who wanted to teach archery at their high school or at summer camps. Which is good in my opinion, because it truly is a matter of teaching people while they are young and if you plant a seed in their imaginations maybe they will continue to nurture that seed.

Thus my goal here isn't to be teaching archery coaches for competitions. No, my goal is to be teaching Recreational Archery Instructors. And here is my reasoning. Over 90% of archers practice archery for recreation. Less than 10% of archers do bowhunting or bowfishing. Less than 1% actually compete. Thus if we truly want to promote archery as a sport, we need instructors who are willing to teach archery as a hobby. Teaching archery for the sole purposes of hunting / competing is really only promoting the sport to a tiny fraction of people who are interested in such things.

Thus if you are looking to teach recreational archery, believe in promoting the sport like I do, if you want to hone your skills as an instructor - contact me via to learn more about the program.

The Recreational Archery Instructor Certificate Program focuses the following:

Developing your Social Skills as a Teacher to become More Personable
  • One of the things I have been praised for in the past is my people skills with students, making them feel relaxed and enabling them to enjoy the activity they are doing. Not everyone is a people person however, and even those of us who are still have room for improvement. Thus these skills should be honed and practiced so you can become better as a teacher (with a side benefit of boosting your overall social skills).

Explaining Positive Archery Habits in an Easy to Understand Manner
  • Accuracy is all about building good habits that create a more stable shot sequence, however many factors come in to play which can hurt accuracy - often due to the bad habits many beginners start with. Explaining good habits vs bad habits to students in an easy to understand manner is a bit of an art form by itself - and sometimes requires tailoring it to the person so they can understand it easier. (This is especially important when teaching children or teenagers, and also handy for teaching people who have a learning disability.)

Demonstrating Archery Skills Methodology
  • I will be teaching would-be instructors how to demonstrate certain skills in a way that students can pay attention to the skill they are witnessing, and how to explain the skill so that when they attempt to do it themselves they are more likely to be able to replicate what they witnessed. Some students learn faster when they can see the skill being performed, thus being able to show students how to do (and how not to do) a particular action is very handy.

The Physics of Archery and How to Explain Archery Physics to Students
  • We will be discussing archery physics in easy-to-understand terms so that when you teach archery physics to your students you can use the same terminology and phrases so that will understand you easily.

Making Archery Fun while Challenging Students to Focus Harder
  • This is perhaps the most important part of teaching Recreational Archery - if the student isn't having fun, they will likely get bored of archery and any archery equipment they purchase will end up collecting dust in the closet. The trick is to give students new challenges that are fun and interesting, thus allowing their imagination to expand - and to realize they can do those shots they previously thought were impossible / beyond their skill level, all while having fun doing it.

Three Unusual Questions about Archery

I have heard some of these questions before, and one of them (the last one) I have only encountered today. I thought the last question was rather odd, so I thought I would talk about the three questions in hopes of Busting some Myths.

Question #1: Do I need a license to do archery?


You do not need a license to practice archery.

 You need a hunting license (H1 or H2) to go bowhunting, but you do not need any sort of license to practice archery for recreation or competitions. And even if you do have a hunting license, you can only hunt during specific hunting seasons, only for game allowed during that season, and only if you have any required tags for that specific animal. eg. deer tags for deer hunting season. You have to abide by all of the laws and regulations with respect to bowhunting, and not following those laws can result in the forfeiture of your hunting license, a large fine and even prison time.

For example: In 2014 a Peterborough man, Dave Sager, was fined $1,000 and had his hunting license suspended for a year for accidentally shooting his son with a crossbow bolt. He was trying to unload his crossbow incorrectly. He was allowed to get his hunting license back after a year and after retaking the hunter education training course.

There is also bowfishing, for which you need a fishing license, can only bowfish during carp bowfishing season, and must follow all laws and regulations regarding where and when you are allowed to fish.

Question #2: Do I need a hunting license to purchase a bow or crossbow?


Like the above question, this is a frequently asked question. The answer is no. You only need a hunting license if you are intending to go hunting. Anyone can legally buy a bow or a crossbow and they don't need a hunting license or any other kind of license to do so. There is however a requirement that you don't have any kind of weapons ban (due to past criminal activity).

eg. I know of an individual in the GTA who was involved in an aggravated assault (he beat up someone who was abusing a kid) and as a result he spent some time in prison and ended up with a lifetime weapons ban. This resulted in him having to sell any weapons he owned, including his Excalibur crossbow. He is the only person I know of personally who is banned from owning any kind of archery equipment.

Also we should note that certain weapons are just plain prohibited in Canada. Hand Crossbows for example are illegal in Canada.

As long as you are not an ex-con and you are not trying to purchase a prohibited weapon, then you will be just fine.

Question #3: Do I need a certificate proving that I know how to do archery to join an archery club?


Or at least none of the archery clubs that I know of, and I am the president of both the Toronto Archery Club and Archery Niagara. To my knowledge none of the other clubs require any sort of certificate either.

I found this last one rather odd. Someone had apparently told the individual that they needed a certificate in order to join various archery clubs in Toronto. Sadly they were given false information. As president of the Toronto Archery Club I have made a mental note to someday have a chat with the person giving out false information and let them know that, no, the Toronto Archery Club does not require any sort of certificate whatsoever.

I have never seen the need to offer any kind of certificate to archery students, with one exception: I do offer an Archery Instructor Certificate Program, designed for people who want to teach recreational archery (usually at summer camps, resorts, etc).

If you have additional archery related questions or if you wish to sign up for archery lessons in Toronto simply email to learn more.

Happy Shooting!

Toronto getting exercise after freak snowstorm + Snowshoeing

Last night the fiancée and I visited my future mother-in-law and the three of us watched the season finale of The Walking Dead - and marveled at the freak blizzard out the window. This is not so unusual for Canada, but it is unusual for April.

By the time we left to go home our car was covered (shown here on right) and the snow was falling so fast it was difficult to clean the car fast enough because the snow kept adding more.

When we got home I had to shovel the driveway out before we could even park the car, because it is on an uphill slope and it was too slippery to get the car up into the driveway properly until after it had been shoveled.

So thanks to the weather many of Toronto's residents are getting some extra exercise cleaning off their cars or shoveling their driveways.

Today is my day off so I am going snowshoeing for fun - in April.

If you have ever gone Snowshoeing before then you know it is an exhausting exercise. However I will point out that with modern snowshoes it is easier than the old fashioned snowshoes.

I will update this post later with some photos of my snowshoes in action. (See Update Further Below.)

Snowshoeing Notes and Tips

If you have poles, might as well use them. Keeps your arms moving = extra exercise.

Make sure your snowshoes actually fit you. I recommend trying them on inside before heading outside so you know how to put them on easily and that they do fit you.

Wear boots. Shoes won't do it. Maybe don't wear steel-toed boots like I do, but hey, I am used to them.

Dress warm in multiple layers. If you get too hot while exercising you can unzip or unbutton a layer.

Bring a drink with you. Water, tea, coffee, hot chocolate. Snowshoeing is thirsty work.

Pick a nice circular trail / route, possibly one with different options so you can pick and choose which way to go. Avoid steep hills.

Remember to wash off your snowshoes before storing them. 

The snowshoes in the photos and shown above, in case you are curious, are Yukon 930s (size large). Brand doesn't really matter so much so long as they work and do their job.

Update Below: Photos of my Snowshoes in Action.

DIY Circuit Training Routine


"Hey there,

I am wondering how much your services are for cardio circuit training for an hours work.

...rate of pay for an hour?

hope to hear from you soon.


Adrian "


Hello Adrian!
I don't do circuit training. I shall explain why.

While it is a good way for personal trainers to make money, charging clients rates as low as $10 per hour and then getting bulk clients willing to shell out $10 each, the goal of the trainer is really to fit as many people into a single circuit training session as possible. eg. 10 to 15 clients, so that the trainer makes a quick $100 to $150. Some trainers might charge $20 and aim for 5 to 8 clients, but the end goal of the trainer is still to make money while doing very little actual work.

For the clients, yes, they do get a decent workout and they do get access to the personal trainer to ask questions, ask for advice/etc, but they could accomplish the same thing doing a DIY Circuit Training Routine and simply establishing an email relationship with a trainer, possibly paying the trainer for their time to answer emails if they have an excessive amount of questions or advice they are looking for. Ultimately circuit training with a personal trainer is a bit of a scam because the amount of time you have to talk to the personal trainer is actually quite small, especially if the group is crowded or time is constrained.

To Make your own DIY Circuit Training Routine

#1. Look around your home for whatever exercise equipment you already have available. It can be a mix of store bought goodies or even things you made yourself / substituted.

#2. Make a monthly budget for your exercise routines (eg. $10 to $20) to be spent on exercise equipment. Things like dumbbells, skipping rope, yoga mat, hand grips and other small items can be easily added to your routine over time. This allows your training circuit to evolve as the months go by and you collect an impressive collection of goodies to exercise with.

Note - If you don't have a lot of equipment you can even focus on frugal body-weight exercises that use almost no equipment. See the graphic on the right for examples.

#3. Clear a space in your living room or possibly your garage or basement where you exercise freely without bumping into things. If you have a backyard and you don't mind the weather, you now have an excuse to exercise outdoors and get some fresh air.

#4. Organize all of your exercise goodies according to high intensity exercises to low intensity exercises, and then alternate them in a circle starting with a low intensity exercise, then high intensity, then low, then high again, etc, only the circuit is complete. If you like a particular exercise more than others and want to focus on that exercise more you can even make it a Figure 8 design so the middle exercise is done twice during every full circuit.

#5. Schedule daily or weekly circuit training sessions for yourself. Make it part of your routine, possibly with a small reward for you to enjoy after each session (eg. playing Candy Crush for 30 minutes after you finish the routine, watching your favourite TV show, etc. The reward should never be sugary food, although healthy food is certainly acceptable.)
#6. During the scheduled time spend 1 minute on each exercise with up to a 30 second break between each exercise. If you are not tired after a particular exercise feel free to proceed to the next exercise with minimal rest.

Note - If you want to spend extra time on particular exercise you might also consider doing it for 90 seconds or 2 minutes instead of 1 minute.
#7. While exercising try to pay attention to the quality of your form. During a circuit training session with a personal trainer they SHOULD be watching your form and showing you how to correctly perform the exercise so you are maximizing results and minimizing the chances of sports injuries, however many personal trainers I have witnessed doing circuit training don't actually bother to try and warn their clients about the potential for sports injuries. Some of them even use the phrase "no pain no gain" when clients talk about the possibility of sports injuries, which is tantamount to asking for a lawsuit - which happened a few years ago to a New York personal trainer who ignored the complaints of pain from her male client and the man ended up with a permanent disability due to torn ligaments. My motto on the topic essentially is "if it really hurts, you are doing it wrong and you should stop". Stop and seek advice.
#8. If you have serious concerns about the quality of your form / sports injuries then schedule a session with a personal trainer who is an advocate of preventing sports injuries (me or someone equally adamant on the topic of prevention) for an one on one session and bring a list of questions to the session with you. If possible schedule the session at your home so you can show the trainer your routine, what exercises you are doing, and then they can see what you might be doing incorrectly and unsafely. If you email a personal trainer and they don't take your complaints seriously, find a different trainer for a second opinion. All else fails, stop doing exercise which is harming you and focus on exercises that don't hurt you. Some people, especially as they get older, get bad knees and other health problems which hinders their ability to exercise, in which case they should seek the advice of a personal trainer before attempting such exercises as a preventative measure. It is possible circuit training might not be their thing and they might want to consider swimming instead, which is more therapeutic for people with bad knees / joint problems.

I hope this helps!

Charles Moffat
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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