I shot an arrow into the air It fell to earth I know not where...
January 23, 2015 1:19 PM   Subscribe

 
I shot an arrow into the air It fell to earth I know not where...

Excellent reference. Excellent video.

Two thumbs up!
posted by hal_c_on at 1:21 PM on January 23, 2015


The action being narrated is riveting.

Unfortunately, the narrator sounds like an average joe off the street trying to affect an authoritative tone, but with limited success.
posted by The Confessor at 1:25 PM on January 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, the narrator sounds like an average joe off the street trying to affect an authoritative tone, but with limited success.

But wait. Did you see the guy shoot an arrow at a moving arrow and split it?

Who is this dude?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:27 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Ah ha ha, you have a bow and I have this glock 17 wait what ow."
posted by Huck500 at 1:27 PM on January 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


r/AskHistorians has an interesting post right now on this video.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:28 PM on January 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Ah ha ha, you have a bow and I have this glock 17 wait what ow."

OK, this looks bad.
posted by maryr at 1:29 PM on January 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


This is the least graceful display of superhuman agility I've ever seen.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:35 PM on January 23, 2015 [50 favorites]


I watched this twice earlier today, once because the archery is so awesome and once because the narration is so...narraty! So fun.
posted by rtha at 1:36 PM on January 23, 2015


I posted about one of his students a few years ago, and ever since then, I've spent at least one day on the range every summer trying to use the upside down draw she uses that allows her to be so quick.

It never works, because shooting off the left side of the bow, an upside down draw using your fingers, pulls the arrow off the rest. And now I know the secret;

He uses the right-hand-mother-fucking-side. How obvious! - Though now I'll have to get a bow without an arrow rest.

I did figure out a way to fire in one motion, but it involves passing the arrow between the string and the bow, and then as you draw, the arrow nocks and gets set on the rest in one motion. But it is really fiddly, and more often than not, I end up stabbing the belly of my bow with the arrow rather than clearing it.

The video looks cheesy because of the filming style, the voice over, and some of the editorial choices (roller skates?) But I promise you, I will be studying this frame by frame between now and when I can next get access to an outdoor butt.
posted by quin at 1:36 PM on January 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


OK, this looks bad.

What?
posted by Huck500 at 1:37 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's interesting how this video (or earlier ones) keeps coming back around. It is pretty impressive fast shooting although he certainly benefits from the ability to choose which particular attempt ends up in the final video. I'd love to watch more about actual real historical fighting as opposed to the polite chivalry modern sports like Olympic Archery or Fencing.

Watching this made me want to know more about how the archery is done in the TV show Homoerotic Batman Arrow, but I haven't found a good description. This interview with the actor Stephen Amell says he does know how to use a bow, but most of the show is done with CGI. Which given the ridiculous trick arrows on display is no surprise.
posted by Nelson at 1:39 PM on January 23, 2015


My first thought (well, technically, second, behind "holy mother of rabbits!")[1] was "I wonder what the draw weight on that bow is". The only thing that would require significant penetrative power that we see him hit is the chain mail with padded gambeson, but we don't actually see him draw and release those. Could have been a different bow and shooting style for that.

[1] Well, TECHNICALLY, third, because my very first thought was "wow, that is the most uncoordinated guy I've ever seen."
posted by hanov3r at 1:43 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nelson: I'd love to watch more about actual real historical fighting as opposed to the polite chivalry modern sports like Olympic Archery or Fencing.

You might check out your local historical/fantastical combat LARP group. Dagorhir, Belegarth, Amtgard, even the SCA; all have their own combat archery schtick which is nothing like Olympic Archery.
posted by hanov3r at 1:46 PM on January 23, 2015


hanov3r: "[1] Well, TECHNICALLY, third, because my very first thought was "wow, that is the most uncoordinated guy I've ever seen.""

And yet it hits.
posted by symbioid at 1:58 PM on January 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure how one makes feats that are so inherently impressive look quite so silly. But they managed it! It's only partially the crappy narrator, too; it's partially that he just looks so much like a kid running around in his back yard humming the music from the latest superhero movie under his breath and showing "kapow!" "ZING!" "Unhand her, you rogue!" as he releases his arrows.

Still, if Ancient Manuscripts (tm) say this is what archery should be, who am I to argue?

(He does make one good point which often puzzles me about Arrow--why shouldn't you use a bow at short range? In Arrow it's as if he somehow thinks it's unsporting to use the arrow if he's closer than about 25 feet. At that point you have to resort to hand-to-hand combat, using the bow as a really unlikely quarterstaff. But really--fire off one good shot from five feet away and you've pretty much eliminated the possibility of the old "ha ha, I swiveled to the side!" or "I've trained myself to catch arrows!" gambits. Of course, don't get me started on his inability to use his otherwise limitless supply of splodey arrow heads when he's dealing with a known arrow-dodger-and-or-catcher. Wait. What was this comment about, again?)
posted by yoink at 2:02 PM on January 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


wow, that is the most uncoordinated guy I've ever seen.

That's what makes it all the more impressive to me, somehow. The fast shooting woman using the over the shoulder technique quin links to is so graceful in her movements that it makes sense she is so fast.

But this guy looks like a bag of arms and legs thrown out of a moving car, yet these incredibly accurate shots come out of it.
posted by Brockles at 2:13 PM on January 23, 2015 [23 favorites]


I would love to see this photo shot again with high grade slow motion photography equipment.
posted by oceanjesse at 2:24 PM on January 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


how the archery is done in the TV show Homoerotic Batman Arrow, but I haven't found a good description
The Arrow dude was on one of the late-nite talk shows a few nights ago. It's a real bow with a heavy draw to make it look real, but the arrows are locked to the bow and everything else is CGI. There's just no safe way to do actual archery.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:27 PM on January 23, 2015


I can't find a source, but I seem to recall having read that at the battle of Agincourt, probably the most famous instance of archery that side of the golden horde, the English were out of arrows relatively quickly. I think tactics varied enough throughout the world and the years that this style surely existed, but I don't think the implication that the English longbowman was really Legolas without the wardrobe & makeup department really bears fruit.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:28 PM on January 23, 2015


That being said, I'm always happy to see something which reminds us that people have always been clever and able to excel like we are today. I think there's an undercurrent of belief in modern society that ancient peoples did not exist in the same sort of tool-using technological universe we inhabit today.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:34 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't really get the draw of archery videos, but maybe I'm not the primary target.
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:34 PM on January 23, 2015 [14 favorites]


Previously.

It's pretty amazing stuff. The thought of 12th Century Mongolian horse archers whipping off arrows using these techniques while galloping towards you at full speed is pretty terrifying.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:36 PM on January 23, 2015


How much real training did Orlando get to make LOTR?
posted by gottabefunky at 2:42 PM on January 23, 2015


>>>"Ah ha ha, you have a bow and I have this glock 17 wait what ow."

>>OK, this looks bad.

> What?

Hawkeye sometimes has problems.
posted by maryr at 2:45 PM on January 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


The r/AskHistorians thread has a few people who seem to be answering the video from the perspective of medieval/western usage of archers -- accuracy being important but speed not, ridiculing the guy for moving around a lot and riding roller blades.

But I don't think that takes into account horse-mounted archers of the Mongol style, which WOULD favor the type of rapid-draw, closer-quarters fighting that the video demonstrates.
posted by chimaera at 3:34 PM on January 23, 2015


The teenager who's favorite PE classes where Archery and Fencing and who made out with guys in plate metal in the woods inside of me is having a moment right now.
posted by The Whelk at 3:50 PM on January 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow. Just wow.

As someone who has loved archery above all other shooting sports, this just left me agape and in awe. Not to mention more than a little motivated to find myself a bow again...or up the ante with some slingshot antics... ;)

I found this video via another forum. Of course, I came here to post it, only to find that blue_beetle had gotten the jump on me by over 2 hours. Doh! :-P
The literary reference was a nice touch, too.

posted by MoTLD at 3:52 PM on January 23, 2015


So, modern archers rubbish?
posted by chavenet at 3:55 PM on January 23, 2015


who made out with guys in plate metal in the woods inside of me

That sounds uncomfortable in all sorts of ways. I hope you've had those woods removed, at least.
posted by yoink at 4:11 PM on January 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I actually don't know how to believe what I just saw.
posted by glasseyes at 4:13 PM on January 23, 2015


From the reddit historian link.

I don't think he's trying to advocate the existence of a rollerskating brigade of ancient archers.

I am in favor of this.
posted by hot_monster at 5:08 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


a rollerskating brigade of ancient archers

Xanadu!
posted by yoink at 5:30 PM on January 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


As a horse person this makes so much sense. Anyone who rides can tell you how ridiculous hand to hand horseback combat must have been. If you get stuck in a knot of riders at a gate or on a trail it's a total cluster and someone usually falls off or gets kicked or bitten even if you're actively trying not to hurt each other. If you lock knees with another rider it's all over. Basically I imagine everyone would die quickly and stupidly in the kind of cavalry fighting scenes you see in movies. The ability to ride around a group of tangled up horsemen and shoot arrows at them like this would allow you to just massacre them. If you ride a lot its no harder to aim from horseback than it is from your own two feet too.
posted by fshgrl at 7:07 PM on January 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


He makes a big point of holding the arrow on the right side of the bow. That looks like how they do it in traditional Japanese horseback archery.
posted by no mind at 9:37 PM on January 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone who rides can tell you how ridiculous hand to hand horseback combat must have been.

Or anyone who played Skyrim.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:34 AM on January 24, 2015


Anyone who rides can tell you how ridiculous hand to hand horseback combat must have been.

Or anyone who played Skyrim Mount & Blade. Good animals are expensive.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:33 AM on January 24, 2015


I always thought Oliver Queen's skills in Arrow were borderline sci-fi. I guess I stand corrected!
posted by archagon at 7:48 AM on January 24, 2015


OK silly looking guy, silly narration, silly stunts...whatever. The things this guy is doing with a bow and arrow are bad ass and we're all jealous.
posted by chisel at 8:54 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a pretty decent takedown of the video. In summary, fast? yes, good? Nope
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:49 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks for that link, Jtgy'k! I caught a distinct whiff of hyperbole from the narration, but wasn't interested enough in anything but the breathtaking speed he demonstrates to really think critically about the rest of it being mostly BS.

That being said, this line near the end: "I’d love to see Mythbusters demolish this fraud, and I’m only disappointed that so many people are so gullible as to believe it." amused the hell out of me. While they appear less reliant on creative camera work/editing and their passion and honesty are genuine, the science acuity demonstrated by the Mythbusters is about on par with the historical accuity shown by this video's narration, IMO, if this takedown is in fact accurate.

Do we have any archery experts handy to critique the critique?
posted by MoTLD at 4:35 PM on January 26, 2015


(Lest the flames consume me, let me hastily add that I haven't seen Mythbusters in a few years. They may have gotten better.)
posted by MoTLD at 4:38 PM on January 26, 2015


Here is more debunking.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:46 PM on January 31, 2015


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