Welcome to Adventures in Archery!

Hi, this is Shawn. Welcome to my archery learner’s guide distilled from the book Saracen Archery. You may have heard of the book thanks to Lars Andersen’s YouTube videos or maybe even because of the new Robin Hood movie or maybe neither of those. However you found this, I’m glad you’re here! Love or hate Lars or the movie, they are both great in the sense they drew attention to this amazing book and they are getting people interested in archery. If you feel inspired to learn some incredible historical Middle Eastern archery but have no idea where to start, you’re in the right place!

Saracen Archery is a 1970 English translation and exposition of a medieval Middle Eastern archery manual and it is filled to the brim (219 pages!) with fascinating techniques and insights into historical archery. Many of its methods and precepts are still practiced today, even if they are much less known in the English-speaking world. I adore the book and took it on myself to try to explore and simplify it in a beginner-friendly way. I’m also in the process of making YouTube video companions for each topic.

As for myself, I’m a relative archery novice, but an avid reader. I know I may have no place trying to teach others things I’m not a master of, but I’ve had a lot of fun reading the book and trying out its techniques. It’s so different from what I’ve ever known about archery and I want to share my enthusiasm for Saracen Archery with others.

If you were referred here by one of the companion videos and didn’t land on the page you expected, use the links in the menu above or below this post to jump where needed.

Dive in, learn with me, and have some amazing adventures in archery!

ForewordWeapons of ChoiceBracing the BowGraspingLocking and DrawingNocking and DrawingLoosing I (The Release)Loosing II (The Follow-through)Loosing III (increase weight)Loosing IV (max weight)Loosing V (arrow flight intro)Loosing VI (flight refinement)SightingSummary and Tests of the ArcherConclusion

Video Companion Progress Update 2

Video 4 (Locking and Drawing) is done! I’ve pretty much finalized the script for Video 5 (Nocking and Drawing) and hope to begin shooting soon. 😀

Personal progress: thumbs are getting much better at handling pressure from the bow and arrows and it’s super fun working on the release and follow-through (I try to stay one concept ahead of the videos). I’ve gotten much more consistent with fletchless arrows hitting nearly straight and it’s awesome! However, I have also broken 10 of the 12 arrows I made for practice. Ouch! I think I chose way too flexible a shaft for those. When they hit at an extreme angle, they just snap. Off to learn more about arrow making, I suppose. 😀

Video Companion Progress Update 1

Hi all!

Just a quick note to say the scripts for “Locking and Drawing” and “Nocking and Drawing” are both done. Should begin shooting soon!

Personal practice: been busy lately but trying to get in 15 minute sessions a couple times a day. Just started seriously training Nocking. Lots of fumbling and a few dropped arrows, but when I’ve hit it right it felt like butter. I’m starting to really feel the potential.