Step 9: Loosing VI (flight refinement)

“Once he can do correctly all that he has set out to do, he should next go out into the desert and shoot into the great void, again without any mark, all the time watching the flight of his arrows through the air.” – Ṭaybughā

This step sounds like amazing fun. The archer gets to shoot very long distances in order to have more time to check arrow flight characteristics. Loosing arrows “into the great void” and watching them fly has got to be a blast, especially with a higher draw weight bow.

Sound technique will mean smooth arrow flight whereas faults will cause “gadding” or “flirting” or other odd behavior. Remember, the Mamelukes were lethal even at long distances and they engaged enemies from horseback. Steady arrow flight was critical. Now is the time to re-evaluate your fundamentals and make corrections as needed.

I haven’t yet sorted out a place to try this myself, but I imagine two things will be essential: nearly unlimited safe range, and a way to find your arrows once loosed. The current men’s Flight Archery record for a primitive Turkish bow was set in 2014 and is 430 yards. If you think that’s impressive, the primitive complex composite (unlimited draw weight) record is 619 yards! Check the USA Flight Archery website for the full list of current records. It’s pretty unreal stuff and I can’t wait to try it…

Loosing V (arrow flight intro) – Loosing VI (flight refinement) – Sighting