Most people don’t think of archery as a martial art or as a challenging sport. In fact it is! Across history and cultures, shooting a bow and arrow has been regarded as a critical skill and an elite martial art. It’s more than possible that your ancestors were great archers. Even today, archery is not only a competitive college sport, it is an Olympic sport as well.
There are different types of archery. One of the most popular for beginners is called target archery where you shoot at a stationary bullseye target. This is the style of archery at the Olympic games. YNMA will give you the chance to practice target archery both indoors at our dojo and at outdoor target ranges.
Our NASP, nationally certified archery instructors will help young archers progress in the sport at your own pace. If you are between the ages of 10 and 17, please drop by to join our program! We are especially hopeful that young women and girls in our community will join other new archers learning this skill.
Our focus is on teaching students in a safe and supportive environment. To that end, we teach safety first in our introductory class. We make protective equipment available to our students to protect from damage to the fingers, the arms and the chest. Archers learn the correct way to carry your bow and arrows, aim, fire and retrieve your bows safely.
Our young archers can take part in archery tournaments once they develop basic skills. Certain archers will be chosen to show their skills during community, school-based demonstrations to encourage other youth to become archers, too. As part of YNMA youth development, any archery student can take part in YNMA afterschool homework and tutorial services.
Benefits of Archery
1. Improves your focus
Archers need to learn to tune out everything and focus on their target, focus on their form and focus on releasing the bowstring correctly everytime. This concentration when practiced regularly during archery can improve focus in other daily and high pressure situations.
2. Improves hand-eye coordination
Feedback from your eyes directs your hands to correctly aim your bow. With regular practice, your coordination becomes better and the archer gets better at aiming.
3. Improves hand and finger flexibility
Fingers and hands strengthen in archery and become more flexible. This is due to the fact that while aiming at the target, they are fully in use.
4. Improves your core and upper body strength
Archery affects the body in much the same way as lifting weights. When an archer practices aiming and drawing, they use not just their arms, but also their core, chest, and shoulders. When you observe an archer you will see that they usually hold their draw for a couple seconds before they fire the arrow. This act leads to muscle development in major upper body muscle groups. Not only does archery lead to strength it also increases balance which is necessary for success in many sports and helps with overall everyday wellness and energy.
5) Burns calories
Prevention Magazine says drawing a bow burns about 140 calories per half-hour, the same as walking at a brisk 3.5-mile per hour pace.
6) Increases patience and confidence
Archery is a sport that is all about precision. In order to improve in this skill, archers quickly learn they must practice and rely on their patience. As archers’ patience, mental focus and skills improve during practice and tournaments, whether they compete against themselves or others, they get a boost of self-esteem and self-confidence.
7) Improves social skills
Archery can be an individual sport or a team sport. Archers can be any age and from many different walks of life. When they practice and spend time at the range, they get to know other individual archers. Teams are important in archery and archer’s learn to recognize each other’s strengths and how to support each other.
8) Provides relaxation
When releasing an arrow, watching it fly, and seeing and hearing it hit a target, many archers often find this a great stress reliever. The focus this requires is often likened to meditation and as such is an overall satisfying and relaxing experience.
Archery is a great family sport and can be done by people of diverse ability and special needs. In recent years, special equipment has been developed to support those with special needs to enjoy and excel in archery.
10) Options for Academic Scholarships and Olympic participation
Archery has increased in popularity leading to opportunities for youth to get scholarships to colleges or universities for their skill in archery much like getting scholarships to play basketball or football or wrestling. Youth can also focus on archery as an Olympic sport.
YNMA is connected to National Programs
Our youth will have the option to participate in a number of leagues including the National Archery in Schools Program, USA Archery, and the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program. Membership in these programs allows our archers to take part in tournaments, play exciting games and earn awards and opportunities for scholarships.