The Draw

The Draw

there are many ways to travel but you want to choose a method that lets you save energy and maximizes your body's mechanical advantage I'll explain the pushdown draw which is a method that will let you shoot military wave pose as well as making light and moderate wave pose more comfortable to chew the pushdown draught that I'll explain is based on gowing's main military archery form an analysis of traditional military and hunting archery forms from other cultures as well as an understanding of the anatomy involved in archery and practical experience to shooting really heavy bows broadly speaking there are three main categories of draw depending on what you do with the elbows to open the bone first there's lifting draw where they all those go from down to up then the horizontal draw where the elbow stay at the same level then there's the push down draw where the elbows go from up to a level position once again the lifting draw then the horizontal draw and then the pushdown draw now of these three drawers we can immediately discount the lifting draw primarily because even though you might be able to use some of the central back muscles to draw you're also relying heavily on these middle and front deltoids to lift the arms up this is a pretty weak draw now even if you might start with a push down draw and end with a lifting draw this is still suboptimal because you're having to finish the draw with a lifting motion using smaller muscles with the horizontal draw you're using your central back muscles particularly the rhomboids the middle and the lower traps to bring those elbows apart and to bring the shoulder blades together this is a relatively strong movement but you're not using your full backs potential with the horizontal draw now the push down draw introduces a vertical component to the horizontal draw if you've ever done pull-ups you know you're able to hold onto a bar and lift your body up there your whole body weight then that's pretty strong movement the reason is because with this you're taking advantage of the latissimus dorsi the lats so what it looks like here is this so in addition to a horizontal component if you're adding a vertical component to your draw as well not just the horizontal but with the pushdown you've got a vertical component as well now the reason to push down draw is great for military-style nursery is because it brings balance to the back the draw and the bow shoulder are essentially doing the same thing the bow shoulder recall is settled by depressing and retracting it towards your spine and then the draw shoulder is also depressing and we're tracking towards the spine so they're almost mirror images of each other here I settle the bow shoulder by depressing it and retracting it towards the spine with the draw shoulder as I bring the elbow back and down I'm going to depress it and retract it towards the spine military archery is about making balance use of the back muscles but then you notice this little lean especially in traditional military and hunting cultures so why is that well let me explain so the alternatives you can consider are to have an upright torso shooting out a little target with a level bar if you draw until here which you see in some target shooting forms you're actually making a symmetric use of the back muscles because the lats on the draw side or lengthen compared to the lats on the bow side so they're not exerting symmetrically you're not making balanced use of your lats and so you're not using their full potential back strength in this kind of position so let's say you draw a longer so that the the human right of the draw side on the bow side are even but in this position you're liable to have the bow shall to watch because of the alignment of the joints here remembering military archery would prefer a slight sloping up of the bow arm in order to direct the force of the bow down into the ribcage this is much better for your body here so then we have this slope of the arguments and let's say we're contracting the back muscles evenly here and we're going to match the slope on the draw side as well so it's balanced it's balanced it's balanced the back muscles are still exerting themselves in a balanced way what the poem here is that I'm mating open to the sky that is why for the military styles you actually take your torso as a unit and you can't it slightly to aim level see that it's even it's even it's even now the humor I are even the back is exerting itself evenly when I'm aiming up so to aim level I have to can't the torso just a bit and that's why you see the lead and that's why it looks like well oh the shoulders are not even but it actually they're both settling down and towards the spine it's just that your canting a bit in order to shoot level now the mistakes you want to avoid is to deliberately hunch that draw shoulder up as you draw have you tried to you know hunch it up like this and then do the push down then that's that's absolutely wrong because they're gonna create pain on the neck muscles on your draw side I mean you'll notice it right away that's why I mentioned you know the the bow shoulder and the draw shoulder are mirror images of each other you want to settle and retract the draw shoulder blade as you're drawing back it only looks higher than the bowler because we're canting the torso towards the target if you want to avoid you know crowding of the draw shoulder blade you know you don't want to just draw horizontally here you want to use is push down motion to spread the shoulder out then depress it and then retract it towards the spine here so the similarity in posture between military and hunting styles of different traditional archery cultures is quite striking in the upper left you have an excerpt from Ming Chinese painting the upper right marks Trenton and Joe Gibbs both English Orville archers on the lower left a young Gullu elephant hunter from Africa and on a lower right Japanese military archers in all cases you see the characteristic lean or a camp of the torso a pushdown draw being executed as well as the settling of the bow shoulder as indicated by the slight upward slope of the bow arm from the shoulder to the hand these folks are shooting bows weighing from 90 pounds to 130 hundred 40 and up to 200 or more pounds genuinely I recommend keeping the draw slide elbow in line with the draw hand upon reaching full draw with a push down this allows you to have relaxed line between the thumb the thumb knuckle of the wrist and the elbow it'll feel like you're pulling with the elbow when in reality you're actually using your back muscles to operate that elbow gouging this recommendation was to only drop the drama bow upon release if you haven't yet released then don't drop that draw elbow now there is one exception and that is if you have a very long draw and you're keeping that draw a little closed during the draw cycle it looks like this so let's push down draw reaching this same position as before but let's say you draw even longer then that draw elbow has to make room for the draw hand to go further back that's what this looks like now you want to avoid keeping that draw elbow open like so because that engages the draw side triceps was pretty small compared to your back muscles I've yet to see an archer shoot a really heavy bow using this sort of open elbow posture and the other situation you want to avoid is having a short draw and dropping that draw elbow prematurely like this I call this the chicken wing and you see a lot of beginners doing this when they haven't figure out how to use their back muscles to pull especially they haven't figured out how to use the draw side lats to help them with the draw so again the chicken wing this is a weak posture something you want to avoid and you know this actually risks injuring your draw elbow as well once again that one situation where you can drop the trial elbow before release is a really long draw and you're keeping that driveable closed through the draw cycle so that you're using your back muscles to operate that draw elbow and you'll see this in certain styles and also people with particular anatomies as well for example I have friends who have very broad shoulders compared to their arm length and so they find this to be more comfortable whereas I have pretty long arms compared to my shoulder width and so I find this to be a comfortable full draw for me you now there are a number of variations to start the pushdown draw one thing you want to avoid though is the sky draw sky drawing is where you've got the arrow pointed up a pre draw or during the draw cycle and this is dangerous because of accidental losses and it's employment its disallowed at all ranges pretty much so but you know there's it's very very rare that you're in a place where this is allowed so generally when you do the push down draw you want to fly a variation where the arrow is level or point it down during the draw cycle so there are number of possibilities you consider experiment event and see what works for you for example you could do a high push down hands above you or you could do a hi front position to start to push down or you can start in the lower position they forward a bit and you lift the bow into position while I sit you can push down and having a settled shoulder as well now my preferred variation is a pre draw boat tilt so the bow arm is in close to the final position but you tilt the bow down this encourages you to have a nice arc of the elbow this is a good position for beginners to consider well yeah each approach has its pros and cons again experiment a bit and see what works for you 123 pounds thanks for watching this tutorial on the pushdown draw hopefully you'll find this a useful technique to incorporate into your repertoire whether it's for shooting heavy military wave bows or for making lighter bows more comfortable to shoot with you

39 Replies to “The Draw”

  1. At last i have found the draw technique which suits me….thanks again for the video…i manage to shoot into the red and yellow ring from 30m with this technique since i can reach my full draw and stable anchoring before the release….

  2. Thanks for info Jason,
    Some food for thought: Plains Indians here in the states often did a sky draw as their method will the variations of a thumb /index pinch grip accompanied by other finger tips pressing into the string on the draw.

  3. The lean and the bow arm bend comes instinctively for me, could not reason it for a while. It just feel so right to do so. Thank you for the clear explanations. This really open up a total new horizon of understandings for self-taught archers.

  4. As a beginner that has given me a much better understanding of what I should be doing when drawing my bow back.

  5. Hypnotic, informative and one of the best instructional vids I’ve seen. When I finally get my bow this will be on high rotation. Many thanks Justin.

  6. Great analysis Justin. I shoot mostly compound bows these days, but I'm still getting up there in weight, 85-90 lbs. The push down draw is what I have found to be most effective. Compounds reach and maintain peak weight so early in the draw cycle that it is in my mind the only good way to draw them! Thanks

  7. These videos continue to meet the standards of quality information, exhaustive analysis and calm, organized explanation – just fantastic!
    You learn so much in such a small amount of time.
    I have to get a Patreon account.

  8. I am really interested in your opinion of the Japanese Yumi and its kyujutsu & kyudo technique.

    When I started with archery I learned the Mediteranean style, but now since one year, I am shooting Asiatic. After learning the basics of the thumbdraw I started doing a Heki style of kyudo. I am still amazed how lovely it is to shoot a Yumi the Japanese way!

  9. I'm getting a lot out of these videos, thanks for posting. I had always believed this about the pushdown draw, but I'd never seen it explained so clearly until now.

  10. I’ve always thought it would be nice to see people in these videos with their shirts off to see which muscles are engaging and where/when. Really great stuff.

    Would you consider a video on home work outs to consider for strengthening upper body for archery?

  11. Thanks Justin. so helpful to see that in motion in combination with your book, bringing Gao Ying back to life. Great to see your back muscles synchronizing. Made things a lot clearer

  12. This is just what I need. A complete explanation and breakdown of a strong, safe and efficient draw cycle.
    Now I just have to work on my target panic…

  13. I was using your draw method a few days ago with my 35# bow: more effective and easy to come to a full draw, almost spookily so! This video helps nail down the details really nicely so thank you for taking the time to make it. I’m also grateful to see someone talking about muscle groups in archery and actually showing them, rather than keeping it a secret! You can clearly see them working in perfect alignment.

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