Viral 'speed archery' video mostly shows how gullible the internet is

[Permalink]

1 Like

As an archer, and a historical archery buff, I agree that some of the narration is highly questionable. But that’s not the reason the video went viral. It went viral because his fast shooting and array of tricks is impressive. So I do not see this as a case of the internet showing its gullibility.

Also, “lack of consistent form” is only an issue if you aren’t hitting your target - form is just a tool to aid in consistent results, and any form that gets you the results you want without injury is de facto good form. Keep in mind that some people have really good proprioception, and can get away with form most people can’t.

Archers who shoot aerial targets, for example, use a faster, less exacting looking form than Olympic target archers use, but they can hit moving targets that a skilled, slow shooting, medal winning Olympic archer just can’t. It’s a different skill set.

30 Likes

How gullible “the internet” is? Funny, I only recall seeing this video on one website…

39 Likes

The criticism that the archer has no accuracy is also without evidence, since it’s based upon the supposition that he “obviously” was not recorded missing his targets hundreds of other times. It’s possible, but we could say that about anyone.

13 Likes
....and denigrates “warrior archers only shooting at long distances,” (just one of many totally false claims) in order to paper over the fact that... 

I’d like to hear a different ‘false claim’ used to paper over that [opinion presented as fact]

That claim does not seem false to my hearing. I did catch the archer denigrating a strawperson who, being a long range straw-archer, underappreciates short range archery skills like his. I thought… who would actually denigrate such skills? And now I know.

But I’d still like to hear about maybe the second or third of the “Several” ‘false claims’ that the archer purportedly makes.

11 Likes

Hey Xeni, the folks behind the video are friends. Let me know if you’d like to talk to them directly, as I don’t think that post really represents what’s going on here at all.

34 Likes

He shoots I guess… ‘Zen’. Doesn’t look at the bow or the arrow.
Visualizes where the arrow must go.

Similar to ‘speed shooters’ (in guns). They just look… and the bullet (hopefully) goes there.
Lots of practice… and practice… and practice.

As for traditional ‘long-range’ archers, I think that is mostly a myth.
Bows were weak, arrows not straight, feather fletching, heads uneven, no sights.

Western archers (Romans etc) fired ‘en masse’, sending clouds of arrows to the enemy.
Eastern (Japanese, Mongolian) archers had short bows… fired (usually) from horses close up to the target.

8 Likes

So, for comparison, here is Hoyt sponsored trick shot artist Frank Addington Jr. shooting at small targets, close up, with the bow behind his back. He is very accurate shooter close up, but he’s not using traditional archery form either.

Is someone going to chime here and say that Frank Addington Jr.'s trick shots are of no value because he’s not an Olympic shooter? I think not. Nor would anyone say enjoying watching the video is proof of the internet’s gullibility.

The OP reminds me a bit of that popular book by Harry G. Frankfurt called On Bullshit. And yet for all of its calling out bullshit, On Bullshit itself seemed to be largely bullshit (gussied up in philosophical pretense) rather than its antidote.

4 Likes

I’d say it isn’t a myth but rather misunderstood. Long distance volley archery isn’t about aiming at and hit hitting individual targets from a distance, it’s about raining down large volumes of arrows into massed troops, as you note.

I agree, though, that the idea of accurately sniping individuals from 250 yards with a warbow is a myth.

War arrows were manufactured en mass and didn’t have the consistency in weight needed to hit a man sized target that far away consistently, especially not with the variability of an all wood bow (wood loses elasticity the longer you hold the bow back, and in cold weather). Even the best Victorian era target archer, Horace A Ford, could not hit a 4 foot diameter target every time at 100 yards, and that was with lighter target bows and carefully selected arrows. However we shouldn’t underestimate the general accuracy of long distance archery either. They might not get him on the first shot but they might will get them on a second. There’s more arrows where that first one came from.

10 Likes

This is the same guy whose videos were making the rounds a year or two ago, isn’t it?

2 Likes

Lee Harvey Oswald’s miss tape is hilarious. They keep driving that Lincoln Continental round and round Dealey Plaza while bullets ping off the tarmac like a summer squall.

29 Likes

Yeah, take that, “the Internet!”

9 Likes

I think he coats his arrows with dimethylpolysiloxane, too.

15 Likes

Here’s a bit of the past. Howard Hill. He did the archery for quite a few movies. My parents knew him and I took some classes from him when I was a kid. One story he told was doing the archery work with stunt men for westerns. He had to hit a little block of wood in the clothing of the stunt men. He said the only time he hurt someone was when he pined someone’s hand to the wood with an arrow. It turned out that in order to get the horse to fall on command the stuntman had to turn the reigns in a such a way his hand was in front of the target block of wood. Next time you watch a western you can see the same movement used to get horses to fall.

8 Likes

Seriously, did anyone pass around the video saying, “check out this guy’s thesis on historical archery,” or did they say, “look at these incredible archery trick shots”?

19 Likes

I, too, have the ability to miss the target hundreds of times!

4 Likes

Yup, it’s possible, and it’s something I consider when watching Dude Perfect videos. However Lars Anderson’s video shows him doing multiple shots in a single take. It’s a lot harder to do that by chance.

11 Likes

No doubt there are literally hundreds of failed attempts that were cut
out of the carefully-edited video. His gimmick is speed, not accuracy,
and it’s obvious to anyone who actually knows anything about archery
that his complete lack of any kind…”

Presumption of facts not in evidence + appeal to authority = pass.

27 Likes

I don’t know what he said about history jives or not. Whether people shot bows from the right vs left side or not.

But his trick shooting seems sound. The motorcycle thing seems rather easy, as I’ve seen people do it on galloping horse back. And I’ve seen other people shoot quickly with bows.

As for him missing a lot - so what? To get proficient at trick shooting you miss A LOT. But if you keep at it you can be a god like Jerry Miculik.

Byron Ferguson was the trick shooter I was thinking in another thread who can pick coins out of the air with a bow.

5 Likes

Even for an appeal to authority, “anyone who actually knows” is pretty damn weak!

13 Likes