The Way of Archery
provides a detailed introduction to practicing archery in the traditional Chinese military style. It explains the basics of how to shoot using the Asian thumb ring: proper posture, training regimen, equipment, and avoiding pitfalls in shooting. The thorough translation and commentary, with original and new illustrations, provides a fresh and practical perspective on Gao Ying's 1637 archery treatise (which, itself, influenced generations of archers in East Asia).
The authors themselves are active practitioners of Chinese archery, having spent an endless amount of time and effort vetting their understanding of this old manual and putting its ideas into practice. Through this process, the authors have made the full archery text accessible to English-speaking audiences for the first time.
While coming to understand the technical side of The Way of Archery
, today's archers will connect with the philosophy and spirit of the ancient Chinese warriors. From the Book
When you are about to shoot and want to settle your body, you are following the Way of Establishing a Solid Root. When you pull the bow vigorously to reach full draw, you are following the Way of Being Motivated and Disciplined. When you gather your mind and strength to hold full draw steadily, then you are following the Way of Diligence and Self-Improvement. When you release, if your mind and form are sharp, then you can achieve internal peace without any anger: you are following the Way of Pursuing Perfection, Staying Motivated, Being Simultaneously Hard and Soft, and Catching the Right Moment! After the arrow releases, if you keep your form and spirit calm and collected, then you are following the Way of Tranquility.
Gao Ying was the ultimate archery enthusiast. His love for archery permeated his entire existence: even when he was not practicing, he was thinking about the nuances of archery at all hours of the day, His dedication to the subject shows in the great amount of detail he put into his books, which is what made researching Gao's work all the more compelling for us.
This book is a translation and commentary of Gao Ying's original text, thus we place our English next to the original text written by Gao Ying in Classical Chinese (which is included as a quotation).