Thursday, May 28, 2015

Archery for all..

Kolonel Sander's legacy..

Our "last-fling" with bare bow archery at the MSN Keramat Archery range was a month ago. 
Haji Ghazali, our go-between guy at the range told us politely that bare bows are not allowed at the range.
We have had a good time at the range, which in my opinion: is one of the most beautiful archery range in the Klang Valley.
There were some power-struggle in the club that occupy a small section at the range and it spiraled out of control when two camps tried to dominate the scene.
Cikgu Lau, a buddy of mine and I went to the Keramat range to shoot some arrows. We were reprimanded by one of the "official" club committee members. 
In short, we got thrown out.
Seems to me, the Keramat fiasco was more like a Kentucky Fried Chicken archery. Spare the few friendly faces, there were some really cocky characters. 
Michelle and I had decided not to go back there. Ever.

Caught in-between..

While the war wages on, the conflicting parties had reached a compromise. The "archery academy" folks had full control of the turf while the other club were given a small space at the range. Not bad. I hope they will resolve all hostilities and move on.

A big break

Mr Tan, an old friend of mine and a US-NAA Level-3 coach told me that traditional bows are allowed at the Kg Pandan Sports Complex.
Then, Raymond Chew, a customer of Tan confirmed this and made arrangements for us to give the range a try.
And since it's place where we can rent the target lanes, the "type" of bow was never an issue.
Best of all, the hourly rate is RM8/hour. I took the opportunity to check out the range in Kg Pandan with Michelle, my wife and found the place to be quite suitable for recurve bows.
The longest distance is 70-meters and this is also the range used by a group of Traditional Japanese archers.

With En Zaki, Raymond and Michelle at the Kg Pandan range
Mr Tan, who also came to the range was with his traditional bow. But the lanes were full as a group of islamic archers were training their customers there.
Then, came the Kyudo archery practitioners.
Raymond said he knew someone at the range by the name of En Zaki. 
And true to his observation, a guy and his son had turned up. They set up their target bud at a concrete pavement and invited us to give it a try.
Zaki was there to train a kid, whose parents had paid him for coaching.
I noticed that he had a Primal Gear Compact Survival Bow and was shooting with a thumb-draw technique.
We exchanged notes and Michelle and I had the opportunity to shoot two ends before I head over to work.

The Kyudo sensei in action

Michelle having a go a the target bud

Shooting my Hoyt Buffalo takedown bow
A decent group of people..

The folks who were practising at the range were all good. 
Although there were some Samurai-wannabe, we paid no heed to their customary bow and Zen-like form.
It's fun to watch the Kyudo archers in action, but in terms of practicality, their accuracy would come in question.
I see that some of the guys were really strained and their shots were either too low or wide.
But hey, it's not the target that matters but the form.
The number of people with traditional horse bows were overwhelming at the range.
Most were beginners while a few seasoned archers showed what they can do with their Korean bows and bamboo arrows.

An early morning session where we had the range to ourselves

Michelle's pretty happy with her grouping at 12 yards
What sets Kg Pandan apart from Keramat is the fact the folks there were pretty friendly. No egoistic Kolonel Sanders-like characters, selfish left-handed compound bow shooter, fart-faced committee members and that "I am too good for you" kid.
The pace at Kg Pandan is more relaxed and I found the Kyudo archers totally amusing. These guys practise from 10am - 12noon.
If done right, we can sustain our training sessions at this range and block off some dates by paying in advance..
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