Sunday, March 22, 2015

Leaders, posers and losers...

It was a normal day at the range till...

I made some arrangements to show Cikgu Lau, my ex-schoolmate and fellow archery buff the MSN archery range in the fringe of the KL city area.
We took nearly an hour to get to the place and found that it was nearly deserted. Or that's what I thought it was.
While making my way to the men's room, I heard my name being yelled out loud. It was an elder from an archery club who is one of the most helpful person I have ever met.
He was supervising two kids who were training at the backlot of the complex. 
I introduced him to Cikgu Lau who showed his Kassai Mongol Bow. From what I understood, traditional bow can be shot at the range. Well, that was what I was made to know from the club's senior archers.

A Mongol bow, similar to what my buddy owns..
We moved a target stand and a bud from the backlot to the field. The elder was so kind, he actually pinned down a target paper on the bud.
Cikgu Lau showed his bow to the elder who then made his way back to supervise the kids at the back.
My friend and I took turns to plink the 20-meter target bud with our bows.
I was using my Primal Gear Unlimited Folding Bow. 
We shot five ends and noticed that the crowd was slowly trickling in..

Enter Kolonel Sanders...

Lau took all his six shots while I was emptying my arrows on the bud.
I rested my bow and all of the sudden, an old guy yelled out: "Hello! This is the MSN, traditional bows are not allowed.."
I put my bow down while the Cikgu holstered his Mongol bow on his hip quiver.
The man then went on about the "rules". 
"Are you a member of a club?", he asked.
I told him that we were guests of a certain club which prompted an aggressive reaction from the guy.
I've seen the man a few times at the range. He usually arrives with a compound bow case in a camouflaged fabric wrap and a shitload of gear. He is chirpy at all times and had mostly likely recognised me because I have been to the range regularly.
"The said club is now defunct. You need to register with our club, which is the official one," he explained.

The new pariahs..

After throwing the book, he went on rambling about instinctive shooting and ran down traditional archers. 
"Here, only modern bows with sights are allowed.
"Archery is about aiming."
Intrigued, Lau asked for his contact. He introduced himself as a Kolonel. Retired serviceman perhaps. The man began his sarcastic rant about traditional archers shooting foam animals and their spiritual quests.
The conversation went from some loonies running around with a bow in the jungle to which is the best bow brand.
And he went on bragging about how good his PSE compound bow is and it being cheaper than dirt. 

And finally, the Kolonel pulls out a piece of day old fried chicken from his bucket..

Okay, the one part I didn't expect was this: after running down traditional archery, instinctive shooting and other brands of compound bows, the Kolonel said: "I tune compound bows, I make sure the cams are aligned or it's useless.."
Then he said this: "I offer six-hour coaching for compound bows. I make sure that my students are ready to compete at tournaments after they attend my coaching classes.."

So, after a nice lecture, the guy sold his services.
I read his body language and mannerism. Matters as such can be handled amicably. You can tell a person off about the rules of the house, and I don't think there is a need to talk down to a complete stranger about what you think is bad about traditional bows and archery and the people who engage in this form of archery.
That said and done, I don't think I will join his club. The guy is an asshole.
But don't get me wrong, I met some of the nicest people through archery. Today just wasn't our day. But we did get a few rounds off. Later, I conveyed this message to the elder who apologized profusely. I actually felt bad, but this story has to be told. And I leave it as it is.. 

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