Robin Hood is a legendary heroic outlaw depicted in English folklore and subsequently featured in literature and film. According to legend, he was a skilled archer and swordsman. In some versions of the legend, he is depicted as being of noble birth, in modern time he is sometimes depicted as having fought in the Crusades before returning to England to find his lands taken by the Sheriff. In the oldest known versions he is instead a member of the yeoman class. Traditionally depicted dressed in Lincoln green, he is said to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor. Through retellings and variations a body of familiar characters associated with Robin Hood have been created; these include his lover, Maid Marian, his band of outlaws, the Merry Men, his chief opponent, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Sheriff is depicted as assisting Prince John in usurping the rightful but absent King Richard, to whom Robin Hood remains loyal, his partisanship of the common people and his hostility to the Sheriff of Nottingham are early recorded features of the legend but his interest in the rightfulness of the king is not, neither is his setting in the reign of Richard I.
He became a popular folk figure in the Late Middle Ages, the earliest known ballads featuring him are from the 15th century. There have been numerous variations and adaptations of the story over the last six hundred years, the story continues to be represented in literature and television. Robin Hood is considered one of the best known tales of English folklore; the historicity of Robin Hood has been debated for centuries. There are numerous references to historical figures with similar names that have been proposed as possible evidence of his existence, some dating back to the late 13th century. At least eight plausible origins to the story have been mooted by historians and folklorists, including suggestions that "Robin Hood" was a stock alias used by or in reference to bandits; the first clear reference to'rhymes of Robin Hood' is from the alliterative poem Piers Plowman, thought to have been composed in the 1370s, but the earliest surviving copies of the narrative ballads that tell his story date to the second half of the 15th century, or the first decade of the 16th century.
In these early accounts, Robin Hood's partisanship of the lower classes, his devotion to the Virgin Mary and associated special regard for women, his outstanding skill as an archer, his anti-clericalism, his particular animosity towards the Sheriff of Nottingham are clear. Little John, Much the Miller's Son and Will Scarlet all appear, although not yet Maid Marian or Friar Tuck; the latter has been part of the legend since at least the 15th century, when he is mentioned in a Robin Hood play script. In modern popular culture, Robin Hood is seen as a contemporary and supporter of the late-12th-century king Richard the Lionheart, Robin being driven to outlawry during the misrule of Richard's brother John while Richard was away at the Third Crusade; this view first gained currency in the 16th century. It is not supported by the earliest ballads; the early compilation, A Gest of Robyn Hode, names the king as'Edward'. The oldest surviving ballad, Robin Hood and the Monk, gives less support to the picture of Robin Hood as a partisan of the true king.
The setting of the early ballads is attributed by scholars to either the 13th century or the 14th, although it is recognised they are not historically consistent. The early ballads are quite clear on Robin Hood's social status: he is a yeoman. While the precise meaning of this term changed over time, including free retainers of an aristocrat and small landholders, it always referred to commoners; the essence of it in the present context was'neither a knight nor a peasant or "husbonde" but something in between'. Artisans were among those regarded as'yeomen' in the 14th century. From the 16th century on, there were attempts to elevate Robin Hood to the nobility and in two influential plays, Anthony Munday presented him at the end of the 16th century as the Earl of Huntingdon, as he is still presented in modern times; as well as ballads, the legend was transmitted by'Robin Hood games' or plays that were an important part of the late medieval and early modern May Day festivities. The first record of a Robin Hood game was in 1426 in Exeter, but the reference does not indicate how old or widespread this custom was at the time.
The Robin Hood games are known to have flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is stated as fact that Maid Marian and a jolly friar entered the legend through the May Games; the earliest surviving text of a Robin Hood ballad is the 15th-century "Robin Hood and the Monk". This is preserved in Cambridge University manuscript Ff.5.48. Written after 1450, it contains many of the elements still associated with the legend, from the Nottingham setting to the bitter enmity between Robin and the local sheriff; the first printed version is A Gest of Robyn Hode, a collection of separate stories that attempts to unite the episodes into a single continuous narrative. After this comes "Robin Hood and the Potter", contained in a manuscript of c. 1503. "The Potter" is markedly different in tone from "The Monk": whereas the earlier tale is'a thriller' the latter is more comic, its plot involving trickery and cunning rather than straightforward force. Other early texts are dramatic pieces, the earliest being the fragmentary Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Notyngham.
For millennia, Chinese archery has played a pivotal role in Chinese society. In particular, archery featured prominently in ancient Chinese culture and philosophy: archery was one of the Six Noble Arts of the Zhou dynasty; because the cultures associated with Chinese society spanned a wide geography and time range, the techniques and equipment associated with Chinese archery are diverse. The improvement of firearms and other circumstances of 20th century China led to the demise of archery as a military and ritual practice, for much of the 20th century only one traditional bow and arrow workshop remained. However, in the beginning of the 21st century, there has been revival in interest among craftsmen looking to construct bows and arrows, as well as practice technique in the traditional Chinese style; the practice of Chinese archery can be referred to as The Way of Archery, a term derived from the 17th century Ming Dynasty archery manuals written by Gao Ying. The use of 道 can be seen in names used for other East Asian styles, such as Japanese archery and Korean archery.
In historical times, Chinese people used archery for hunting, rituals and warfare. China has a long history of mounted archery. Prior to the Warring States period, shooting from chariot was the primary form of battlefield archery. A typical arrangement was that each chariot would carry one driver, one halberder, one archer. Horseback archery replaced chariot archery during the Warring States period; the earliest recorded use of mounted archery by Han Chinese occurred with the reforms of King Wuling of Zhao in 307 BCE. Despite opposition from his nobles, Zhao Wuling's military reforms included the adoption of archery tactics of the bordering Xiongnu tribes, which meant shooting from horseback and eschewing Han robes in favor of nomadic-style jodhpurs. For infantry, the preferred projectile weapon was the crossbow, because shooting one required less training than shooting a bow; as early as 600 BC, Chinese crossbows employed sophisticated bronze trigger mechanisms, which allowed for high draw weights.
However, crossbow trigger mechanisms reverted to simpler designs during the Ming dynasty because the skill of constructing bronze trigger mechanisms was lost during the Mongolian Yuan dynasty. Nonetheless, infantry archery using the bow and arrow still served important functions in training as well as naval battles. In the Zhou dynasty, nobles held archery rituals which symbolized and reinforced order within the aristocratic hierarchy; the typical arrangement involved pairs of archers shooting at a target in a pavilion, accompanied by ceremonial music and wine. In these rituals, shooting with proper form and conduct was more important than hitting the target. Ritual archery served as a counterpoint to the typical portrayal of archers, who were skillful but brash. Confucius himself was an archery teacher, his own view on archery and archery rituals was that "A refined person has no use for competitiveness, yet if he cannot avoid it let him compete through archery!"Although civil archery rituals fell out of favor after the Zhou dynasty, examinations inspired by the Zhou-era rituals became a regular part of the military syllabus in dynasties such as the Han, Song and Qing.
These exams provided merit-based means of selecting military officials. In addition to archery on foot, the examinations featured mounted archery, as well as strength testing with specially-designed strength testing bows. Football and archery were practiced by the Ming Emperors. Equestrianism and archery were favorite pastimes of He Suonan who served in the Yuan and Ming militaries under Hongwu. Archery towers were built by Zhengtong Emperor at the Forbidden City. Archery towers were built on the city walls of Xi'an erected by Hongwu. Lake Houhu was guarded by archers in Nanjing during the Ming dynasty. Math, literature, archery and rites were the Six Arts. At the Guozijian, math, calligraphy and archery were emphasized by the Ming Hongwu Emperor in addition to Confucian classics and required in the Imperial Examinations. Archery and equestrianism were added to the exam by Hongwu in 1370 like how archery and equestrianism were required for non-military officials at the 武舉 College of War in 1162 by the Song Emperor Xiaozong.
The area around the Meridian Gate of Nanjing was used for archery by guards and generals under Hongwu. The Imperial exam included archery. Archery on horseback was practiced by Chinese living near the frontier. Wang Ju's writings on archery were followed during the Ming and Yuan and the Ming developed new methods of archery. Jinling Tuyong showed archery in Nanjing during the Ming. Contests in archery were held in the capital for Garrison of Guard soldiers. Equestrianism and archery were favored activities of his second son Zhu Gaoxu; the Yongle Emperor's eldest son and successor the Hongxi Emperor was disinterested in military matters but was accomplished in foot archery. Archery and equestrianism were frequent pastimes by the Zhengde Emperor, he practiced horseriding with eunuchs. Tibetan Buddhist monks, Muslim women and musicians were obtained and
Modern competitive archery
Modern competitive archery involves shooting arrows at a target for accuracy from a set distance or distances. This is called target archery. A form popular in Europe and America is field archery, shot at targets set at various distances in a wooded setting. There are several other lesser-known and historical forms, as well as archery novelty games; the World Archery Federation, composed of 156 national federations and other archery associations, is the governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Various other large organizations exist with different rules. Modern competitive target archery is governed by the World Archery Federation, abbreviated as WA. Olympic rules are derived from WA rules. Target archery competitions outdoors. Indoor distances are 18 m. Outdoor distances range from 25 m to 90 m. Competition is divided into ends of 3 or 6 arrows. After each end, the competitors retrieve their arrows. Archers have a set time limit in. 3 arrows are shot in 2 minutes, 6 in 4 minutes.
Targets are marked with 10 evenly spaced concentric rings, which have score values from 1 through 10 assigned to them. In addition, there is an inner 10 ring, sometimes called the X ring; this becomes the 10 ring at indoor compound competitions. Outdoors, it serves. Archers score each end by summing the scores for their arrows. Line breakers, an arrow just touching a scoring boundary line, will be awarded the higher score. In the past, most targets in competitive archery use some kind of stalks of grain or grass and may be constructed of marsh grass woven into a rope wrapped around into a target. However, in modern times, most archery targets are made of synthetic foam, or woven plastic bags stuffed with cloth. Different rounds and distances use; these range from 40 cm to 122 cm. Field archery involves shooting at targets of varying distance in rough terrain. Three common types of rounds are the field and animal. A round consists of 28 targets in two units of 14. Field rounds are at'even' distances up to 80 yards, using targets with a black bullseye, a white center ring, black outer ring.
Hunter rounds use'uneven' distances up to 70 yards, although scoring is identical to a field round, the target has an all-black face with a white bullseye. Children and youth positions for these two rounds are closer, no more than 30 and 50 yards, respectively. Animal rounds use life-size 2D animal targets with'uneven' distances reminiscent of the hunter round; the rules and scoring are significantly different. The archer shoot their first arrow. If it hits, they do not have to shoot again. If it misses, they advance to station two and shoots a second arrow to station three for a third if needed. Scoring areas are nonvital with points awarded depending on which arrow scored first. Again and youth shoot from reduced range. One goal of field archery is to improve the technique required for bowhunting in a more realistic outdoor setting, but without introducing the complication and guesswork of unknown distances; as with golf, fatigue can be an issue as the athlete walks the distance between targets across sometimes rough terrain.
IFAA Field and International rounds are used in European Professional Archery competition. The following are listed on the WA website; these competitions are not as popular as the two listed above, but they are competed internationally. 3D archery is a subset of field archery focusing on shooting at life-size models of game and is popular with hunters. It is most common to see unmarked distances in 3D archery, as the goal is to recreate a hunting environment for competition. Though the goal is hunting practice, hunting broadheads are not used, as they would tear up the foam targets too much. Normal target or field tips, of the same weight as the intended broadhead, are used instead. In the past 10 years 3D archery has taken new light with a competitive edge. There is a whole new group of competitions. Competitions are held in many U. S. states with the totals from each state being added together to crown a single winner within each division. Some competitors will travel thousands of miles a year to compete to try and claim the world title in 3D archery.
This competitive style has been growing in many other countries and should continue with strong support for many years to come. The major 3d archery groups are the IBO and the ASA are based in Eastern United States, they each have scoring methods. They host a number of competitive shoots across the Eastern United States. There are several classes in each organization that range from hunter all the way up to professional classes; each class shoots at maximum yardages. Similar to target archery, except that the archer attempts to drop arrows at long range into a group of concentric
Darts are missile weapons, designed to fly such that a sharp weighted point will strike first. They can be distinguished from javelins by fletching and a shaft, shorter and/or more flexible, from arrows by the fact that they are not of the right length to use with a normal bow; the term has been used to describe an wide variety of projectiles, from heavy spear-like ammunition for siege engines or atlatls to tiny poisoned needles for use in blowguns. Plumbatae or martiobarbuli were lead-weighted darts carried by infantrymen in Antiquity and the Middle Ages; the first examples seem to have been carried by the Ancient Greeks from about 500 B. C. onwards. The best written source for these tactical weapons is Vegetius's treatise known as De Re Militari: Some of the earliest evidence of advanced tool use includes remnants of an early type of dart, which can be considered the ancestor of arrows as well as bows. Reconstructions of this system have a range of over one hundred metres and can penetrate several centimetres of oak.
This technology was used worldwide from the Upper Palaeolithic until the development of archery made it obsolete. The darts in question are noticeably lighter than javelins, they have a weighted point of stone, on a removable foreshaft. This is held by friction onto a thin, flexible main shaft a few metres in length, with fletching and a nock at the opposite end. Since they are unlike anything in Western history, the term "dart" has been adopted after some debate; some alternate terms for this missile have included the spear, but this term has fallen out of favour since in all other uses, spears are stiff enough to be used for stabbing. In its function, an atlatl dart is more like a combination between an arrow, its similarity to a bow may not be obvious, but in fact both serve to accumulate energy by elasticity in a fundamentally similar way. As throwing begins, a dart of this type is designed to flex in compression between the accelerating force at its nock and the inertia of its weighted point, storing energy.
Late in this throw, as the point moves faster and so offers less resistance, the dart releases most of this energy by springing away from the thrower. Some energy may be recovered by the fletching as the projectile "fishtails" through the air. However, this energy is far less than is stated and only increases accuracy by counteracting the downward force on the tail. To maximize elastic energy storage and recovery, such darts should be held only by the nock and allowed to pivot as they are thrown; this requires a special tool, called a "spear thrower". Western culture has been able to borrow a name for this tool from the Aztec, who used it against the invading Spanish, who called it the atlatl. In Europe, the atlatl was supplemented by the arrow in the Epipaleolithic. By the Iron Age, the amentum, a strap attached to the shaft, was the standard European mechanism for throwing lighter javelins; the amentum gives not only range, but spin to the projectile. Archery may be easier to learn and have a faster rate of fire, yet this system's greatest advantage over the atlatl is that ammunition is easier to make and transport.
Since the dart must store all of the system's elastic energy, more care and weight of elastic material must be invested in its construction. In archery, the bulk of elastic energy is stored in the throwing device, rather than the projectile. For example, stone dart points from the same set tend to vary in mass by no more than a few percent, computer simulations show that this is necessary for efficient operation. Similar constraints exist for the length and materials quality of the shaft. If the same amount of attention and material are instead invested into a bow, projectiles can be made lighter and to less exacting tolerances; this allowed for more forgiving flint knapping. Greater mass becomes an advantage over archery when penetration is an overwhelming concern, as when harpooning sea mammals; this class of dart was used by aboriginal Arctic hunters such as the Aleut until recently. Darts and atlatls have been constructed by modern enthusiasts, either with ancient materials and methods or with high technology borrowed from modern archery.
While some do this in the context of anthropology or mechanical engineering, many view the practice as a sport, throw competitively for distance and/or for accuracy. Throws of 260 m have been recorded; the darts in use by the developers of the English language were used throughout Europe for much of its military history, though they were never a dominant weapons technology. They have lent their name to quite a few weapons from other cultures, it is quite reasonable to speculate the darts used with atlatls were adapted from hand-thrown darts, which in turn were derived from light javelins. In Europe, short but heavy-pointed darts were sometimes used in warfare; these resembled an arrow with a long head and short shaft. The Roman model, the plumbata, was weighted with lead. In some legions, five of these were carried inside each soldier's shield. Feathered spears called darts or javelins, were used in medieval and
Run archery is a shooting discipline connecting archery with running. It is similar to the sport of biathlon. Run archery was developed during the 1990s by European archery associations. Since 2000, some countries in other areas like Russia, the Netherlands and Germany have begun organizing annual national championships. Run archery was admitted as a discipline of the World Archery Federation in 2003. Like in the sport of biathlon, participants start with running, alternate between running and shooting series of three arrows at a 20cm wide target from 20m away. For scoring, it does not matter whether the target is hit at the edge. For each missed shot the athlete must run a penalty loop; the number of laps and target sizes depend on bow type. At the end, the fastest athlete wins; the bow must be held in hand during running. List of tournaments and clubs
A flatbow is a bow with non-recurved, flat wide limbs that are rectangular in cross-section. Because the limbs are wide, flatbows will narrow and become deeper at the handle, with a rounded, non-bending handle for easier grip; this design differs from that of a longbow, which has rounded limbs that are circular or D shaped in cross-section, is widest at the handle. A flatbow can be just as long as a longbow, but can be short. Traditional flatbows are wooden self bows, though laminated and composite flatbows have been made in ancient and modern times. Modern flatbows use fiberglass; the flatbow is a superior bow design for all materials because the stress is more evenly spread out than with rounded limb sections. A bow limb is a flexed beam undergoing bending, in any flexed beam the farther from the neutral axis the more stress there is within the material; when a limb is rounded, as in a longbow, some material sticks out farther from the neutral axis, thus is put under greater stress. In a flatbow, the flat belly and back ensure that all of the most strained material is a uniform distance from the neutral axis, spreading the load over a wider limb, minimizing stress and making weaker woods far less to fail.
Only resilient timbers can make an effective and powerful wooden longbow. In most parts of the world, common hardwoods may be used to create excellent bows. Suitable and available timbers include elm, sycamore and ash; the flatbow design lends itself to dense, high strength woods such as hickory and osage orange. Good quality yew wood is still much more expensive and difficult to find than woods suitable for flatbows, beginning bowyers are recommended to start with a flatbow made from available wood; because yew, the wood of choice for European longbows, is light and has exceptional compressive strength, the rounded design can be used to produce a smooth shooting, powerful bow. This is economical of the bowyer's time. Compared to a narrow, rounded longbow design, the bowyer needs to start with a wider stave, take more time to achieve an rectangular cross-section, may need to cut through growth rings on the back of the bow. Flatbows were used by Native American tribes such as the Hupa and Wampanoag, prehistoric ancient Europeans, some Inuit tribes, Finno-Ugric nations and a number of other pre-gunpowder societies for hunting and warfare because, unlike longbows, good flatbows can be made from a wide variety of timbers.
Flatbows fell from favour in Europe after the Mesolithic, replaced with yew longbows. The trade of yew wood for English longbows was such that it depleted the stocks of yew over a huge area. Flatbows are used by the paleolithic Sentinelese tribes of the Andaman Islands. Flatbows survived in cold areas, such as Finland, where yew does not grow because of the unsuitable climate; the traditional Finnish flatbow is made either from ash, or as birch/pine laminate glued together with fish or hide glue. Yew was available as an imported material for bows in Finland, but it was considered not suitable for serious use, because it is fragile at cold temperatures and the season for hunting for furs is in January and February, when the furs are at their best; the American longbow known as the American flatbow, was developed in the 1930s. It resulted from scientific investigation into the best cross-sectional shape for a bow limb; this research was expected to explain why the English longbow's D-section was superior to all other extant designs.
Instead, it showed. The American longbow was developed by applying these research findings to the English longbow; the result was a more stable bow which can be made from more common woods. Because of its coincidental resemblance to some Native American bows, the American longbow is known as the semi-Indian bow; the American longbow was popularised by Howard Hill and displaced the English longbow as the preferred bow for target shooting. The modern Olympic-style recurve bow is a development of the American longbow using fiberglass rather than wood for the backing and belly of the recurved limbs, artificial materials such as carbon for the core, with a built-up riser section; the tips are flexible rather than static. Cable-backed bow Horse archer
Kyūdō is the Japanese martial art of archery. Experts in kyūdō are referred to as kyūdōka. Kyūdō is based on kyūjutsu. Kyūdō is practised by thousands of people worldwide; as of 2005, the International Kyudo Federation had 132,760 graded members. The beginning of archery in Japan is pre-historical; the first images picturing the distinct Japanese asymmetrical longbow are from the Yayoi period. The changing of society and the military class taking power at the end of the first millennium created a requirement for education in archery; this led to the birth of the first kyujutsu ryūha, the Henmi-ryū, founded by Henmi Kiyomitsu in the 12th century. The Takeda-ryū and the mounted archery school Ogasawara-ryū were founded by his descendants; the need for archers grew during the Genpei War and as a result the founder of the Ogasawara-ryū, began teaching yabusame. From the 15th to the 16th century, Japan was ravaged by civil war. In the latter part of the 15th century Heki Danjō Masatsugu revolutionized archery with his new and accurate approach called hi, kan, chū, his footman's archery spread rapidly.
Many new schools were formed, some of which, such as Heki-ryū Chikurin-ha, Heki-ryū Sekka-ha and Heki-ryū Insai-ha, remain today. The yumi as a weapon of war began its decline after the Portuguese arrived in Japan in 1543 bringing firearms with them in the form of the matchlock; the Japanese soon started to manufacture their own version of the matchlock called tanegashima and it and the yari became the weapons of choice over the yumi. The yumi as a weapon was used alongside the tanegashima for a period of time because of its longer reach and because it had a rate of fire 30–40 times faster; the tanegashima however did not require the same amount of training as a yumi, allowing Oda Nobunaga's army consisting of farmers armed with tanegashima to annihilate a traditional samurai archer cavalry in a single battle in 1575. During the Edo period Japan was turned inward as a hierarchical caste society in which the samurai were at the top. There was an extended era of peace during which the samurai moved to administrative duty, although the traditional fighting skills were still esteemed.
During this period archery became a "voluntary" skill, practised in the court in ceremonial form as different kinds of competition. Archery spread outside the warrior class; the samurai were affected by the straightforward philosophy and aim for self-control in Zen Buddhism, introduced by Chinese monks. Earlier archery had been called kyūjutsu, the skill of bow, but monks acting as martial arts teachers led to creation of a new concept: kyūdō. During the changes to Japan brought by opening up to the outside world at the beginning of the Meiji era, the samurai lost their status. Therefore, all martial arts, including kyūdō, saw a significant decrease in instruction and appreciation. In 1896, a group of kyūdō masters gathered to save traditional archery. Honda Toshizane, the kyūdō teacher for the Imperial University of Tokyo, merged the war and ceremonial shooting styles, creating a hybrid called Honda-ryū. However, it took until 1949. Guidelines published in the 1953 kyūdō kyohon define how, in a competition or graduation, archers from different schools can shoot together in unified form.
Kyūdō is practised in many different schools, some of which descend from military shooting and others that descend from ceremonial or contemplative practice. Therefore, the emphasis is different; some emphasise others efficiency. Contemplative schools teach the form as a meditation in action. In certain schools, to shoot will result in hitting the desired target. For this a phrase seisha hitchū, "true shooting, certain hitting", is used. According to the Nippon Kyūdō Federation the supreme goal of kyūdō is the state of shin-zen-bi "truth-goodness-beauty", which can be approximated as: when archers shoot with virtuous spirit and attitude toward all persons and all things which relate to kyūdō, beautiful shooting is realised naturally. Kyūdō practice, as in all budō, includes the idea of spiritual development. Today many archers practise kyūdō with marksmanship being paramount. However, the goal most devotees of kyūdō seek is seisha seichū, "correct shooting is correct hitting". In kyūdō the unique action of expansion that results in a natural release, is sought.
When the technique of the shooting is correct the result is. To give oneself to the shooting is the spiritual goal, achieved by perfection of both the spirit and shooting technique leading to munen musō, "no thoughts, no illusions"; this however is not Zen, although Japanese bow can be used in Zen-practice or kyūdō practised by a Zen master. In this respect, many kyūdō practitioners believe that competition and any opportunity that places the archer in this uncompromising situation is important, while other practitioners will avoid competitions or examinations of any kind. Since the Second World War kyūdō has been associated with Zen Buddhism, but not all kyūdō schools include a spiritual component. This popular view is the result of a single book Zen in the Art of Archery by the German author Eugen Herrigel. Herrigel spoke only a little Japanese using a translator to speak with his teacher, his view on kyūdō was in part due to mi