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#16 浪淘音

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 03:24 PM

Wouldn't the longbow be about the same as a recurve? They both had about the same draw weight.

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draw weight is not decided by a type of bow.

a long bow depends on its length for power because unstrung, it looks like a stick

a recurve bow is curved in the opposite direction of the strung position when it is unstrung meaning you could have a short bow with a lot of power

on average, recurve bows had heavier draws. Shang era bows are thought to be up to 160 pounds. the heaviest long bow was about 100 and even that was rare

#17 Mei Houwang

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 03:29 PM

a long bow depends on its length for power because unstrung, it looks like a stick


Lol very funny :lol: . Does these apply with modern bows that have wheels/pullys? And which one does the Japanese longbow apply to?

Edited by Anthrophobia, 11 September 2005 - 03:39 PM.


#18 浪淘音

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 04:27 PM

Lol very funny :lol: . Does these apply with modern bows that have wheels/pullys? And which one does the Japanese longbow apply to?

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the bows with pulleys are compound bows. Japanese Yumi are long bows with recurve tips

what was so funny about what i said? a long bow does depend on its length and when unstrung, its essentially a stick shape

a recurve bow unstrung looks like a C with the limbs facing the opposite direction of what it would be strung allowing the bow to be shorter but extremely powerful

these differences are not superficial

#19 Boarhuntr

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 05:05 PM

the bows with pulleys are compound bows. Japanese Yumi are long bows with recurve tips

what was so funny about what i said? a long bow does depend on its length and when unstrung, its essentially a stick shape

a recurve bow unstrung looks like a C with the limbs facing the opposite direction of what it would be strung allowing the bow to be shorter but extremely powerful

these differences are not superficial

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From my days living in S. Korea, I recall that when you string a recurve bow you have to straddle the bow and bend in back. Man, that's a lot of potential energy waiting to smack you in the face if you do it wrong.
Mongolian bows are made w/ wood and animal horn , due to wood being scarce on the grasslands. From what I've seen they are a lot shorter than longbows that the Europeans used. I read that Mongolian bows had almost twice the distance than European longbows, that is why the Mongols were such fearsome fighters, because their arrows had much longer range than the Russians had.
Tao, what is average weight of a Mongol bow ? Did the Mongol soldier use any type of finger protection or glove to draw the bow ? How about the Chinese soldier ?

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#20 Kenneth

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 05:10 PM

draw weight is not decided by a type of bow.

a long bow depends on its length for power because unstrung, it looks like a stick

a recurve bow is curved in the opposite  direction of the strung position when it is unstrung meaning you could have a short bow with a lot of power

on average, recurve bows had heavier draws. Shang era bows are thought to be up to 160 pounds. the heaviest long bow was about 100 and even that was rare

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These figures would bve reversed depending on the source (or bias). Mongolian bow exponents put mongol bows at 90lb or more and a longbow at 70lb...to explain its superiority.
In truth longbows based on surving examples and the hoard found on the Mary Rose put them at 90lb-120lb and the Mary Rose reproductions at 150lb.
For the heavy Chinese bows this is at odds with what Stephen Selby emphasised in his writings on ATARN. The heavier bows were made to be heavy for sport only and he says the Chinese believed heavier bows had their disadvantages.
He was putting figures more at about 60lb.
Shang recurve bows are shown in pictograms but the bows themselves havent survived.
During Shang the bow technology still had a way to go as bone arrow points were still being used in the early Shang.
I would be curious to know where the figure for the Shang bows come from, but Selby did say this in an ATARN article;

Chinese literature contains a lot of tales of extraordinary draw-weights for bows. But technical writings stress that a heavy draw-weight was not desirable, and could actually be counter-productive. For military purposes, a weight of fifty to sixty pounds was adequate, and for civil archery, a much lower weight was drawn. Military examinations tested strength to draw up to ninety pounds: but this was a test of physique rather than archery: even the bows for ‘strength drawing’ were different from those used for archery.


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#21 浪淘音

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:06 PM

From my days living in S. Korea, I recall that when you string a recurve bow you have to straddle the bow and bend in back. Man, that's a lot of potential energy waiting to smack you in the face if you do it wrong.
Mongolian bows are made w/ wood and animal horn , due to wood being scarce on the grasslands.  From what I've seen they are a lot shorter than longbows that the Europeans used. I read that Mongolian bows had almost twice the distance than European longbows, that is why the Mongols were such fearsome fighters, because their arrows had much longer range than the Russians had.
Tao, what is average weight of a Mongol bow ?  Did the Mongol soldier use any type of finger protection or glove to draw the bow ? How about the Chinese soldier ?

Boarhuntr

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the construction of recurve bows aren't all that different from each other. horn, woodcore, sinew, fish glue,etc

the main difference depending on climate/place is what kind of horn, what kind of woodcore,etc,etc

i use the step through method to string my bow.

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Kenneth, Selby as far as the draw weight issue is concerned is not completely sure about that.

Selby knows his **** but there have been times he was wrong. (he insisted static tiped recurves did not exist until Ming which is wrong)

this is partly because the preferred draw weight changed from dynasty to dynasty. Most people studying Chinese archery history generally use the Ming as the prime example in which they preferred light bows

this is not true of all dynasties. during the Zhou dynasty, a "good" bow had to have a draw weight heavy enough to fascilitate penetration of 7 layers of toughened leather. quite alot

its true that strength tests on archery examinations would require bows to be heavier than normally used but we have to infer from other information

Tang dynasty horse archery examinations required the archer to be able to shoot a bow of 42 KG of weight which is about 92.5 LBs

while this did not mean this was common in the battlefield.

1. most writings on Chinese archery spoke of the importance of penetration and power as much as accuracy.
2. the Chinese draw itself is essentially a thumb draw fitted for a heavy bow.
3. the accepted traditional method for stringing most Chinese bows requires two people. sometimes three inferring heavy draw weights.

btw, the figure from the Shang bows comes from Shi Zhangru and Ralph D. Sawyer

#22 Mei Houwang

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:20 PM

How did they know the draw weight of a Shang bow? From a reconstruction?

#23 Kenneth

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:48 PM

Kenneth, Selby as far as the draw weight issue is concerned is not completely sure about that.

Selby knows his **** but there have been times he was wrong. (he insisted static tiped recurves did not exist until Ming which is wrong)

Yeah, that's true. There are other examples.
I am glad to know where the figures come from, but it is worth bearing in mind Sawyer has been wrong as well!
I'll keep an open mind on such things but even some of the primary records at times can be taken with a grain of salt too, i.e the 500kg waist loaded crossbows of Tang.
Nice conclusive figures are often elusive. Thanks for the info though. I'll bear it in mind.
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#24 浪淘音

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 10:57 PM

How did they know the draw weight of a Shang bow? From a reconstruction?

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the Shang bow figures are inferred from the sheer length of the Shang bow(which would have created a heavy draw almost naturally)

as well as the fact it was known that Shang Chinese hunted animals like Rhinos which some modern firearms can barely penetrate

references of unusually heavy draw weights are littered throughout Chinese archery literature as well as emphasis on power and penetration

#25 Kenneth

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:07 AM

The point about the hunting of Rhino is one I hadnt thought of, but you are quite right!
The central plains had Rhino which were hunted to extinction, and from whose skin the ancient Chinese made armour. They were gone by the Spring & Autumn period.
There must have been something pretty hard hitting if they did hunt with bows, which is how it is depicted. I havent heard any real evidence about how they were hunted, but it is a form of infered evidence if the perception of chariot hunts are correct.
Must have been quite a feat to run them down with chariots. I would be curious about the details.

I think you may also be the right person to appreciate my new bendy Wushu sword I have started training with too! (Ha!). I now believe the light sword is nessecary for beginners to perform all the elaborate movements for any length of time (like the light recurve is better for firing all afternnon than a heavy bow), also when performing an excercise and the sword clipped my ear during one of the spinny spin-wrist excercises I was kind of glad I hadnt been swinging any of my real swords. Even with the light sword the muscles in the forearms can ache afterwards, but I still agree that it is only a tool for the beginner and to rely on such weapons solely just removes any martial goal.
There was a tale Jet Li related to cutting himself during a long competition form in his young days and feeling drenched in sweat but focused so much he didnt realise it was blood and requiring sticthes.
It is a shame there isnt access to real Chinese swordsmanship in my city (or perhaps even country) but I still do really enjoy the Wushu forms I am gradually being shown. I just need to visualise applications for myself based on my other experiences like kata, but I am quite aware modern Wushu trains in many stances and movements that would be positively bad for real combat....even the leg stances and stepping...but yet I enjoy it.
I feel it is OK as long as I dont have any illusions about it.

I will be recieving a real Han era bronze dao in the post this week (I am told)...so will post some real blades for study shortly. My collecting will likely focus more on ancient weapons as time goes by, East Zhou to Han.

I also just won a 150lb crossbow in auction so will have a weapon with a weight comparible to battlefield use to play with but still useful for a beginner. I have found the 32lb recurve great fun but I should get the idea of flat trajectory and hitting power fron this. Even arc fire out to 60m or 90m is good fun with the bow, just a lot of walking backwards and forwards to retrieve arrows.
I better be careful before firing the crossbow in a long range arc for experiment!
I already plan to manufacture some good 6 foot tall plywood targets for my parents farm, and measure out ranges.
In the meantime a watermelon with an apple balanced on top should get me a few laughs!
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#26 浪淘音

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:19 PM

as far as real Chinese swordsmanship goes

i recommend the Xing Yi boxing system's two handed jian and two hand saber forms.

actually, the "two handed jian" form is actually a one and a half hand form (B****** sword in Euro terminology). it has both one handed and two handed techniques.

i use the form when i spar with people and they always think i'm doing kenjutsu or something

i also practice the Korean-ized version of Qi's Shuang Shou dao. i'm waiting for scott rodell's interpretation for it.

basically, anything associated with "kung fu" and "wu shu". you can forget about Chinese swordsmanship

as far as the boxing systems go, Xing Yi, and Ba Gua have the most authentic, interesting and effective civilian swordsmanship (actually, the Xing Yi shuan shou jian/dao forms could be military in origin)

Thomas Chen will have a much better perspective on the subject. some of my opinions are guided from a bias through a life time of having "Gong Fu" shi fu's who couldn't fence worth a c**p.

#27 k98er

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 07:43 PM

I decided to put off buying the bow until I've finished my senior project.

#28 浪淘音

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 04:16 PM

I decided to put off buying the bow until I've finished my senior project.


archery sharpens the mind

thats why Kong Zi himself emphasized it as an activity for gentleman

if you have any questions, feel free to email me and such




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