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Philip of Kentshire, Barony of Sun Dragons, Kingdom of Atenveldt, SCA, Arizona


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Medieval Archery Events and Practices in Arizona...and a Few Personal Favorites

1) Barony of Sun Dragons Sunday morning practice at Oso Park Phoenix, Arizona with M'Lord Gnorme Gnome (middle), one of my mentors. Sir Frederick of Ruthhammer, another mentor, is in the background with the yellow cap.

Left to right; myself, M'Lord Gnorme Gnome, and an unknown archer...who's name we'll get for you shortly!

3) Another view of the Barony of Sun Dragons (BSD) During Sunday morning practice at Oso Park, Phoenix, AZ. M'Lady's stance is the classic form seen often in target events nationally...usually when their score is double your's.

Barony of Sun Dragon archery line...with classic target form...Oso Park, Spring 2000

5) Kingdom of Umbria archery tournament, Estrella Park West Phoenix, Spring 2000. Standard target, wand shooting, advancing-on-line, and a clout shoot were the order of the day. If you think the target looks teeny-tiny in the picture, try hitting it with an arrow released from a good longbow! :-D

Why not 'play' in the Kingdom of Umbria as well? Join up!

Kingdom of Umbria archery line trying a little distance 'loosing' of arrows, Estrella Park, Spring 2000

7) A goodly assortment of tools for the yeoman's trade. The arrows are from E.T. Williams, Kustom King Archery, F & S Discount purchased plain and then crested...on a machine from them also, and scratch built using chundoo shafts and a Martin Archery multifletch tool. The bow is a Gary Sentman attained from bidding on Bowsite Auction's website. The hat is from Costume House in Mesa, AZ and purchased at the weekly Encanto Park gathering of the various groups within the kingdoms for fighter practice. I changed out the feathers from Craftworld and the Leather Factory.

Samples of homemade and 'store bought' arrows, bow, tab, glove, armbrace, and the feathered hat.

9) View from the business end of an Asiatic composite bow. This is what the down range 'referee' sees if he or she has binoculars. Naadam festival in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia held yearly...Their cool version of the Super Bowl.

Mongolian archer using Asiatic composite bow and thumbring style

11) The classic lines of The Mongol bow from It has very clean lines and is smooth to draw. I tried drawing it at a vendor's tent during the Estrella War XVI. It was smooth all the way back to my drawlength without any stacking whatsoever.

The Mongol model from

12) The Magyar Sport bow works well with the Mediterranean finger grip also. Decorated on the siyahs (extension tips like ears at each end of the bow) and belly. A pretty bow.

The Magyar Sport model bow from   No 'stacking' until well past most draw lengths

14) A horizontal draw used by the Scythians. The method, although not as powerful as other draw styles, could promote a more rapid fire of arrows. In defensive positions or from a speedy approach then retreat by horseback, the Scythians could, literally, rain arrows into their adversaries.

Scythian horizontal draw

16) Some valid reasons to develop archery skills... Do you really want to 'get close and personal' with these people? There is something to be said about dispatching these unsavory characters from about 150 yards. Like I said earlier, not everyone uses a bow. Like Monty Python's "In Search of the Holy Grail", when in doubt as to their sanity, "RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!"

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts... like pikes and sharp pointy things...

18) 'Ahlan was ahlan.' M'Lord Yusuf using a New World Arbalest period crossbow. Since he worked in North Africa and really got to know the Taureg tribesmen, can you guess where he got the idea for his garb in our desert? 'Ma_ah salaam ah.'

No more infidels downrange... In sh_Allah!

Why don't you visit some of our fellow SCA players in the land 'down-under'? They have a few 'fair-dinkum' things to look at in Melbourne. I found these goode and kynde gentles while perusing the various sites. And besides, their name is Canton of Arrowsreach. Hey, brothers and sisters in arms! Say hello to Bill Farrow.

Click below to go to page 3

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2) BSD Archers at Oso Park

'No, I think the feathered part goes in the back by the string...'

4) His Excellency Baron Black Arrow marshals the archery line during a tournament for the Kingdom of Umbria at Estrella Park, West Phoenix Spring of 2000. His Excellency (HE) Baron Black Arrow is a national champion in the National Archery Association (N.A.A.), the governing body for national and Olympic competitions.

His Excellency ensuring the line is safe... arrows up and unnocked until all's clear all around.

6) Archer at Estrella War XVI using an Asiatic style bow from Kassai Horsebows. The targets are villains, knaves, and other sworn enemies of our kingdom.

Asiatic style bow by Kassai Horsebows at Estrella War XVI

8) Woman archer in Mongolia competing in their national festival held yearly called 'Naadam'. Wrestling, horseracing, and traditional archery are the main events. There are archeological sites throughout this part of Asia and SE Russia that show evidence of women as a warrior class in their societies. There is still evidence of this in the family clan structures in these regions. The arrows used are blunt tipped and the target is 160 yards away. A 'referee' with a flag behind a small portable wall situated near the target signals a hit or a miss. Note the use of the traditional thumbring grip at the arrow nock and the arrow 'released' off the hand on the right side of the bow. I tried this and found you must use the right side as the arrow in the thumbgrip tends to flip to the left and, thusly, is nearly impossible to hold on the bow's left side.

'...if this tourist leans into my bow arm one more time, we'll have a new target...'

10) Horsebowman in the classic style depicted on <> where you can find Asiatic style bows. The rider could often loose an arrow riding in, another when abreast of the target, and a rear aiming 'Parthian Shot' on the way out...all into the same target at a full lope. Can we spell 'pincushion'?

Often the last view of a Roman Legionnaire or Christian soldier.

13) Japanese Kyudo in the traditional method. The kneeling and standing positions are a form of meditation...becoming "one" with the arrow and/or the target through disciplined mental and physical relaxation.

Japanese Kyudo, the 'way of the bow'.

15) The Parthian Shot shown at full lope. The Parthians would wheel their horses about giving the appearance of a retreat or panic in the ranks. This would prompt their enemies to prematurely attack or charge toward their 'retreating' riders. These warriors trained many years to loose their arrows accurately behind them by turning in the the 'parting shot' again and again. The picture below shows Lajos Kassai, of Kassai Horsebows from Hungary, using one of their bows loosing an arrow almost directly backwards... while the horse is running.

Parthian Shot demonstrated

Want to try an Asiatic style bow? Go to and check them out.

17) His Excellency Baron Dmitri of the Sun Dragons getting the edge on us with his crossbow... until the 'speed rounds'. Then, it's a different story altogether. :-)

Huzzah!  This laser sight-rangefinder works exceedingly well!

19) M'Lady Marguerite's idea for our annual 'Safety-on-the-Range' tournament. The mundane populace got a bit skittish when they saw us archers loosing arrows blindfolded. 'Use the Force M'Lord Luke...'

What a gentleman!  That nice man is bringing some of our lost arrows back from his yard!