Thursday, July 3, 2014

Me, Certifiable

Back in March, I took a class that I hope will kinda change my life: a two-day seminar on archery instruction, at the end of which I received my Level II Archery Certificate.  I have always loved archery, and though I'm no Howard Hill, I am comfortable with a bow, and comfortable showing folks how to draw and loose an arrow.

The certification course, taught by Nico Gallegos of Ohlone Archery (a great guy), was extremely informative for my own form, and also a great confidence booster.  If you are a bowhunter, I highly recommend getting at least a Level I certification from this man, and/or lessons from him.

When I got home, I talked with my wife, who, it turns out, is enthusiastically supportive of this attempt at a sort-of small business, teaching and coaching archery.

Yes, that means I was granted permission to purchase all kinds of archery gear and accoutrement.  I picked up three bows -- two PSE's (a Razorback and a Razorback Jr.), and an OMP -- two dozen arrows, three bag targets, and some PVC pipe and toilet bases for stand quivers. 

I also bought a nice fletching jig and feathers (not vanes), and my daughter learned how to fletch.

Shooting the light-drawing bows (20lbs. at 28" draw) has also done wonders for my own form, as I am able to draw, think about individual parts (anchoring, expanding, etc.), and correct prior to the shot.  I should have bought one years ago.

To stay close to my love for the atavism in archery, I carved a few leather shooting tabs and leather arm guards, but I also bought a couple of armguards and a tab, to provide some options for students to try out.

Next, I made a deal with our local taekwondo dojang, Southport ATA, run by two amazing teachers and also friends, David and Anna Jung.  They jumped at the chance to provide a space for me; and really, what better place to arm children then at a martial arts school?

My first seminar went well.  7 students showed up, most between 10 and 12 years old, (though a couple of dads also shot), and most of them black belts, which made a huge difference!  These kids had great physical awareness, and required only a little tip here and there.  They all quickly took to it, and were smacking the targets in no time.

David was also happy with the seminar, and offered to give me one day per month.  And, with a good city Parks and Recreation department, a local outdoor range, and some enthusiasm, the opportunity exists for me to grow.

I must admit, I am still extremely nervous.  I'm good enough at archery, and I've been doing it long enough, to teach the basics, but still, I haven't been up in front of a regular class in eight years.

My confidence has been helped a great deal by a few people these past few months, however, and I feel I'm up for the challenge.  Nico, the Jung's at Southport ATA, and, of course, my wife, have all provided the boost I needed.


Hippo said...

Good luck with this, Josh! I would love to get going with Archery but we atill have the issue of getting them through customs.

What does OMP and PSE stand for?

Josh said...

Hippo! Glad to see you are on the mend, and I am sorry to hear some of your other news. We are thinking about you here, hoping things get better and better.

I'll do some poking around for archery folks in-country.

OMP stands for October Mountain Products, and PSE is Precision Shooting Equipment (but they are well known in archery as PSE).