Monday, March 20, 2017

Instinctive or Intuitive Archery?

There has been a discussion lately in the global traditional-instinctive archery community, whether the term "instinctive" is accurate and descriptive in archery or the term "intuitive" is more appropriate. I, for the first time was introduced to the term "intuitive" instead of "instinctive" three years ago during an online debate about traditional archery by a French-Canadian "traditional" archer-hunter, who din't even use a trad. bow, but the american hunting bows (you know the ones with the pistol handle and arrow self, which for some reason, they call "traditional" in America).
Since then i've crossed this term debate a couple of times on some fb groups. So here's what i think on the subject:

Latin word "instict" actually comes from the ancient Greek word "ένστικτον" (pron. ensticton) which is the word for the neutral adjective, meaning originally something that bares an engraved or embroidered mark.
The word today is used to express the innate tendency or capacity of man to act or react spontaneously, without involving the sense or the will.
Intuition on the other hand is used to express one's ability to be aware of things that are not visible to the physical senses, which can not be proved by logic or what is still missing.

Clearly i stand for "instinctive", as long as one is truly an instinctive archer and shoots without using any kind of aiming methods or prearranged forms, styles and techniques (such as anchor points,knocking points etc) or thinking it too much.
I know lots of people who claim to be instinctive archers, though they take their time to aim and reflect on their shots and used equipment and approaching archery with a "scientific" prospect, which is totally fine by all means, but not so "instinctive" and primary.

Intuition also applies in all kinds of archery, but it's dominant in certain styles. It's the mentality, a state of the mind for some people (i guess not all people) when shooting. It's a total different thing and they shouldn't be confused.
Kyudo (Japanese trad. archery) for example, is the highest form of intuitive archery, having to do with a mindset inextricably linked to the zen perspective and worldview, but it also consists of prearranged forms, techniques, rules and regulations, which clearly have nothing to do with instinctive archery.

Ι strongly believe that there is not even an issue here, as the two concepts have totally different meanings and the whole debate started from modern hobbyists and "scientific" archers and hunters, who have probably nothing to do with either instinct or intuition.
If we're talking about primary,primitive,survival or combative archery, then the use of the term "instinctive" is essential, while if we're talking about sport archery,ceremonial or demonstrative archery, then instinct goes to the side and intuition comes in forth.

We in our team "Falcon Hellenic Traditional Instinctive Archery", have developed and practice a unique style that combines both instinct and intuition, depending on the given circumstances and desired outcome.

Ioannis Katis

Traditional Instinctive Archery Instructor at:

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