Research route: Approached a more philosophical and mythological route in discovering more about archery: there are a lot of stories of gods and heroes in ancient mythologies, both East and West. (East: Houyi, Yue Fei, possibly the most respected warrior in Chinese history; and Korea's King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo, whose birth name Jumong means "skilled archer". West: Apollo, Cupid, and Artemis).
I was also curious to get into the mind-sets of current day archers, and decided to post a questionnaire on Reddit to see what responses I would get. I received 19 responses, with people being involved with archery from 6 months to over 20 years. Some more interesting responses I received are as follows:
What made you fall in love with it?
Some of the names archers have given their bows: Icemaker, Kór, Precious (after LoTR), Ygritte (a longbow made out of PVC pipe!), Cinder. One respondent would only named bows he made (and he had made over 30).
Something that most people do not know about archery:
I think what I find most interesting is how much archery is about conquering the self: the focus on the self conquering one's limitation, the ability to conquer the target, The meditative qualities...I believe that the reason why archery, as depicted by cultures, has always been given an elevated status is because of the skill and discipline one must take to master the art. It is not about defeating the target, it is about overcoming oneself's limitations.
Have started reading Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery and will hope to glean more wisdom from it.
I have started making a bow. I bought some red oak (no Yew at Prince Lumber) and am trying to figure out how best to proceed. I had to cut the 8 feet wood down to carry, so am currently aiming to make one that is 48 inches long. Have some pictures on the progress, will need more tools to proceed.
Here are a few photos with my bow-making attempt, still a long way to go
A phone interview this week with Sam Harper, who created Poor Folk Bows, a webpage that teaches people how to make their own bow. Will also try and contact the Gotham Archery coach again and also the folks at the Grayson Archery Collection: the person I hoped to interview is on vacation and will not be back in time for this project.