Asian Traditional Archery Research Network (ATARN)

A1, Cloudridge,
30, Plunkett’s Road,
The Peak, Hong Kong.

Tel: (852) 2895-4488
Fax: (852) 2808-2887
April 29, 2001

Letter from Peking (September 1998) Letter of November 1998 Letter of December 1998
Letter #2 of December 1998
Letter of Jan 1999
Letter of February 1999 Letter of March 1999 Letter of April 1999 Letter of May 1999

Letter of June 1999

Letter from Denton Hill

Dear All,

DENTON.jpg (111546 bytes)Plenty of travelling this year. But this time my visit was to Pennsylvania for a pilgrimage to the Easter Traditional Archery Rendezvous at Denton Hill. Finally I had a chance to meet up with some of the friends I have made through ATARN.

Taking place a month before the bowhunting season, the Denton Hill event this year attracted archers from all over the Easter side of the USA, plus a smattering of visitors from Europe. Dedicated to traditional archers and their equipment, the show provided a fine display of traditional bow and arrow craftsmanship.

For Asian Traditional archery enthusiasts, perhaps the most interesting hardware was to be found with Saluki (middle eastern bow designs), Yumi (a variety of oriental bow designs by Jaap Koppedrayer, marked by a special interest in cultural hybrid designs), Korean traditional bows imported by Tom Duvernay, and a variety of Asiatic designs (including Kassai's bows) from David Gray's Krackow Company.

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Lucas Novotny (left) and colleagues of  Saluki Bows with Persian and Turkish bow replicas.

Jaap organized an Asian archery workshop which provided around thirty hot, sweaty enthusiasts a glimpse of various forms of Asian traditional archery in action. Jaap himself performed two ceremonial sets (Raisha) from Japanese Kyudo.

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Jaap Koppedrayer demonstrates a kneeling position for a ceremonial Kyudo shot.

Lucas Novotny gave a demonstration of how strongly recurved Asian bows, such as Persian and Turkish flight bows, are strung and then adjusted before shooting. Failure to adjust a composite bow properly before shooting can result in the bow unstringing at full draw and breaking. Afterwards, he demonstrated one of the classic Turkish shooting techniques using a replica bow.

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Lucas Novotny demonstrates the classic post-release position in many forms of Asian archery,
with the upper bow tip rolling forward in the hand after the shot.

Finally, Tom Duvernay donned Korean national dress and put one of  his carbon-fibre-composite Korean traditional bows to demonstrate Korean national archery (Kung-do).

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Tom Duvernay demonstrating Kung-do in Korean national dress

The traditional bowhunting community in the USA is very interested in Asian forms of archery. Many of the replica Asian traditional bows sold very well at the fair. Probably the time is not far off when Asian traditional archery will be able to mount an event of its own. One exciting possibility in 2000 is a workshop on mounted archery with displays from the major Asian exponents. ATARN looks forward to being associated with this event, and we shall keep Members posted.

Magyar Archery

Chris Szabó, a second-generation Hungarian born in London, has had a lifelong fascination with Old Magyar Archery. Since illness put paid to a successful journalism career, Chris has written numerous articles on Hungarian history and military history. He is working on a series of articles for ATARN, articles providing an introduction to the broad theme of Old Magyar archery. The first in the series has now been published at


Yours faithfully,


(Stephen Selby)