Archery is probably one of the most underrated sports out there. It never seemed to get a lot of press and media attention, but not for any particular reason. We feel this sport is fantastic and has so much to offer those willing to get out there and try it.
In recent years, some movies have chosen archery as their main characters' weapon of choice. This has upped the hype of archery and the sport altogether.
Jennifer Lawrence became a movie icon in 2012 when "The Hunger Games” movie came out. Lawrence, as Katniss Everdeen, used a bow and arrow to protect herself and ultimately win the title contest. Although ”The Hunger Games” started as a book trilogy, which was equally popular, the movies hit the theaters, and instantly there was a peak of interest in archery. Katniss Everdeen is seen shooting with great accuracy and makes archery targeting look effortless. She had everyone coveting a bow and arrow.
William Shatner, the “Star Trek” actor, is also an archery fan. He has been seen sporting compound bows since the 1960s. Compound bows were invented around that time, and Shatner has been a fan for just as long.
Jeremy Renner, the actor who plays Hawkeye in “The Avengers,” trained for his role and learned a few archery skills. Although Renner may not be a lifelong archery buff now, he did enjoy some time learning the skill. Maybe not the most realistic training platform, but Renner was caught training with his 8-year-old daughter at home with plastic bows and arrows.
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Where did the celebrities learn?
Wouldn't it be magical if the actors displaying these skills were avid archers? It would be, but that's typically not realistic. Let's look at how some of the actors trained for their roles.
Lawrence trained with Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig, who has competed in the Olympics five times and has been training with Russia and the United States. She is getting better every year in her archery ranking. She said that Lawrence was a fast learner and she taught Lawrence her technique. In fact, she was probably the one who made Katniss's character look so convincing in skill level. Fans worldwide owe her thanks for that as they fell in love with the skilled archer in all three of the “Hunger Games” movies.
Renner also trained with Olympic athletes while preparing for his role as Hawkeye in Avengers. Although he found the training helpful, he found it also hindered his performance a bit. While Renner stuck to acting as his key to looking like the real deal in the movies, it didn't fool avid archers worldwide. Most archers will wear only one arm guard, if any, and Renner’s technique was far from professional-level. Maybe Renner won't be out on the shooting ranges in the future.
Shatner, on the other hand, has enjoyed archery as a pastime for decades now. Jennings Compound Bows used Shatner as a face to sell their bows. Shatner would not need to train for this gig, as he was already an avid archer. This is clear when looking at Shatner's stance and any wrist arm guards he is wearing, as they fit the apparel of avid archers.
Why is archery unique?
Archery has been around for centuries, and even though there have been countless weaponry advancements, it remains.
Archery helps you work on your focus, helps you clear your mind, and is a relaxing way to center yourself. It is a sport that can be pretty physical if you want it to be, or it can be like a leisurely walk through a forest of targets.
The Japanese call the art of archery “Kyudo,” which means ”the way of the bow.” It is a peaceful martial arts form that takes patience and focus.
Besides archery being relaxing, some archers take it to a very competitive level. Apart from training for the Olympics, arguably the highest archery achievement, there is also trick shooting. This is intense and can include anything from pinpointing your shot to shooting at strange angles. Trick shooting is more of an entertaining way to use archery, perhaps even for the famous in the movies, but it's outrageously mind-blowing to watch someone good.
Whether you are a famous actor seeking training on your upcoming role or someone looking for a new pastime, archery is the perfect sport.