Monday, November 02, 2009

The Heretic and the Compound

Not many knows that I have been playing with compound since late 70’s… First time I had it in my hands, it was a Bear 6 wheels, at the same time I got my Bear target TD, around 1975. Well, it was a mysterious thing, with no instructions and people was shooting it with fingers here, in competitions against recurves.
In Early 80’s I got my PSE Laser Flight, that is still in my garage. It was one of the top compound bows existing at that time, a real jewel, and I used it with a small finger release, with very bas results. But in early 90’s, I finally had in my club some people that were dedicating a lot of time to Compound shooting, all of them using Browning bows, and preparing to the advent of Compound shooting in FITA official competitions. In 1990 Compound become an official division in the XII FITA World Field Championships in Loen, Norway. Maurizio Cirla from my club was in the Italian team with his Browning and .. a clicker, and got the 19th place there.
No one today is using the clicker with the compound, but in that age it was not so uncommon. I teached Maurizio the use of the cliker, and he got several medals with it at Italian and European level. It was the first time a cliker was used with compound in FITA World Championship, while last time in my knowledge was in 1998 in Gurgl, Austria, at the XVI FITA World Field Championship by the great Becky Pearson.
In 1996 in San Diego World Junior championships has been Manuela MustafĂ  from my club bringing back a Bronze Medal by Women team, then many years were compound shooting was not so popular in my area, until 2002, when my son decided Compund had to be a part of his winter training, and my daughter followed him from 2003. Since then, Comppund bow have become again a constant presence in my club, at least in winter time. Michele and Carla are shooting since then 2 or 3 indoor competitions yearly in winter time. From 2004, Sandrine Vandionant, former compound Indoor European Champion has joined the family, and while I was coaching her in recurve shooting, she was transferring us a lot of experience in Compound shooting.
Carla got a Junior Silver Medal at the Italian Indoor Championships 2006, but Michele at the same championships reached a result that will remain in the history of Italian Archery. He scored 592 with recurve, tied to Alessandro Rivolta also at 592 in first position, and he scored 577 only with compound after a bad start (285+292) ending at the 16th place tied to Daniele Bauro. He won the Compound shoot off, and therefore he was surprisingly in the eight of finals for both Recurve and Compound.
Organizers were really surprised, but rules did not forbid this, so they changed the schedule having the matches shot no more all at the same time, but alternating every stage between recurve and compound. Compound field was on the left side and recurve field on the right side of the DOS stand. Recurve started first, and Michel shot the first recurve match, winning it. Then he moved to the left side, picked up the compound and shot the match against number one ranked, Stefano Mazzi, and won it 175/174. The incredible was happening, and he was in the quarter of finals for both Recurve and Compound, at the same time. He went on winning the quarter of finals, too, and he was in semi-finals, but here he had a bad arrow in the compound match and lost it agains Mike Palumbo, while in the recurve match he won. So, he arrived at the Bronze match with compound, and easily won it by 119/116 over Antonio Pompeo, while he went winning the recurve Gold match against Alessandro Rivolta. For the first and last time in FITARCO history of the Italian Championships, the same archer was on the podium getting medals for both recurve and compound divisions. Succeeding in a very heretic challenge, for the first and last time. It was the last time, because since then, under pressure of several unhappy parties, FITARCO introduced the rule that matches were going in any case on at the same time, and so an archer qualified to both finals had to choose witch one to shoot.
But how is Michele shooting compound?
Until last year, his technique was very similar to his recurve one, with a good alignment of the back and a lot of pushing while aiming. On the wall up to 30 # in some conditions, it was a very stressful way of shooting. Back tension release was then giving him a very explosive release, but perfectly on the line to the target. Now days he is training a little bit more “compound style”, with shorter draw length and more static release, while a big dot on the lens has replaced his usual very small one. He is studying compound shooting a little bit more, my daughter is following him, his wife Sandrine is definitely back to compound shooting. As far as muyself is concerned, I'm now also coaching the Compound Irish team. Is the Heretic family now going compound only? Not at all, is just adding compound to our daily study of the present and future shooting techniques. And may be adding a new chapter to the Heretic Archer II future book.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On the way ...

Several months form my last post, again. A very busy year, trying to develop a new archery team for Ireland in 2012 perspective. In the mean time, archery is changing.
Ogden Youth World Archery Target Championships and Youth Olympic games qualifier, then Ulsan World Target Archery Championships have established new standards for those that would like to reach the Olympic Dream in 2012. I admit I was a little bit unprepared to the stellar technical levels reached by these championships. I was expecting a sort of linear worldwide increase of performances, and I have found that the increase is logarithmic. Top Recurve Juniors are already all shooting at senior level, and senior level is already on the moon and over. Tie breaks in between 3 teams to enter the 16 top teams have been an absolute first. And, everything says it will be a game for more teams in 2011 when all the world will play to get Olympic places for London.
After World Championship in Liepzig 2007 I forecasted that Olympics for archery were going to be more and more an Asian game, only. Now, I'm pretty sure about this. And, to try to compete against Asian countries playing the game they are playing will get to nothing.
European and other Western countries have to play it the Western way, if they want to see London in 2012 from the inside of the archery venue.
Imitating Koreans has never led to anything concrete in this side of the world. Repeating again and again the same cloned formulas has never given any positive result here.
But, with fantasy and imagination, there are other ways to reach the ambitious Olympic dream.
I like to think the Heretic way being one of them, and time will tell, again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The heretic is back

Two years from the last post.... Apologize with readers, but so many things have happened in the middle, that it will be even difficult to summarize them here. So, I simply skip this two years and I go straight to the present.
Since beginning of April 2009 I have been appointed National Coach of Irish Amateur Archery Association, with the very ambitious goal to bring at least one Irish Archer to London 2012.
It's a diffult "heretic" challenge to be handled part time., but IAAA is really made by enthusiastic people and is a pleasure to work with them... Time will tell...
Michele will go to Sofia European Grand Prix on next week. He won the first edition tree years ago, let see this time...
The Heretic Archer II project has been stopped for these two years, but now I'm back in writing. Many new infos have been available in the mean time, and it will be a much more better book now than it was planned to be. But, don't expect it before end of this year or early 2010 ...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Heresy in Varese

Too many days and too many happenings!
Michele has been able to get back from Izmir with a Gold Medal for Team (10th world champion title for him), toghether with Galiazzo and Tonelli, so his bet in going there has been winning.
But after that, the development of the season has become very rapid. Firs World Cup stage of 2007 in Ulsan at the end of March, when not yet at the top, but first of the non Koreans in the qualification FITA round, and unfortunately out at the tie break in the 16th of finals. Then, two consecutive FITA rounds to test new equipments, just before the seconfd World Cup Stage in Varese, Italy.
Varese has been an incredible experience for me and for my family. Being at the same time the President of the Organizing Committe and Michele's coach, I have brought my capabilities to the absolute limit for more than 15 days. But what a result! Despite the terrible weather jeopardiziong the quality of the results for 2 days out of six, the tournament has been a terrific success at local and international level, with the highest media coverage ever had for an archery tournament in Italy. And the Heretic Archer has fully helped, getting back to his top exactly when needed, in his home coutry.
Second in qualifiction with 1348 after the jounger Nespoli, Michele went straight to the Gold final, beating the russian Tzyrempilov and getting the most desired result in front of the home spectators, only one medal of the Italian team. And, because of this, jumping instantly from the 13th place to the 2nd of the FITA Worlda Rank List and the sec0nd palce in the World Cup 2007.
And, being heretig again, at the end of the same week Michele has moved to Bignon in France for a local double FITA round shot in the wind and rain, were he has been able to win with large margin over all members of the French National team that were there for the selection of team for Antalya, the third stage of 2007 world cup.
Antalya will be starting one week from now, and there probably the finallists of the world cup 2007 will be decided and the Heretic of course would like to be among them .
I'm now back to writing, as my publishers are urging me for more articles. Let see which one is going to be published next!
Just one comment: the top 3 men in qualification in Varese were all shooting with different techniques. Mauro Nespoli, 1353, is a good example of an adaptation of the Korean basic technique for men, more known around as Mr. K. S. Lee B.E.S.T. technique, with some local adjustements. Michele, 1348, is... the Heretic Archer, and Ilario di Buo', 1344 is a good example of the old traditional puller technique. They were tied at the end of the 50 mt at 994... The search for the final solution is still long and difficult, and no solutions have yet definitely prooven to be ... the best. But we will insist going ... Heretic!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The secrets of the cliker

Well, I did not realize until today that is already more than 3 months that I don't post any new article in this blog. But, they have been vey busy months!
In the middle, the Face to Fac ein Amsterdam, the Italian Indoor Championshios and the Tournament of the Nations in Nimes. And, after that, 15 days of stop for Michele because of an urgent surgical operation. In the hospital from the 14h to the 22nd of February, then back home but unable to start shooting until the 1st of March, with still some small "holes" on his abdomen not totally closed, yet. One week of shooting and the decision to participate in any case to the World Indoor Championships in Izmir, from March 12... an Heretic decision, of course.... Championships are still running, performanc is of course not at the top, but just enough to help the team. Let's see....
The first article of the Heretic Archer II series hs been published divided in two parts on the numers 5 and 6 /2006 of FITARCO magazine Arcieri, and several people has been shocked by some of its content, specifically by the part dedicated to the influence of the cliker position to the appearance of the bare shaft tuning. Nothing special, in my experience, but honestly something people can't easily understand without proper explanation. Anyhow, a great success. Our friend Stephen Avis is translating it to English, and I hope to send it to Archery Focus quite soon. If you only read english, please be patient for few weks more.
Then, number 2/2007 of Arcieri Magazine will publish "Intervening to his or her tecnique", dedicated to the way to approch the changes to the technique and the coaching of hight level archers. Something absolutely not easy to do, IMHO.
I'm writing several other articles at the same time, all at different stage of finalization, like those titled "Shooting in the wind", "The secrets of the rest", "Going more far away", "Front shoulder secrets", "All secrets lye in grips" and others. But nowdays the writing is quite slow, as I'm fully involved as President of the organizing committee of the 2nd Wolrd Cup 2007 Competition to be held in Varese , italy, form April 30, to May, 5 of this year, a very hard Heretic task, for me and all my club.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How many secrets... can really tell around?
Long time ago, when the majority of the content of The Heretic Archer was still in mine and Michele's minds, we questioned ourselves if it was worth to keep some of the secrets of our shooting technique and of our tuning methods totally hidden to the outside achery world. Our answer was easily no. Not becouse we did not want to keep secrets, but simply becase we evaluated that even telling some of hem around, they were so unusual and different form the traditional thinking that they wer enot going to be trusted at all. So, e wrote several articles about diferent matters we have investigated in our achery life, these articles have been published, discussed and.... forgotten. Until The Heretic Archer has been published.
But even now, that a lot of people owns the book and can read in detail many of our secrets, we are in the same condition. They read it, don't believe it and go on asking for questions already answered in full detail in it.
The book has so many levels of reading and so many logical conclusions can easily be deducted from its chapters, that sometime I think I have exagerated in putting so many infos in it. But readers simply... don't read it deeply enough...So, there are many secrets explained, but not so many understanding them...yet.
Well, some of the most kept of our secrets are anyhow not yet published. And a great part of the story of the Heretic Archer has still to be written.
Will The Heretic Archer II inlude all lacking parts? I don't know, yet.
I'm for instance pushed by Steve Ruis, Archery Focus editor, to write about grips.
It is one of the most difficult matters to transform in a coeherent explanation, and as I have written long time ago on the Sagi board, "so may secrets lay in the grip", I'm very reluctant to face the task. May be, may be that at the end "The Secrets of the grip" will be found in The Heretic Archer II, but is not sure.
How many secrets we can really tell around?..... ;-))

Friday, October 27, 2006

Heretic World and The Archer II

I have released last week the final version the fist article of the series "The Heretic Archer II", titled "The secrets of the cliker".
While a cliker is a quite simple mechanical part, my article went to a full 7 pages including pictures, so the first publisher, the Italian Fitarco official magazine "ARCIERI" has decided to divide it in two parts. Part one will be published on the coming issue nbr. 5/2006 and the second part will be on number 6/2006 in two months from now. Then, in 2006, probably the article "Shooting in the wind" will follow.
English translation of the first article is on the way by my friend Stephen Avis, that has been one of the translator to English of The Heretic Archer, and in a couple of weeks the English version will be forwarded to Archery Focus for publication, but far as other languages are concerned, nothing has been finalized, yet.
I'm just back from one of my business trips to Asia, and I have been able to meet there one dealer of the book in Hong Kong. He told me the book is selling well even there, and this is of course a great satisfaction for me and Michele.
Having recently added to the list of the official delaers also one shop in Australia, I can now say that The Heretic Arcer is sold in all Continents but Africa. But soon .....