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Pa-Kua Chinese Archery


     The bow is without a doubt among the noblest weapons of Pa-Kua, balancing efficiency of combat with the study of self-knowledge in addition to control of the body and the mind.


     The original Chinese shooting style or once we call it now, the Pa-Kua style, differs from the Mediterranean style - which uses three fingers to pull the string - and is characterized by the use of the thumb to pull the string. A thumb ring made based on the ancient traditions out of horn, bone or jade can be used to safeguard the finger from the tension of the string.


History and Background

     The bow features after the very first primitive weapons and is a very important tool in human history. It really is believed that weapon originates back to 50,000 years ago. Some images of prehistoric cavemen armed with bows and arrows have been entirely on rock paintings dated to be approximately 35,000 yrs old. Around 3, 500 BC, the Egyptians were utilizing these arms to keep their dominance in their community, and centuries later, developed compound bows, using different materials such as wood, bone, animal horn and sinew. This combination of media allowed them to manufacture and use re-curved bows, which resulted in much smaller and, in time, better bows.

     This advance in weapon technology enabled archers to attack their enemies from greater distances and the proven fact that it had been smaller allowed them to shoot their bows at a radius of 360º while installed on a galloping horse. This is, without question, the primary element in the expansion of the Mongol empire and the formation of the Grand Empire once we know it. Before the reign of Genghis Khan, in the year 1280 BD, the Mongol empire expanded to Austria and the regions of Syria, Russia, Vietnam and China.


     There was an absolute Mongol influence to Chinese archery, although it is most likely impossible to see the precise amount, since for tens and thousands of years, millions of Chinese have used arrows in combat. There have been many Chinese schools and a selection of styles. The traditional method became quasi extinct as a practice and the Art of Chinese Archery survived thanks to several enthusiastic practitioners of the art, Historians, Traditionalists and Collectors of Antiques.The study of Traditional Chinese Archery all but disappeared from China at the beginning of the 20th century, once the Emperor Guangxu excluded archery from the curriculum of the Imperial Army in 1901. The Japanese occupation of China during the 2nd World War was also contributed to the disappearance of the art.

     After years of research, preparation, practice and training, the International League of Pa-Kua began teaching the Art of Chinese Archery, reviving these ancient techniques of shooting and infusing it with Pa-Kua Knowledge. The International League of Pa-Kua has hence played an historic role in the rebirth of an ancient knowledge, becoming most likely the only school that's keeping alive the many technical traditions of shooting with a Chinese arrow, in addition to helping propagate its practice.


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