I’ll share something with you. The last and only time that I had done archery before was at a work event in Denmark where I won a “Friend of the Danish Forests” award because I couldn’t to hit the paper target at all. They were able to reuse the paper for the next person, thus helping out Danish forests. So, when our editor told me that I’d be going to an archery place and writing a review about it, I was slightly bemused. This time, I just hoped I didn’t accidentally shoot anyone in the back.
Jackson is located up north in the Jingwei Congye Yuan. There are over twenty shooting ranges with lengths of 10m, 18m and 30m. On the first floor is a bar serving cocktails, which ideally should only be enjoyed after a jolly round of shooting.
We sat down with the owners who gave us a brief overview of archery bows and arrows. We were shown some pretty nifty high-tech instruments, like the recurve bow where the ends of the bow curve away from you, giving a lot more power and speed to the arrow.
There were different types of arrows to play with, made with traditional wood, aluminum or carbon fiber. There were different arrowheads too, like the Mongolian one made of cow horn with small holes that make a whistling sound when you shoot it through the air.
Trainers will give you plenty of instructions on safety and the proper technique for shooting. Each group will have no more than five participants, and beginners start with the 10m range.
You push out the bow with your outstretched hand, pull the string back close to your face, then release the string and let the arrow fly. Just like that I made contact on the bullseye! I kept remembering that episode from Game of Thrones where Anguy from the Brotherhood Without Banners told Arya to shoot in a fluid motion, never hold. Arrow after arrow flew through the air, squarely hitting the target and it felt great!
If the trainers could teach me to shoot, they can certainly teach you. Pay 20RMB for 12 arrows to shoot with and there’s a promotion on Dianping or Meituan where 20RMB gets you 3x12 arrows. They also have membership packages. The members regularly participate in archery competitions and occasional trips to wilderness areas in Inner Mongolia or Yunnan to shoot small game like chickens and rabbits.