October 11, 2007
from J.M. of USA:
"Dear Coach Lee,
Lately there has been a lot of talk about the "Sit Down" method you teach and there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation of this movement in the release cycle. I have used it for the last couple of weeks now and after a settling in period it seems to give me more accuracy and consistency in my release. Could you please provide some further information as to the thinking behind this movement?
I created the phrase “Sit Down” only for our young kids, the Junior Dream Team, just so they remember the exercise as to “order” their wrist to sit down as they would do to their dog.
Of course there will always be disbelievers, but I have taught this movement now very successfully for quite a number of years. The archer must learn to let the bow jump cleanly from the hand. I teach this wrist movement to make the bow jump straight to the target. As a teaching method the shot should be made without a finger sling and the Coach should catch the bow on release. This method is described and demonstrated in Total Archery; refer page 120, photos 62.
We must understand that every sport evolves and develops refinement over time. I will explain the “Sit Down” movement, but I prefer to call it the “50/50 Release Synchronization Movement” or “:RSM50/50” for short. For this I will need to use my analogy of “the barrel of the gun”; the longer a barrel of a gun, the more accurate it will be.
Through the Biomechanical Efficient Shooting Technique, the B.E.S.T. method, all the parts of all the steps in the shooting cycle are part of that barrel. Any deficiency in any of the steps will make the barrel shorter and as such less accurate. Assuming that all the steps up to Holding have been implemented correctly we have a nice long accurate barrel. Now, to be completely successful the long barrel has to be maintained throughout the release and follow through.
As in all other sports the follow through is crucial for the successful execution of the entire action. It is like a chain, if one link is missing the connection with the whole will be lost. In a way we can compare it to the cocking of the wrists in golf, as part of the back swing and uncocking to generate maximum clubhead speed through impact. However, in the follow through the hands need to be recocked otherwise it would be impossible to control body balance and accuracy in the shot.
This is obviously very much of a simplification of a golf shot, but the importance is to maintain body balance throughout the shot. Similarly in the archery shot, balance must be maintained till the arrow hits the target. Now let’s go back now to the Holding phase, which initiates the aiming, expansion and release phases. We are now ready to release and the body is very well balanced, including the 50/50 front and back forces. However, when the string is released, refer Total Archery; pages 120 -123, a force imbalance between the front and back will occur. Unless certain actions take place the bow arm will either move left, right, up, down or even forward, which in effect shortens the barrel of the gun and of course the accuracy. To prevent any of these movements and ensure that the bow arm is kept still as long as possible, the bow hand must flick down from the wrist. This is a deliberate and quick movement and must be synchronized with the release, as such it is called “RSM50/50”. The purpose of this action is to counteract any tendency of movement of the bowarm and as such to keep the barrel of the gun long and more accurate.
To do this successfully the knuckles of the bowhand will have to make an angle less than 45 degrees to the horizontal, generally advocated; probably more something like twenty degrees. On release when the bow jumps towards the target the bow must be allowed to jump forward unobstructed and rotate freely without touching the index finger of the bowhand.
Further, a lot of archers have too short a finger sling, which will impede this movement of the bow. To check correct length of finger sling the tip of the thumb should be just forward of the throat of the grip at the maximum amount the bow can jump before being stopped by the fingersling.
Further, as you can not open your fingers quick enough to let the string go, neither can the bow wrist down movement beat the string either, so the movement will not effect or interfere with the forward movement of the riser, but will assist in balancing the 50/50 division of forces on release and maintain a long barrel/accuracy.
In conclusion please watch the RSM50/50 of the world’s top archers, including all Korean archers. As long as you can understand the biomechanics of the RSM50/50, there is no question.