April 18, 2008
from A.S. of Hawaii, USA:
"Clarification on Question 49: Are muscles used to "flick"?
In your answer to question 49, you wrote, "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”. "
It sounds as if you're saying we should enlist muscles in our wrist to create a flicking motion, as opposed to just "letting" the hand achieve that position by maintaining complete relaxation in the bow hand/wrist throughout the release/follow through. Which way is correct? Use muscles to flick the hand down, or just "relax" and let the hand just achieve the "sit" position through complete relaxation? The book doesn't address the use of muscles to achieve the "sit" position. It just says the bow should be allowed to jump from the hand. Also if we are to enlist muscles to flick the hand down, would you say that it is a vigorous flick, or a light flick in terms of the amount of force exerted? Should I be "throwing" the bow away? How do I gage if I am using too much or too little force?
You also state that this motion is utilized to minimize bow arm movement. Upon release, the "snapping" of the scapulae causes my bow arm to drop about 10-15 degrees. Is this flicking designed to stop that? Should my bow arm be dropping?
Thank you very much for your help."
As highlighted in the answer to question 49, we said in part:
”…. 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 bow arm and as such to keep the barrel of the gun long and more accurate”.
To answer your question - The flick or flip of the wrist must not be vigorous, as it is a coordinated movement with the release hand and would take about the same time as the time it takes the release hand to travel to the end of its movement during the release. This step also allows you to keep your bow arm still and prevent it dropping.
The pressure is on the thumb pad muscle of the bow hand as the draw force of the bow presses against it. We have to remember that the bow hand is not just static as the pressure on the bow hand changes from holding to release to maintain the 50/50 balance in the shot. The flip of the wrist will compensate for the imbalance on release and by flipping the wrist down the bow is assisted to travel in a straight line to the target; the bow is definitely not “thrown” towards the target, but “pushed towards the target by the wrist flip and the residual energy of the bow, as not all the energy goes into the arrow and some of it is transformed into a forward force as well.
I haven’t seen you shoot and there could be various reasons, however, the “snapping” of the scapulae on release could be the cause for your bow arm dropping 10 – 15 degrees. Coach Lee has found that snapping both scapulae can cause this problem and as such he would like to see that the bow arm scapula remains in same position from ‘Holding” to release. This will also ensure a constant length of bow arm to bow from Holding to release. This is also part of the concept of the ‘Barrel of the gun’. Further, if the triceps of the bow arm aren’t firm, then control of the shot will be lost.