Hey guys, this is NUSensei and today, we are going to walk through another crucial concept in archery. The anchor position. The anchor position, is one of several unique elements of archery and while it may look easy, it does require some understanding in order to become a better archer. Let’s look at some common beginner mistakes. The first thing that often happens, is that the beginner is afraid of the string. Only pulling it back half-way. Sometimes, this is accompanied by a lunging motion perhaps giving the impression of launching the arrow. Once given some instruction, beginners will feel more confident in drawing the bow further back. However, contact with the face is often not made with the string being too far forward, or too far to the side and sometimes too far back. A problem faced by new instinctive shooters is that they skip too many steps of the shot process. Including, not using an anchor point. An instinctive shooter doesn’t need to hold and aim but that doesn’t mean you have to be sloppy with your form. While this sort of shooting might work for short distances, it will be frustrating to pull this off at longer distances. Most people who start archery, have some idea as to what archery should look like. So, the act of drawing the bow, may seem very obvious, however, the questions soon start popping up. When do I stop drawing? Where do I put the string? This is why you need to understand anchor position. The anchor point is a point of reference. Where you draw back and stop, that, is your anchor point. Generally speaking, the arrow will go where you point it. However, without an anchor point, you don’t know where you are pointing it. That’s why you simply can’t just pull it back and let go because you have no idea where you are aiming. There is simply too much variation in your shot to make consistent groupings and consistency, is the key. You have to touch the same spot, with every single shot. There isn’t one single correct anchor point. Which anchor point you use, depends on your shooting style and your preference. The most common anchor taught to beginners, is the corner of the mouth. This is a very easy position to remember and is well suited for barebow shooting. Using this anchor is just a matter of touching the corner of your lips with your index finger. What stops people from getting this right, is a fear of the string. Don’t worry about this, the string won’t hurt you. It also helps if you don’t talk or open your mouth during this process, since that will change your anchor point. While we are on this topic, if you are just starting out you may notice that your arrows are going too high or even over the target. Now don’t worry, I’ve not given you bad advice. This is actually, very frequent with beginners and there is a reason for it. Many archers start out by using the tip of the arrow as a point of aim and align the tip with the centre of the target. While this may seem like the right thing to do it ignores the parallax effect. While you are lining up the point with the target you have to remember, that the arrow is not in line with your eye and is actually angled upward because of your anchor point. This gap between your eye and the arrow will make you believe that you are on target but you are in fact pointing above the target. This is why instructors may tell you to aim at the bottom of the target. This is simply to compensate for the parallax effect and get you into the bullseye even though you might think you are aiming at the ground. Because of this, it is not uncommon for some archers to use a high anchor point to bring the arrow closer to the eyeline. Anchoring at the cheek is sometimes used. Some people anchor next to the eye however, this is often not recommended as the proximity of the string and arrow may cause eye injuries if something goes wrong. Also, the higher anchor point may not be possible if you wear glasses. For archers who use sights, such as Olympic style archers the preferred anchor point is under the jaw. Whilst this increases the gap between the eye and the arrow the fact that you are using a sight removes the need to compensate for parallax. You simply adjust your sight for the distance. Your anchor point, therefore serves, as a rear sight and getting this consistent will allow you to align your shots perfectly, every single time. The reason the low anchor is preferred over the high anchor is because the low anchor is stronger. Stronger means more contact along the jaw which means more points of reference which means, more consistency. In fact, by using the under the jaw anchor, you are able to get these points of reference. Firstly, because you have your top of your hand underneath your jaw and full contact means very consistent placement. Secondly, when you draw the string the string will come across your lips. And, as a third point of reference, you have the tip of your nose on the string. Therefore, when anchoring in this position, you have three reliable, points of reference. You have under the jaw, you have the string across your lips and you have the string on the tip of your nose. Getting these three reference points right each time and feeling it in the right place, means you have good alignment and that means more consistent shooting. While you can use this position for a barebow, the low position increases the gap between the eye and the anchor and that means it feels less natural and more difficult to shoot. If you are a compound shooter, you do have a peep sight and that does act as your rear sight. However, that makes your anchor even more important because the entirety of your shot process is based on your sight picture and alignment. The anchor point will be different because you are using a release aid. But, having the same point of reference across the lips, the tip of the nose, will help you align that peep sight a lot easier and give you much more consistent string picture. This also means that your bow’s draw length must be set correctly. If you are pulling back on your bow and you have to move your head to get the right sight picture then, it’s going to ruin your consistency. The most common mistake with the anchor point, is simply, not being consistent. One of the more subtle problems is angling the hand. This introduces a gap between the hand and the jaw which increases variation between each shot. Ideally, it should be a very close fit but not everyone has the right jaw shape to get this to work. So you should strive to have as much contact as possible to maximise consistency. Some people are unable to get the string on to their nose. This is also ok, but it does remove a reference point. Head position is another common fault. The anchor relies on exact head positioning and many archers have a habit of turning their head to the side or tilting their head back, changing the anchor point. You must train yourself to replicate your head position. Even a few millimetres off, will change the velocity of the arrow and therefore, the point of impact. Also remember, to keep your head still and draw to your anchor. Don’t move your head towards the anchor. The anchor point must be one of the first things you learn when starting archery. Without using an anchor point, your arrows will not go where you want them to because you have no idea what you are pointing at. Only when you start becoming consistent with your anchor, will things start to make sense and only then can you start making adjustments. Remember, as with many things in archery, the key to a good anchor, is consistency. Anyway, this is NUSensei, hope you found this helpful? Thank you for watching and I will see you next time.