Archery | KSL Gold Elite Trainer Review
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Archery | KSL Gold Elite Trainer Review

August 9, 2019


Hey guys. This is NUSensei. Today we’re going to cover another training tool for archery. The KSL Gold Elite Trainer. The KSL Gold Elite is a low resistance stretching band. It’s made from theraband. With a paracord grip. The low resistance makes it good for form training. Similar to Win&Win Scapower and Cartel stretching bands and in comparison to the high resistance Saunders Powerpull, which is more made for putting on muscle tone and muscle mass. The KSL Gold Trainer was designed, is used, and is named after Kisik Lee He was a South Korean coach He’s a former Australian coach and a current American coach. And… if you know the name It’s because he basically has codified his training practices into the KSL method or the NTAS method as used in America of course. You can find out about this in his Total Archery book. The KSL Gold Trainer is designed with the KSL method in mind. Now… The Kisik Lee method. The NTAS system. It isn’t a bizarrely different style of shooting. It isn’t like shooting with a completely different technique. Rather, the training method. Just roughly speaking. It pays attention to particular part of shot process and breaks it down slightly differently. with a different emphasis on part of the process. In comparison people who don’t use the method will still shoot well. But the training method and their coaches may overlook certain things and emphasize other things. And the Gold trainer is designed specifically to teach new archers the correct steps in the KSL shot method. There are actually two versions of the Gold Trainer. There’s the regular KSL Gold and there’s the KSL Gold Elite. Which is the one I have here. Now… The Gold costs around 20 dollars at Lancaster Archery. The Elite costs about twice as much That’s a pretty big difference. But there’s a reason for it. From what I understand, the regular Gold trainer is a simple low resistance stretching band. The Elite version has a unique feature, which makes this stand out from other stretching bands. The key characteristic of the KSL Gold Elite is that it has rubber stoppers in the band. Here and here. And what this does is that it stops you from overdrawing. Normally, if a stretching band like say, the Cartel latex bands. You can pull as far as you want. You can pull back. You can overdraw. You can pull as much as you want and that’s okay. But, the Gold Elite Trainer stops you from doing that. You pull and you hit the wall back here. It actually stops you from drawing more than it set to. Now, this can be changed. There are two bands here… the threads here, which you can loosen and then you can change the length to suit your draw length. But, the idea is that you set this band to your draw length is that you draw to a particular point and no more. Additionally, the KSL Trainer comes with a wrist strap so you can attach to your wrist and you can release it in a full shot process. So you can come back, pick your anchor point, and release. And you retain the trainer on your wrist. Which is pretty handy. You can do the same thing with other band like the Cartel. You can use a finger sling or a wrist sling with the Cartel trainer. But, using this to release freaking hurts. This is a giant rubber band smack to your arm. The low resistance Gold Trainer is a lot more forgiving. It doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much. So, you can use it as part of a full shot process. Release. And it’s completely fine. Now, just the fact that you have a low resistance stretching band with a wrist strap might be a reason enough for you to buy the KSL Gold. But why the Gold Elite ? Why is this function of stopping the draw so important ? The reason for this is because the KSL shot cycle identifies the difference between anchoring and loading. Now, for most people and I’m not a trained KSL instructor. People who were trained in this method can explain this better than I can. But, generally speaking this is the difference. For people who were self taught or people who learn from a different style of coaching the shot process is basically stance, grip, hook, raise the bow, draw, anchor, expand, release. That’s basically the process from start to finish. Now, the KSL method identifies that the anchor and the loading steps are separate. You’re not meant to anchor and then release in one motion. There’s one more step involved and that’s the loading process. The loading process is when you transfer from the anchor into your back muscles and hold the weight in your back muscles. It’s an extra subtle step but that’s a part of the KSL method. And the KSL Gold Elite Trainer gets you to do that. To paraphrase Kisik Lee in his book : Total Archery. The loading phase is an imperceptible change. You can’t see this happening. It’s a transition from external to internal. Where with a squeeze of the drawing shoulder, you transfer the load into your lower back muscles. You don’t stop the draw. Stopping the draw means that you have to reverse the draw to get back to position. That increases the muscle fatigue you go through. Instead, the draw is slowed down and held. And that transfer allows you to increase consistency by having the extra step where you have the muscles in the right alignment and the squeeze happens. Now, this is incredibly useful with this tool because this tool will train your muscle memory to do the right thing. Instead of overdrawing. This is a beginner mistake in all regards. Like when you overdraw and try to find the anchor for holding the bow. Now, this allows you for setting your draw length. It stops you from drawing. And by having this light resistance to stop there, it tells you : “stop anchoring” “start loading”. And again, a very subtle step. But, this really small function in this trainer makes it a very useful mental training tool. It builds muscle memory by letting you to remember that “Hey, okay, that’s my anchor.” “I can’t go back any further than this.” “This is now my anchor point here.” “So, even if I try to pull back further I can’t” So, pull it back anchor I hit the resistance. And load. And that’s it That’s the training tool. And you can repeat this as much as you need to. And because you have the wrist strap, you can complete the shot process. So, you go through, draw, anchor, load, and release. And it feels nice ! That’s actually feels really good to use. And again, the fact that it’s a light band It doesn’t hurt you when released. It goes through all the process steps : anchor, load, and release. Actually feels really good. So, I’m actually impressed. You know. You don’t need to have trained in the KSL method to make the most out of this band. The fact that it teaches you the steps. And a lot of people disagree with this method. A lot of people don’t use it as part of standard shot process. But, just the sheer fact that it makes you pay attention to something which a lot of people overlook. The fact that you have this extra need to load between your anchor and your release. It’s something which can probably help in your shot process. Now, if you trained in the KSL method or your coach is teaching you the KSL shot cycle. Then, this is definitely a great tool. If you are using a different shot cycle or a different concept on how to shoot from start to finish. Then, it’s still useful. And if you’re a self-taught archer. Again, this might teach you something that you probably didn’t know. It trains you in the muscle memory. You can do this with your bow, but your bow might be 45 lbs. It’s very hard to train fine muscle control and technique with the bow. So, while I do have my Samick Sage for that reason. It’s something which allow… This allows you to practice that one particular skill. And this is what makes it worth it. I think that if you’re not interested in this particular shot cycle or this particular concept Then, the regular KSL Gold is fairly good though. Just the fact that it’s a light band. It teaches you good form. That’s good. But, this particular device with the rubber stoppers. The KSL Gold Elite model. I think it has a good appeal I don’t use it as much as I’d like to But, it’s a nice reminder because, you can’t do that with a bow. The bow doesn’t tell you what to do. There’s this thing. If your form is breaking down and you’re not following a good shot process and you are trying to find what’s wrong This helps with the fact that this tells you : “STOP”. “That’s your draw length, anchor, and load.” I think that’s what makes this really stands out. So, I like it ! It’s something which it’s part of your training repertoire. I guess… So, it’s something which you can keep around. It’s compact. You can stow it in a bag. You can put it in your pocket You can carry it in your travel case. Learn about warm up tool. Learn about cool down tool. It covers most of what a trainer should do or what a stretching band should do. It’s light, so it’s nothing to build you up. But it does teach you form. The fact that it physically stops you from shooting with a bad form is one of the big bonuses. Anyway, this is NUSensei I hope you find it interesting. Thanks for watching. And I’ll see you next time.

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  1. Please take care when saying that anchoring comes before loading / transfer. This is actually dependant on which draw cycle you use. Some of the cycles show loading and anchoring as overlapping. If you look,at one of the older versions, it includes the Korean words alongside.
    The correct way to say it, is 'Draw first, transition to loading/transfer and then anchor. This is followed by 'expand to follow through', not 'expand to release'. His method is continuously being updated and my comments are based on my latest training with him in June 2018.
    I have been taught directly by Coach Lee.

  2. Please don't buy one of these and then try to self teach. It takes a qualified person to show you the correct steps in the KSL 'process'. You may make the mistake of going for the 12 step process, when in fact, there is currently an 8 step process that is being taught (by Coach Lee) to use as a level 1 or 2 KSL accreditated coach.

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