thought you might all enjoy a little email from a couple of U.S. archers who are on a training trip to Korea. Enjoy!
Korean Archery Today by Chris Shull, US Archery Team
If you have not heard about it already, Guy Krueger and myself have taken a trip to South Korea for some training over our spring break (2002) from Texas A&M University.
Guy and I are wrapping up day five in Korea, and I'm not sure how to describe how much we have learned. Mr. Park, Kyung Rae of Win and Win, and everyone else, have bent over backwards to make us welcome.
There are many rumors flying about there being 100 men shooting 1300 or better, how everyone shoots four or five hundred arrows a day etc. etc., In Korea. But I have learned that these rumors are TRUE.
To start, the high school team we have been training with has been shooting 500 arrows a day, and my fingers are quite sore. We shoot blank bale and a FITA in the morning, another FITA and blank bale after lunch, and two more hours after dinner, under lights. When it gets cold we go inside a small building with a heater and shoot out the windows. These kids shoot ALL day. They have been selected to train at the National Phys Ed High school, and archery is their "major". It is hard to imagine the US Juniors being able to keep up with a program like this, as we would wind up in jail if we skipped math class to practice.
Mr. Yim, the coach at the high school, asked us what the average salary of coaches in the USA is. We replied that most coaches are volunteers with other jobs, and even those that are fortunate enough to earn a salary are not making the big bucks. The was a foreign idea to Mr. Yim, as archery coaching in Korea is a true profession. There are 40 or 50 high school teams, another 30 or 40 corporate teams, and a handful of university teams, all with full time coaches.
Today we watched the Seoul elementary school archery championships, where they shoot 30 and 20 meters. The winners shot in the 340's at 30 meters, and they are only 10 or 12 years old!!!!!!!!!!! They all have better form than ME... I'm telling you, these people know how train their shooters, these kids were text book in technique.
The food has been extremely spicy, and we always eat while sitting on the floor. I should have done more stretching before I left, as my legs don't like to cross.
Today we shot with the National Sports University archery team, after a stop at the Win and Win factory with Mr. Park. The university range is built 50 feet up in the air, on the roof of an ice skating rink. I have pictures that you won't believe.
I have not met a shooter yet, over the age of 17, who was not shooting at least at the low 1300 level. When we arrived at the high school their coach asked us what our best scores were. Guy and I replied "1310-1315" He gave us a blank stare and said "That's all?" His best guys shoot in the 1330's, and his best girl shot a 1365 a few days ago. (She tried a different bow and only shot a 1320, so she went back to her old setup and shot a 1340 again.)
I'll write up a full story later. I think Guy and I will write an article or two about the trip for Archery Focus Magazine when we return. Anybody know who to talk to about organizing that?
We have three more days of shooting adventures to come, and I'm sure we will continue to be amazed.
Till later, Anyo (goodbye in Korea)
United States Archery Team