Friday night 15th December 2017, while preparing for the coming 3D competition in Johor Malaysia, I was praying fervently for good weather; at least 2 cars and a dirt bike (mine) would be making the trip.
Saturday arrived, and when I approached the CIQ at Woodlands about 0545am, I saw an astonishingly long queue of cars; was there a special event in Johor that I was not aware of to attract so many visitors so early before daybreak? However, the motorcycle lanes were fairly clear, almost deserted, which is the norm before 0600am.
A minimal fuss through Immigration and Customs, and I was on my way towards the Malaysian side. I reached B-Point at Johor Bahru, our agreed meeting place, planning to have breakfast before leaving for Taman Daya 3, where the 3D Dinamik Taktikal Piala Ahli Majlis Zon Kangar Daya MBJB archery competition was being held.
Communicating using WhatsApp showed the 2 cars with our competing archers were stuck in the long queue. I got myself a teh tarik (tea with milk skillfully aerated tossed through the air from one large mug to another by brewer behind the counter, see demonstration at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X7W3lz9zi8) and prepared to wait for the rest to arrive.
The sky lightened, then 0800am, still no team mates; the competition is due to start at 9am, and we need to set up and warm up; this started me getting anxious and worried.. bad impression for the hosts the first time we participate in such an event in Malaysia. WhatsApp was now silent, and not knowing what is happening, I decided to get to the competition location trusting to Google Maps to get me there.
When I arrived at the school where the competition was to take place, I suddenly almost lost my nerve as I knew no one, and was not sure if I was breaking any rules and laws; EVERYONE was either in a traditional dress, or was very smartly attired, and I was dressed for hot weather, a short-sleeved T-shirt with a Bermuda-length pair of shorts.. As the time crept towards 0900am, the butterflies in my stomach fluttered more and more strongly, reaching full panic! I paced up and down the main gate and the road trying to remain cool in order to decide to withdraw or go in galloping at full charge to represent the Singapore “contingent”.
As I turned to face the road one last time, lo and behold! Some of my kakis (cronies, partners, contingent mates, etc..) appeared and the sun was suddenly dazzlingly bright! YAAAAYYY!!!
As you could tell from the above, I am quite excitable by nature! All’s well at last, and we then went to register ourselves; the event was delayed (I hope we weren’t the cause, or the only cause for that matter), and after the opening ceremonies and the administrative processes were over, we started the event with our assigned groups and really had a great time.
“The best I have experienced so far”
“Agree. Very well organized. Fun factor 10/10”
“I personally can’t wait for next year”
“Can’t get enough!”
These are some of the quotable quotes and comments from our contingent after the shoot. Some of the targets provided were unexpected, some brought delight, and some very pleasingly challenging.
All in all, other than when a “water dump” in the form of a sudden heavy downpour about 1430pm in the afternoon assailed us, it was the most enjoyable 3D outing we had; there were 20 stations of varying amount of targets, in different offerings such as moving (windmill, pendulum type), partially hidden (behind a tree), or from a precarious perch (on simulated horseback saddle), and so on.
We would like to thank the many people that help to make this event possible, the organizers for doing a wonderful job (really!!), Simply Archery for their sharing the event news with us so we could sign up for it, the other participants that help made the shoot so wonderfully successful, and the authorities that allowed us through with archery equipment with minimum fuss.
For the archers that missed this event, do prepare yourselves for the next edition, I can safely say you will enjoy this!
Till we meet again, shoot straight, shoot safe!
The 2017 Singapore Traditional Archery Night Shoot, held on Saturday 30th September 2017 at the the Float@Marina Bay, had 5 TBAC archers participating, including Dark Knight and Venator. Once again, a gathering of like minded friends sharing an activity, infusing a wonderful sense of joy.
Hosted by Traditional Archers Singapore, the event had archers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and as far away as China coming to participate.
This is an archery competition unique in that the rules strictly specify bows must not have arrow shelves, and must be shot with a thumb release as opposed to the more familiar finger release. Naturally, being shot with a thumb release, the arrow would be on the same side as the drawing hand.
The bows that are favoured by most archers are of the Korean/China/Mongolian/Manchurian types, which seem to provide a very good cast with minimal holding and anchoring weight; somewhat similar in feel to that of a compound bow, but without the heft. Such bows are generally short in strung length, demanding physical discipline and mental control to wield with mastery and accuracy.
Another unique aspect of this event are the targets; not just 3D targets, but hung in mid-air secured to a frame, and in one case, a black bat 3D target! What a challenge, to shoot in the dim lights, at a dim target, hung in mid-air on a frame!
The event began with the opening ceremony, with a march-in to the field of play by the archers. Surprise! A majority of the archers came dressed in their traditional clothes, what a beautiful parade of finery!
The opening speech was followed by a display of the traditional defense art of Silat, performed to a captivated audience.
The competition proper began at dusk, with the participants lined up to their assigned targets. There were 9 stations with 9 targets of varying sizes and distances.
The second round of the night was shot with the lights in the stadium turned off! Archers had to shoot by the reflected glow of whatever ambient light was available. Needless to say, the participants were thrilled to shoot such a condition.
It seemed that in no time, the night round ended.
Day 2 saw the elimination rounds and a friendly tag archery competition.
The Chinese team from Alibow took team and individual Mens honours, Nazima Salleh from Singapore was crowned the individual Ladies champion in this 2017 Singapore Traditional Archery Night Shoot edition.
Our TBAC archers had a ball of a time, thanks to our wonderful hosts, and the companionship of everyone there. This will be one unforgettable experience!
I had planned to just take part in competitions in Singapore and West Malaysia this year. I felt that it would be enough to keep this quixotic old archer sufficiently busy. When Coach Ali, our club’s good friend, recently invited me to join his club, Simply Archery, for a competition in Johor State on the 8th of April, at a venue a mere 15 minutes’ drive across the border, I gladly accepted it.
It was jointly (and very well) organized by the Archery Club of the states of Johore and Pahang at a school field near the Johor Zoo. About 10 archers led by Coach Ali went across and all of us took part on the traditional bow category. It was a quite a big event with about 200 archers taking part, divided approximately equally between the traditional and modern barebow categories. There were many local barebow clubs taking part. From the different club T shirts worn, I think there were maybe as many as 15 clubs.
The number of targets, a mix of 2D and 3D targets was also quite large, 22 in all. Participants had to do one round of 4 arrows at each station/target. The novelty targets were interesting and we could borrow some of the ideas. For example, there was a station where the targets were hung empty plastic bottles which unless they were hit squarely, the arrow will not pierce and will just glance off. Few archers managed to register a hit. I was one of the lucky ones at that station. There were also swinging plastic foam balls at another station.
I thought that I had a chance to get a top 10 to 15 placing as I had done well at local competitions, having received prizes at the very first two attempts at traditional bow competitions in Singapore. However, the Malaysians were very good traditional archers and I ended up number 48 out of about 90 competitors in the category. It turned out that I was only a mere kampong (village) champion.
But I had a lot of fun, with lots of opportunities to chat with the Malaysian archers because many wanted to know who this old Chinese man that Coach Ali had brought along was.
The Thailand Outdoor Archery Club is hosting its 3D & Field Challenge 2016 at Nakorn Nayok from 12th-13th November.
The shoot location is about 2 hours drive, Northwest of Bangkok City. It looks scenic with hills,
waterfalls and meandering rivers; and promises to be a very interesting setting. There will be 2 parts to the competition, a Field Round on Day 1, based on IFAA rules with 24 targets over 2 rounds. On Day 2, it will be a 3D Round with approximately 25 targets, also over 2 rounds. Three of our TBAC Eagles will be making the trip up north this time, to enjoy this event and to get to know our Thai friends better.