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Point Your Thumb - One Archer's Opinion
Submitted by diybow
All of us can point a finger at a spot in the distance without thinking about it and be pretty accurate.
Most of us have realized that, when we shoot a bow, we are really aiming the bow.
So here we get to the point of this particular discussion. When you draw your bow, nestled properly in your hand (regardless of what kind of bow) you are essentially pointing the bow at the target. Whether you shoot sights or not, you are still pointing the bow. This is much like raising your hand and pointing your finger at something.
The trick with shooting a bow of any type is that you shouldn’t be pointing your finger. For all archers, and especially traditional archers, you should not be pointing your index finger as you would to point out something to someone else. What you should be pointing is the thumb of your bow hand.
You should be holding your bow in the “vee” of your bow hand. You should have your bow arm rotated so that the inside of your elbow is on the same plane as the palm of your bow hand (which helps keep you from thwacking your arm with the bowstring).
When in the above position, pointing your bow hand index finger really doesn’t aim the bow. In this position you really need to point your bow hand thumb where you want the arrow to go. Traditional archers have often been told to point the index finger of the bow hand. That doesn’t really work that well because it may cause one to torque the bow somewhat. Pointing the thumb tends to eliminate the torque and helps keep the bow arm, front shoulder and elbow in a proper alignment.
Traditional shooters generally shoot “off the shelf” and could be led to believe that they are pointing as though with their index finger. Others, shooting from an arrow rest of some sort may be led to believe that their grip is not a factor in the way they shoot. Neither is true.
“Off the shelf” shooters may cant their bow somewhat and “rest” shooters should not do so. However, the neutral grip essential to all is one in which the bow aiming is basically founded on pointing the bow hand thumb along the intended line of arrow flight. With any type of bow, the rotation to cant the bow is really not around the index finger or center of the hand. The axis of rotation of the bow is along the line of the bow hand thumb. Think about it.