I include this brief input to best enlighten you as to why I believe that these signs are so especially inimitable to the English archer and their great history. No Matter what the chaldeans preach.
The V sign
The rule of thumb is not what you believe?
Oh yes. ‘lest I forget’ It’s also included because the answer lies here, if you can work out the sign of archer you will be be able to restore your prowess in whatever sport you were so good at.
The English archer was the consummate warrior of his day, not only did he instill fear into the enemy he also drew grudging respect and a fair amount of trepidation from his supposed overlords.
Along with the Slingers they were the artillery of the day and were lethal. They were also far more important than any other soldier on the battlefield including the knights! It may appear strange to some that I combine the slinger with the archer, but in reality they are one and the same.
The same procedure and grippe is used in both delivery systems, they only transpire to us to be different? They are not! To be candid it’s just another offering by our so called betters to impose their will on us.
They evolved from the same original systems procedure, in fact that statement sounds as if they have altered somewhat, they have not!
They’re both facsimiles from the original, the hand thrown dart, still practiced and bringing great entertainment to millions around the world.
However they are both improvements on the exemplar, the first successful pointed hunting modus operandi and everything followed it.
Do not mistake the Archery performed at the Olympics with the Archers of pre; contemporary and post middle ages, they are as different as chalk and cheese.
I also stipulate the English archer as opposed to the Welsh archer. the indigenous of this Gaelic speaking Welsh principality often and ‘as per usual’ cannot abide to be upstaged by the English, so invariably they propose that it was the Welsh who derived the longbow in the British isles.
Unfortunately the bow that they used as with the Irish, Scots and some northern English was a short bow that had a maximum height of five feet, five inches, most were a great deal shorter. This however ‘I believe’, must have pre-dated the longbow!
With the vague explanation attributed to the V sign, I would be fairly confident that the two finger were certainly not brazened towards the french ranks at either Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt. However after Agincourt it was obviously used to mock the French commanders who had apparently proclaimed that they were going to cut off the fore and second finger of any Archer taken prisoner.
This probably is fact? it also enlightens you to the high regard and utter dread the French held for the English archers.
Nothing like a little flaunting and taunting to wind ol Froggie up!
It must be pointed out however, that even if an archer had lost his two most prominent fingers he could eventually re-learn to re-shoot the bow or loose the arrow correctly, probably just as accurately and with just as much velocity if not more so!
To stop him completely, you would have had to chop off all four fingers!
Such is the power of the Sign of the Archer!
When an archers well being was enquired of from a distant colleague, he inevitably lifted his bow and tapped it with these same two fingers, “hence touch wood” or, I’m fine so far, still got my fingers and my bow! More power to the signs of the archer!
Crossed Fingers, does the secret lie here?
Crossed fingers or history’s mistaken presumption of crossed fingers, was not used as an alternative to touch wood, it was used as a statement of expertise, also it was a question of validity from one professed apex archer to all other archers, indicating that he knew how to handle his bow having been around long enough in order to have become a top shooter. It was also an inquiry as to how many likewise artisans were around him. The correct response would affirm he was in the company of an equal! Only archers that had gleaned enough of a required sensation were capable of crossing fingers correctly, this only occurred with years of dedicated practice and in fact it’s not exactly a true statement, but an honest mistaken assessment of what happens.
Just as today with with the explanation offered by the vast majority of dart throwers most on how they loose their dart, most will say that they push their dart, a much smaller number will say they flick?
Both are simplifications, as there appeared to be no actual or viable explanation of what they do.
Of the two offerings the flick description appears to be the more plausible until you read the what they offer as an explanation in most dictionaries, for example, to move or propel with a light quick movement or maybe you would prefer “the act of flicking”? Absolutely classic!
I won’t spoil your fun by telling you!
The V sign was also probably used as a greeting, probably in the same vein as a Masons handshake, as with the handshake it was done a special way. Different ranks of Masons have differing handshakes, I doubt if you would respond to a superior Mason with a handshake that was above your status. As with the archer’s salute, you didn’t replicate the identical response unless you were a consummate artisan of the trade, if you could not fill your boots it could be a fatal error?
But above all it was a command, a command to switch from the parabola to the linear delivery and visa versa!
Incidentally these accomplished Archers were a very select and rough bunch, they did not mingle with any other men at arms, including knights, archers knew that all others were below them.
Although they were thought of as brigands.
If there was trouble in the alehouses, which were invariably built in close vicinity to the Butts, it was usually the archer’s who instigated it. They usually finished it as well!
If any fledgling archer had erroneously returned the correct, “or unfortunately in this case the incorrect salute”, it is quite possible that they may never have made it back to the camp.
The composite archers were extremely proud of their hard sought expertise and all archers were very adroit with the knife! As many a french nobility would find out on St. Crispin’s day at Agincourt, on the day chivalry died!
Crossed Fingers was an oversight, it could never really be applied as it is a reaction. It appeared and felt like it happened, but it never did or does. It is very likely that it was what the other lower ranked archers and bystanders discerned; what the mere parabola archers and onlookers assumed they saw.
However the “Real Sign of the Archer” holds the answer to Dartitis in Darts and the Yips in all yip infested sports.
I have used the terminology Archer, as if it was an the archers who first proffered the sign, however they nicked it from the sling and the throwing board arrow deliverers, also concussion slingers, who all initially purloined it from the original toxophilites, THE DART THROWER.
The dart thrower is the archetypal sports person.
The three Vids on this page tell you nothing about how the art of archery is performed!
They suit a purpose to the providers, whatever that may be, bewilders me.
Nevertheless in spite of all this flaunting of the fingers of the consummate archer, I would be astounded if he himself actually knew what he was trying to convey with his gesticulations.
Yes; there is no doubt that if he cocked the bow, whilst using the sign of the archer his shot was truer, and rangier, he also knew that the arrow would spin or rifle its way to the target on a linear path. However he didn’t comprehend how he did it, he had no idea what he had done or how it was applied.
It was just a feeling to him, if he got the correct sensation, he knew, he was absolutely certain that his arrow would fly truer, with even more lethal accuracy and over a greater distance.
To put it another way he is fully cocked not half-cocked just as today in championship darts you have the parabola arch deliverers, plus the linear delivery artisans. Very few parabola throwers win championships, that echelon is nearly entirely in the domain of the linear’s!
The problem is your senses, they lie to you and they lie to you completely.
When you think your movement is forward, it is backward, when you sense the right side of your hand or finger is prominent, the left side is predominant.
You are positive your hand is beneath the dart, however the fact is, it’s over the dart.
Most dart throwing people believe that their thumb is pre-dominant and therefore supplies the inertia, if you do, you are in for a very rude awakening eventually. This misconception might take years to kick you straight between the eyes, but eventually the yips are guaranteed to pay you a visit and because of your adamant belief in the thumb you are going to suffer big time!
You’re also adamant you are throwing the dart point first at the target whereas it is the flight that is aligned to leave this gantry first.
You believe that the dart exits the hand between the thumb and forefinger, it is in fact a fallacy.
All of these beliefs are set like concrete in your mind, you can sense them, all onlookers, even and including yourselves will see this.
All because of the Sign of the archer or if you would prefer the Grippe!
Say an ordinary archer wields a bow that is capable of shooting an arrow to a distance of 200 to 400 yards. In the hands of an expert archer, who is proud to demonstrate his hard fought for expertise he is capable of far out-shooting these distances.
Just as a top sniper is capable of out-shooting his rifle!
If you want to comprehend how throwing a dart is really done, watch the Archers Paradox. Don’t think, just inwardly digest and don’t see it just observe it.
In its way this is what Zen is.
When you’ve completely ignored history’s purloiner’s
Then used some nous to disentangle the denigrations
What remains is the reality