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Home > Books > Arab Archery > XI. On bracing, which is the same as stringing
XI. On bracing, which is the same as stringing
Part 4 of 5

The sixth method is called "water bracing." It is so called because of its use by archers who are standing in water which reaches up to their waists or over. It consists of placing the bow diagonally on your back, or between your shoulders, while the string rests on your face. Then hold your right hand on the neck of the upper limb, keeping the index finger and the thumb outstretched to straighten out the eye and push it into the nock. While the lower siyah is held firm by the left hand, you press your right forward and thereby brace the bow.

The seventh method of bracing is among the most unusual and most interesting methods. It consists of slipping the bow into your right sleeve and bringing it out through the left sleeve fully braced, quickly and without any delay. To do this you should sit down on the ground with your feet crossed, slip the lower limb in your right sleeve, hold the lower siyah with your left hand while the belly of the bow is up. Then place your right hand around the grip of the bow and, leaning against it, press it toward the ground firmly and strongly, sliding the back of the upper limb and its siyah against your right thigh. The eye would then be pushed into the nock by your thigh. You then bring it out through your left sleeve fully braced. The whole operation should be performed without pause or interruption. At first it is better to practice this method outside your sleeve and then, after it has been perfected outside, do it inside.

The eighth method of bracing is called "the bracing of the archers." It consists of sitting down on the ground with crossed legs, releasing the eye of the string from the upper limb completely, and placing it in the hand of someone who will later insert it into the nock. Hold the bow with the left hand on the back of the siyah of the lower limb and the right hand on the back of the siyah of the upper limb, as close as possible to the nock. Then place your knees against the limbs of the bow—the belly being toward you—and with both hands draw the siyahs toward you with gentleness and care until the bow is in the position of bracing; whereupon the person who holds the eye of the string will insert it into the nock. This method of bracing is especially desirable when the archer is bracing an unfamiliar bow, because he draws it gently and carefully.

The ninth method of bracing is called both "the bracing of the archers" and "the bracing of the lone archer," because the archer himself inserts the eye of the string into the nock without the aid of an assistant. It is accomplished by sitting down on the ground with crossed legs, freeing the upper eye clear of the bow, holding the back of the lower siyah close to the nock with the right hand and the back of the upper siyah close to the nock with the left, while the belly is toward you; then—raising the left knee a little and placing it against the belly of the bow—drawing the siyahs gently toward you until the bow reaches the position of bracing. Thereupon, you place the lower siyah, which you have been holding with your right hand, on your right knee, while the upper siyah lies at the top of your left knee, and finish by taking the eye with your right hand and inserting it into the nock.

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