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Home > Books > Arab Archery > XXI. On the passage of the arrow over the left hand.
XXI. On the passage of the arrow over the left hand.

ACCORDING to the experts, the passage of the arrow over the left hand may follow one of four different ways: first, letting it pass over the knuckle of the thumb; second, letting it pass over the index finger; third, letting it pass over the upper part of the nail of the thumb by holding the thumb straight and placing the index finger beneath it as though one were locking his fingers for thirteen; fourth, letting it pass over the tips of the index finger and thumb as though one were locking his fingers for thirty.

The first, namely, letting the arrow pass over the knuckle of the thumb, is very bad because it is not free from the danger of cutting the skin with the feathers; or the arrow itself may strike the thumb and wound it. The second, namely, letting it pass over the index finger, is slightly better than the first. Both are the methods of those who hold the grip straight, but they are, however, no good.

The third, in which the arrow passes over the upper part of the thumb, as though the fingers were locking thirteen, is the method of those who hold the grip obliquely and is followed by most of the archers of Khurasan. It is, however, very bad because the archer using it holds the grip very obliquely and keeps his thumb straight, with the result that if he should incline the bow a little in order to obtain a clear view of the target the arrow would fall off the nail. It is still worse in warfare because it does not insure a hit, as the arrow is apt to fall or not be in the correct position. It is better, therefore, to avoid the use of this way completely.

The fourth, namely, letting the arrow pass over the bases of the nails of the index finger and thumb, as though the fingers were locked for thirty, is the method of the intermediate school and is by far the best and safest.

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