Lee was helping Joe get the hang of traditional Korean archery or Hwal. Turns out he’s an organizer/instructor for Toronto folk who are into this, and he has a project called the GlobalOneKorea Movement, for connecting Koreans worldwide through the philosophy and practice of Hwal.
There’s a Hwal range near Orton, Ontario but it’s a bit out of the way – like, an hour drive – so when they can’t get out there, these guys make use of the public one here. Specifically, the long distance part of the range, which seemed a little amazing, since lots of people who’ve been shooting forever stick with the 18 and 30 metre targets, and here’s Joe, at 70! Get this, though: competition distance for this discipline is 145 metres. One hundred. Plus forty five.
The thing that caught my eye as I was passing was the bow itself - small, light and, as Lee pointed out, remarkably powerful. I guess that explains the distance. The origin of the shape is from mounted archery. If you’re on a horse, you need a short bow. There was another keen-o piece of paraphernalia, though: a shiny, chunky thumb ring. Check it out:
They let me put one of these rings on, to see how it worked, and it confuzzled my mind a great deal. They use their thumbs to draw the string, and of course then they have to hold the string pretty differently. Joe said I hold mine the Mediterranean way, which was news to me. Right enough, though. I looked it up.
Great guys. Totally say hi for me and Mom, if you see ‘em around!