The Drawing Hand

Gripping and drawing the bowstring with the thumb seems to be more natural than the Mediterranean method with three fingers. If you watch somebody who has never used a bow before, such as a child, he will pull the string with his thumb and forefinger without having been instructed to do so. And he will probably also place the arrow on the right side of the bow (if he is right-handed). This is very similar to the thumb technique.


It doesn’t matter whether you draw the string without thumb protection, with leather protection or with a thumb ring: the drawing hand is locked into position in the same way. I will present the standard method, which is the one that I use myself. However, there are six main methods and innumerable variants that each differ slightly from the other. Depending on how strong the bow is or how long and strong your fingers are you will want to use one or the other Clench. Whatever way you choose to lock your grip, you can always adapt it to your own needs. But be aware of the fact that once you have decided on a specific Clench, you should continue using it. The slightest changes might have a serious effect on your shooting.

P1070956Above you can see how the arrow is placed in the system. Note that the arrow notch should not exert any pressure on the thumb or forefinger. The forefinger should be relaxed and not pressed against the thumb. The arrow is held against the bow by using the middle joint of the forefinger to press against the right side of the arrow with just enough strength to prevent it from falling off the front of the bow hand.

The middle picture – taken from below – shows how the hand is locked into position by the tip of the thumb or the lip of the thumb ring pressing against the middle finger; not by the forefingers pressing against the thumb. The three other fingers that are not needed apply a soft pressure against the ball of the thumb and help your hand stay in position.

In the picture below you can see the bow hand at full draw. During the draw the hand must stay locked into position and loose. This is the only way to ensure a clean release that accelerates the arrow without any disturbances.


proceed with:    The Draw