The Release

A lot has been written and philosophised about the release. I don’t want to make it even more complicated, because it is actually quite simple: the biggest mistake you can make in my opinion is to think too much about it. And that really is the main problem. If possible you shouldn’t even think, but allow yourself to be guided by your intuition. How does that work? I just want to describe how I do it: when I remove the arrow from the quiver, I already look at the target. At the same time I lift my bow arm towards the target. From now on I no longer move my eyes from the point I want to hit. The smaller and more specific this point is, the easier it is to focus on. I notch the arrow – again I do not take my eyes off the target. Only when drawing the string do I focus on the target with both eyes and allow everything else to fade into the background. I release the string at the latest 1 – 2 seconds after I have reached my full draw length. Usually I hit the target 🙂

The whole procedure of course requires a lot of practice, to ensure that each movement is automatic and that I don’t have to focus on the movements in addition to wanting to hit the target. In my opinion it is important that the whole process from picking up the arrow, notching it to the position in which I start to draw the string is practiced as often as possible. I can even do that at home in my living room. Even better, take a light bow and add the draw and the release to shoot at a target at most 2 – 3 metres away. The main idea is to repeat the correct procedure.

The recommended method for drawing the string consists of a single, uninterrupted and smooth movement up to your specific anchor point. Release the arrow at most 2 seconds afterwards.

When you release the arrow the tension that has built in the body is released by the bow arm moving forwards and to the side with the bow, while the elbow of the drawing hand moves backwards. 

I would like to emphasise that these instructions consist of my own experience with the thumb technique. Perhaps you will do better with one or the other methods. In any case I hope you are successful and especially have a lot of fun with the thumb technique.


Martin Gröber