Thumb Technique

“The hand of man has never wielded a weapon more perfect than the bow”


In addition to the popular, so-called “Mediterranean” technique for drawing the string using the index, middle and ring finger, there is also a method for drawing the bow that involves the thumb, which is still used in Asia today. This was the technique employed by many traditional riding people such as the Mongols, Tartars and Huns. Even in Turkey and Hungary the thumb technique is still widespread today.

  • With the thumb technique the arrow is usually placed on the right side of the bow (whereas for the Mediterranean technique it is on the left), so the arrow doesn’t fall off the arrow rest while the archer or his horse is moving.


    Arrow on the right side of the bow

  • Another reason is that when using a short bow with a large draw the angle of the string when fully drawn can be very acute. Finding room for two or even three fingers can be difficult, causing a lot of pressure on the fingers or even on the delicate arrow shaft.
  • The thumb technique makes it easier to reload the bow and there is a smaller risk of injury as the arrow does not need to be inserted between the string and the bow arm. This means the tip of the arrow won’t poke you in the hand or in the bow, as often happens with the Mediterranean technique.
  • With the same amount of effort the thumb technique gives you 1-2 inches more draw compared to the Mediterranean technique.
  • The spine value of the arrow does not have to be perfectly matched to the bow with the thumb technique. This was a big advantage for antique archers in battle, as they could simply pick arrows off the ground and shoot them again.


    Arrow, String, Ring – Thumb Technique

Of course you don’t need a horse to use the thumb draw. These days the technique has many supporters who enjoy this form of shooting – or rather releasing. However you still get quizzical stares when you arrive at archery practice with a ring on your thumb.

The main reason for using the thumb technique with the ring:

It’s simply fun!

  • Please note the following pages with hints on the thumb technique from the Stance up to the Release.

How to use a thumbring

  • Saracene Tilting & Turning Technique


many possibilities of the Thumb Technique:         

  • Osmanian method during movement

  • authentic osmanian/saracen technique (arrows in the drawing hand)

  • shooting during movement (lots of fun…)