The Arrows of Korean Traditional Archery

Like the bow used in KTA, there are two primary options in regards to arrows. The modern option is the carbon fiber and plastic arrow. The more historically accurate version of which is the bamboo arrow, fletched with quail feathers. The difference between the two is both in performance and in price.

Typically, an archer chooses to use either a set of modern equipment, bow and arrows, or the more expensive and traditional horn bow and bamboo arrow combination. In fact, competitions in Korea often stipulate what equipment archers are or are not allowed to use at their clubhouses. These choices are usually made while considering the ranks of the competing archers, as well as the prize money, number of attendants, etc. One case like this is when an archers reaches his or her 5th dahn ranking, he or she is ONLY allowed to compete using the traditional horn bow and bamboo arrows. Another situation that can occur is when an organizing pavillion stipulates that every competing team have a minimum of two horn bow archers using traditional arrows.

One of the more unique features of both types of arrows is the blunt head. The target of KTA is rubber-fronted, and the arrows are designed to bounce off the target, should they strike it. In the long term, this system results in less broken arrows, since archers never have to force an arrow OUT of the target, nor does an arrow ever become permanently lodged in the target.

At KTA Canada, students will have arrows chosen by the teacher that match the students' reach, as well as choosing arrows with the correct spline and weight to match the students' bow strength, draw length, and body positioning. For the beginning student, the arrows will be supplied as part of tuition costs. If and when a student decides to purchase their own bow, a teacher will also advise them of what arrow length and weight would match well. While traditional bamboo arrows can only be purchased in Korea, modern carbon fiber arrows can be bought either locally or from Korea, at the links listed below.