Anchor Points in Turkish Shooting Technique

The term “anchor point” refers to the spot that the string of the bow is pulled before it is released. Although this is a term of western archery literature, Eastern literature also mentions how far and on which level the string should be pulled. In Persian sources there are 5 levels of anchor that are distinguished. In the Ottoman archery literature there is only one anchor point, the earlobe, that is advocated. But there is evidence that they knew the others, as the chest-level anchor was also mentioned, but said to be inferior. But in other Turkish cultures like that of Mughals, chest-level anchor was used. This (and maybe other) low-level anchors were also used by Crimean Tatars and Polish cavalry which we know had adopted many aspects of Turkish warfare. So, it makes sense to believe that lower anchor levels have been in use in early Turkish and Turkic archery culture. Here we explained and demonstrated these anchors and also showed that a skilled archer may switch from one to another without diminishing the accuracy within combat distances.