Superheroes vs. The Olympians

I don’t know about you, but I cringe whenever I see an archer with bad form. This is mostly because I’m an archery instructor.  As an instructor, I’m trained to stress form a lot when I teach beginner archers.  It is an integral part of learning the craft.  Lately, archery has become very popular in movies and TV.  So, I thought it would be interesting to see how the Superheroes match up to the 2012 Olympian Archers in a head-to-head competition of form.

Yes, I know the Olympian’s are FITA shooters and not traditional shooters but there are some fundamentals that apply across all archery styles.  With that said, let’s get to the fun stuff and see how the Super archers compare with the Olympians.

Hawkeye (left), Brady Ellison (right)

First, let’s compare Hawkeye of The Avengers with Brady Ellison, who won silver on the men’s archery Olympic team this year.  Hawkeye’s form is all off.  His right elbow is rotated inward and his shoulder is pushed up.  Not to mention that he is wearing two arm guards.  Did this guy even get a lesson in archery?  Brady’s left arm, his bow arm, is straight.  The left elbow is not rotated and his shoulder is down, relaxed.  His right arm and elbow are straight back and in line with his bow arm, unlike Hawkeye’s chicken wing which is pointing upward.  Ellison’s grip is precise, while Hawkeye’s grip is too tight.  Not sure if you can compare the grip of a FITA archer with a bare bow archer. FITA archers don’t, to my knowledge, grip the bow as much as they let it rest there.  The finger sling catches the bow when they release.  Bare bow shooters have a firmer grip.

Oh Jin Hyek (left), The Green Arrow (right)

For our next round, we have Oh Jin Hyek, Korean’s gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics going against Green Arrow from the CW’s upcoming Arrow TV series.  Hyek’s anchor, the point at which the fingers of the draw hand touches the face, is solid, right under his chin.  Green Arrow’s anchor is non-existent.  Now, I’m a traditional shooter and my anchor point is the corner of my mouth. I don’t see him anchoring anywhere.  No anchor point equals no consistency and a really bad aim.

The Green Arrow’s bow arm is bent in comparison to Hyek’s fully extended arm.  When the bow arm is bent like that, you can’t get the push-pull effect that is needed to steady the bow arm. When the arm is fully extended, your skeleton supports the weight of the bow resulting in less strain and a stable form. When the arm is collapsed the form becomes less stable because you’re using more muscle to keep a steady aim and push against the weight of the bow.  Hyek’s right elbow goes straight back and is horizontally in line with his bow arm.  This is perfect form.  The Green Arrow has collapsed his form making it very difficult to shoot consistently.

Khatuna Lorig (left), Katniss Everdeen (right)

In this round, it’s teacher vs. pupil. It has been reported that Khatuna Lorig, USA’s 1992 Bronze medalist and fourth place finisher in the 2012 Olympics coached Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games.  I’ve seen the movie and Katniss is pretty good compared to the other Superheroes, however in the picture in this analysis not so much.  Katniss has her right elbow sticking way out.  It should be behind her, as shown in her mentor’s picture.  Unlike Khatuna, Katiness does not even anchor her draw hand, leaving her unsteady and ultimately unable to shoot that bullseye she shot in the movie.  Between you and me, I think Khatuna made that shot for her.  What do you think?

All in all, I think our Superheroes have their work cut out for them.  I mean if you are going to portray an archer at least do it accurately.

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5 Replies to “Superheroes vs. The Olympians”

  1. Great article. Thanks Laura. I’ve been studying films such as Hunger Games and The Avengers in order to try and improve my archery form, but i’m going to stop doing so since I now know that the archery is fake. I think you should also expose other bits of Hollywood fakery. For example, in the Star Wars movies you can hear stuff in space, but there’s no air in space so there should not be any sound. So that was totally fake too. Also, in those Jaws movies, if you look closely you can tell it’s a mechanical shark, so that’s fake as well. When will Hollywood stop putting all this fake stuff in their films?! How dare they?!

    1. I heard that Stephen Amell of Arrow is a good archer in real life. Check out in youtube him shooting arrows. I gather when these superheroes shoot arrows their form is never perfect, only their aim since they have to shoot multiple arrows in a hurry while danger is around them.

  2. Korig and katniss photo… Korig is at full draw, Katniss hasnt even drawn back… Kinda hard to compare in those pics dont you think?

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