The Sacred Archery Society – Structure
1. Aims & Objectives
1.1. The syllabus is being designed to offer members of Sacred Archery clubs
with a standardized approach to learning, improving and competing in the
sport of archery as shaped by Islamic influences.
1.2. The syllabus shall be applied by all Scared Archery clubs in the UK and
1.3. To promote and teach the traditional eastern art of the ‘Mongolian draw’ or
thumb ring shooting.
1.4. To Shoot with a barebow, that is from a bow without the aid of sights,
clickers or other modern archery paraphernalia.
1.5. To promote and teach the art of horse archery.
2. Basic Club Structure
2.1. Each archery club must have the following equipment as a minimum:
2.1.1. Practice Target (one per 5 members, with a minimum of two targets))
2.1.2. Practice bows (at least 5 for new members and beginners to use)
2.1.3. Basic Arrows (at least 50 arrows for the use of new members and
2.1.4. Wind pegs to hold down targets in rough weather if shooting outdoors.
2.2. As well as the above equipment each club must also have a regular location
booked for club members to shoot for a minimum advance of six months.
2.3. Each club will also have the following personnel (2.4) in charge of the day to
day running of the club, more than one of these roles can be filled by a
2.4. List of required personnel. All the personnel below must undergo a standard
criminal background check if they want to have an active role in the club:
2.4.1. Official organiser
This is the person in overall charge of the club.
He is in charge of equipment, insuring that members have access to the
grounds, organising shoots, making sure members are fully paid up,
leasing with the Head office of the Sacred Archery Society and anything
else that may come up in the day to day running of the club.
The Official Organiser has been given permission to run the club on
behalf of the Sacred Archery Society and has the last word on any
matters arising on the day to day running and decision making of the club.
The treasurer is in charge of the financial aspects of the club, this will
include but not be limited by the following:
Make funds available for new equipment and repairs of old
equipment whenever necessary
Keep an eye on membership expires
Involve themselves in fund raising and sponsorship activities
2.4.3. Shoot leader
This is usually a senior member of the club who has experience in
shooting with a traditional bow.
The role of the shoot leader is to make sure the day of the shoot runs
smoothly, to watch out for potential problems that may occur during a
shoot and to train beginners to the club.
It is also his responsibility to make sure all equipment is working well, to
deal with damaged equipment and also make sure that everything is put
away satisfactorily after shooting for the day has ended.
If a Shoot Leader is not present at a shoot then it is the responsibility
of the Lead Archers to elect the shoot leader for the day from amongst
2.4.4. Lead Archer
The lead archer is responsible for his designated target. He must look
after the equipment assigned to the target and also all archers shooting
at the target.
It is also the job of the lead archer to help out the Shoot leader
wherever he can.
The Shoot leader can delegate any of his tasks to a lead archer.
There must be one Lead Archer per target on every shoot..
2.5. At least one of the members attending a shoot should be proficient in first
2.6.1. If club members have an issue with the day to running of the club or the
personnel in the roles above (2.5). They must first take up there issues
with the Official Club Organiser (2.4.1).
2.6.2. If they do not receive satisfaction then it is there responsibility to
contact the Head Sacred Archery Society for any matters they feel
have not been dealt with appropriately
3. Weekly Shoots
3.1. At the start of each meet there shall be at least a 5 minute compulsory
warming up drill. These exercises are to be developed but are basically to
make sure that certain muscles are warm and the archer is ready to shoot
without injuring himself or herself.
3.2. Since members tend to arrive at different times it is up to the Shoot Leader
to make sure everyone has done their warm ups before commencing shooting
3.3. Although not compulsory it is tradition that all members be in wudu before
commencing and that they make two rakats nafle prayer.
3.4. It is the responsibility of the shoot leader to develop weekly drills for the
members who wish to partake to follow. These drills are designed to develop
coordination and encourage members to work together and help each other.
These shall include:
3.4.1. Mock shooting to drill routine
3.4.2. Single shooting in lines – side on, front on, from behind, kneeling, lying
3.4.3. Partnered shooting in lines – stood together, one kneeling & one stood
3.4.4. Other elements should be built into this such as the pronouncement of
Haqq by all shooters in sync as they release.
3.5. There must also be a theory element to the shooting, each week a portion of
a classic text should be covered with members encouraged to try and put the
theory into practice. Please refer to the ‘Beginners Guide to Sacred
Archery’ for a list of the recommended texts.
3.6. Other things that should be covered will be Bow tuning theory and shooting
theory at the discretion of the Shoot Leader.
3.7. Apart from the drills member are free to shoot at their leisure each with a
target leader responsible for the target.
3.8. The types of shooting which should be covered at a meet should include:
3.8.1. Target Shooting
3.8.2. Clout and Distance Shooting
3.8.3. Other disciplines as required for the archers to achieve their gradings.
3.9. The target set up shall be defined on the member’s needs; i.e. distances will
be used according to the levels people need to achieve in their gradings.
3.10. Flight shooting shall always be conducted separately at the latter part of a
4.1. All beginners must undertake an initial two week training.
4.2. After the initial two weeks of training, and upon payment of membership
fees, members are expected to attend meets and practice as much as
4.3. After an additional week they can then take the basic test to start on the
4.4. To pass this stage a beginner is expected to know the following:
1. Warming up exercises
2. How to string and unstring the bow
3. Basic pronouncement before shooting
4. Basic pronouncement after hitting the target
5. The Ten principles of shooting.
6. Basic shooting at a target 15 paces away
7. One Hadith memorised on the bow
4.5. If successful an archer is then expected to make an intention to officially
begin their journey on the syllabus.
4.6. After this stage is passed beginners are encouraged to buy their own
equipment since priority for club equipment is for new members and
5.1. Gradings have been designed to make the archery fun, to keep archers
interested in the sport as well as giving everyone a chance to measure their
5.2. The progress chart has been specifically developed by the Sacred Archery
Society to help members measure their skills and also plan their next
5.3. This chart has been split into five disciplines, each discipline has it’s own set
of levels. There are a total of 5 levels altogether.
5.4. A member can choose to specialise in a single discipline by trying to progress
as far as they can in it. Alternatively members can try to progress in
different disciplines at different levels. However the lowest level discipline
is considered to be the archers overall level.
6. Grade Days
6.1. Grading days shall be held as and when required as decided by the personnel
described above. The refereeing of grading shall be by the most senior
members of the club or club founders or anyone else they may designate this
role by consensus, ‘ijma’. A minimum of three referees must be present at
6.2. If there is more than one member taking the grading, all are to stand in a
row with those not shooting sitting in line while the archer takes to the
target. The archer will then shoot his/her number of number of arrows,
collect the arrows then return them to the referee who will note his/her hit
rate. They then return to the back of the line and await their next turn.
Silence is a must for all.
6.3. If fail in their attempt to achieve the given grade, at the discretion of the
referees they will be given another shoot. However, if they fail again they
will have to wait for another grading day.
6.4. It is up to the referees, but the results of the gradings need not be
announced on the day of the shoot but at a later date.
Explanation of Progress Chart
On the progress chart there are five disciplines, these are:
5. Combination of Speed and Distance
Everyone must pass two disciplines to achieve an overall level one grade. These are
Distance level one and Skills level one. Since all level two activities are linked to these
two no one is allowed to progress to any level two discipline without first passing these.
Some levels require another discipline to be completed before passing it. For example
level 2 of both speed and distance should be passed before attempting the speed and
distance combination discipline.
It is possible for an archer to be level 1 skills, level 2 Distance and level 5 accuracy or
any other combination of levels so long as the chart allows it.
As explained above there are five disciplines associated with Target Archery. Each of
these have been chosen since they relate to specific skills acquired by traditional
This is for the archer to gain an overall control of the bow which is not normally
expected of modern day archers. It is required so that the transition to horse archery
is easier, it is also expected that it will give more confidence to the archers and help
with all the other disciplines.
At level 1 the archer is expected to Load, nock, draw, aim and fire without taking their
eyes off the target. This is one of the most basic requirements in a war scenario where
taking ones eyes off their opponents could be fatal.
This skill must then be observed throughout all subsequent gradings even for non skill
At Level 2 the basic horse riding stances are to be learned, crouching, shooting
forwards for attack and backwards – or the parting (parathion) shot.
Each one of these can be completed at separate gradings, but all must be passed before
the level two grade is awarded.
At level 3 two skills must be mastered, hitting the target while moving past it, (e.g.
running) also standing still with the archers back to the target then turning 180 degrees
Each one of these can be completed at separate gradings, but all must be passed before
the level three grade is awarded.
At level 4 a low hanging swinging target must be hit. The archer has 20 seconds after
the swing of the target before he must fire his first shot. All five shots must be
completed in two minutes.
At level 5 the archer is now ready to start Horse Archery, also he must show hi
dedication to the sport by making his own bow. This can even be done before level five,
but the grade will only be awarded after all the previous grades are passed.
This is the same as standard archery target shooting. All shooting can be done with any
recurve or traditional bow, but must be done in the barebow style, that is without the
aid of any modern bow accessories.
The table below is based on GNAS and FITA ratings but has been reduced to take into
account that archers will be using barebow techniques.
The table below is divided into a number of sections, firstly they split into men and
women, then into indoor and outdoor, finally you have the round types and score required
for the round. Refer to the information sheet on target archery rounds for a through
explanation of the terms used here.
To gain the recognition of a level the archer must reach the score specified in the table,
in whichever round he chooses at least three times.
Archers can keep track of their scores using the score sheets provided by the club.
Only scores kept by an archery partner or witness will be accepted. Archers cannot
officially score for their own rounds.
Indoor Outdoor Indoor Outdoor
Round Score Round Score Round Score Round Score
Level 2 Worcester/ 100/ Junior 540 Worcester/ 150/ Junior 680
Portsmouth 300 Windsor Portsmouth 350 Windsor
Level 3 Worcester/ 150/ Short 540 Worcester/ 200/ Short 680
Portsmouth 350 Windsor Portsmouth 400 Windsor
Level 4 Worcester/ 200/ Windsor 540 Worcester/ 220/ Albion 680
Portsmouth 400 Portsmouth 500
Level 5 Fita 25 Hereford/ 419/ Fita 25 York/ 509/
Fita 332 Fita 308
Bowman Fita 25 Hereford/ 508/ Fita 25 York/ 596/
Fita 417 Fita 390
Master Bowman Hereford/ 571/ York/ 656/
Fita 477 Fita 450
Grandmaster Hereford/ 634/ York/ 716/
Fita 539 Fita 511
This discipline is the art of shooting at a long distance. It is by far the most useful
skills for the footman to have. This discipline is broken down into three parts:
The purpose here is to place the arrow on or as close to the clout. The ‘clout’ will be
represented by a post or flag. Score is determined by the distance of the arrow from
18 inches = 5 points
3 feet = 4 points
6 feet = 3 points
9 feet = 2 points
12 feet = 1 point
Distance will vary depending on how much space the club has available this can be
anything from 100-240 yards, a good average should be 180 yards if possible.
This is a form of Turkish archery where the archers would take aimed shots at targets
165-200m away. The target is called a Puta and it measures 100x70cm. This is a very
small taget to hit from such a distance for club archers so I suggest we use the
traditional Korean range which is about 6foot by 4 foot.
Flight shooting is where you send an arrow as far as possible without aiming at a target.
Turks excelled at this sport above all others. There were four classes of archer, they
fell into the category of length they were able to shoot.
These were Seniors, 900’s, 1000’s, and 1100’s. These measurements are in gez, 100 gez
is assumed to be about 68 yards, therefore these would translate as: 610, 680 and 750
yards. The current Australian requirements for flight shooting are:
GROUPS DISTANCE (metres)
GMB MB 1st. 2nd. 3rd.
MEN 700 600 500 400 300
WOMEN & UNDER 18 BOYS 600 500 400 300 200
UNDER 18 GIRLS 430 340 250 200 150
UNDER 16 BOYS & GIRLS 430 340 250 200 150
The basic idea is to develop fast firing and instinctive reflexes with the bow. This will
help in bow normal archery as well as horse archery.
In this discipline the target is only needed to be hit at 15 paces, this is because we are
developing speed and not accuracy.
The beginners guide to archery states that a good archer should be able to fire three
arrows, and to have the third arrow in the air before the first arrow lands.
This is the Speed and Distance disciplines combined, the archer should after some time
complete both successfully and instinctively.