The Mamluk Style

For the GB v Sweden match we introduced a style that we referred to as the Mamluk style.  I say we introduced it but in truth it is very heavily based on a style used at Biga a couple of years ago.  This was our take on it, literally set up by taking a short walk along the 5 shot Korean course and moving the targets around.

The track was 150m long and we ran the event as though it were a Korean: one arrow per target, drawing from the quiver (although pre-nocking was allowed since target one was only 15m from the start) and a 23s time limit with point gained and lost for going over or under time.

Target one was a jarmaki shot: the target was lying on the ground for a straight downwards shot.  2 extra points were awarded for a hit in the Jarmaki style (dawing arm behind the head).  Personally I didn’t even try this – after twice having my shoulder surgically rebuilt I am not about to dislocate it again trying that!

Targets two and three were a forward and backward shot, essentially the Korean double shot.  Target four was an off-side shot, involving lifting the bow across the horse’s neck and shooting to the other side (unless you’re Emil, in which case you just change hands and take a regular shot!).  Target 5 was a 15m sideways shot.  The targets were more or less evenly spaced at 30m intervals but we did it fairly casually!

The Mamluk is generally agreed to have been the most fun course we did, even by those who didn’t have much luck.  I suspect that we’ll be seeing it again.  Chatting about it later, Emil, Anders and I came up with a new concept: tactical course setup.

The theory is this: the course consists of 5 targets as set out above.  You take five pieces of paper and label them “forwards”, “backwards”, “long sideways”, “wrong side” and “jarmaki”.  Split the papers between the competitors, who then take it in turns to allocate their shots to a position along the track.  So the first person/team might have “jarmaki” and decide to put it at target three.  The next person has “backwards” and decide to make that the last target and so on.  

The layout of our venue means that the offside shot needs to be target 4 for safety reasons.  That leaves four shots to be allocated.  For future internationals I think each team will be given two shots to place.  It might go horribly wrong but it should be fun!

Since I started writing this post we have watched the Disney/Pixar film “Brave”.  If anyone hasn’t seen it then I recommend the first 10 minutes or so, in which Merida, the heroine, rides through the woods shooting at targets in front, behind, to the side and even a wrong side shot.  The Mamluk is in danger of being renamed the Merida…

3 thoughts on “The Mamluk Style

  1. Update:
    For this year’s match between GB and Holland we used a variation on the Mamluk. We had felt that having the jarmaki first made it too easy (a close range shot pre-nocked). The new course was:
    1. 15m side shot
    2. Jarmaki
    3. Forward shot
    4. Offside shot
    5. Back shot.

    The effect of having front, off, back at the end was that those three targets were close together, giving a nice impression of attacking a group of targets.

    This track is harder than the original Mamluk. I’m not sure why that is but the scores were uniformly far lower than on any previous occasion.

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