Hi There! Archery in LA

Welcome to Los Angeles Archery!

Hi, I am Alejandro Barahona, Level 3 Instructor Instructor at Rancho Park Achery Range in LA. — the best place to practice Archery in LA.

We are located at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2459 Motor Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90064.  Rancho Park Archery Range in Cheviot Hills is at W. Pico and Motor, just south of Century City and the Fox Studios.

Enter the park at Motor, through the entrance closest to Pico, and drive to the back of the park until you reach the rotunda with the sign for the West Region Headquarters of the Department of Recreation & Parks.

You will find parking space there; the archery range is right behind the Petanque (Bocce) fields.

There are free archery classes every Saturday at 11AM and the second Sunday of every month at 1:30PM. We also provide all the equipment for free. We can take only 24 students and we run the class on a first come-first served basis, so try to be there early as you can. We open doors at 8AM Saturdays and about noon on Sundays.

Bring sunscreen, comfy shoes, water, and a willingness to learn something and have fun.

Once you take the class, you can come back to the range and shoot during our Open Shooting Times Saturdays from 9:30AM to 12PM, Sundays from 12PM to 3:30PM. And once you have more experience, Wednesdays from 6:30PM to 8PM, and yes, there is no rental fee.

If you want private lessons, I can organize classes for groups or individuals. You can reach me at losangelesarchery@gmail.com.

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Hi There

Welcome to Los Angeles Archery!

Hi, I am Alejandro Barahona, Level 2 Instructor at Rancho Park Achery Range in LA. — the best place to practice Archery in LA.

We are located at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2459 Motor Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90064.  Rancho Park Archery Range in Cheviot Hills is at W. Pico and Motor, just south of Century City and the Fox Studios.

Enter the park at Motor, through the entrance closest to Pico, and drive to the back of the park until you reach the rotunda with the sign for the West Region Headquarters of the Department of Recreation & Parks.

You will find parking space there; the archery range is right behind the Petanque (Bocce) fields.

There are free archery classes every Saturday at 11AM and the second Sunday of every month at 1:30PM. We also provide all the equipment for free. We can take only 24 students and we run the class on a first come-first served basis, so try to be there early as you can.

Bring sunscreen, comfy shoes, water, and a willingness to learn something and have fun.

Once you take the class, you can come back to the range and shoot during our Open Shooting Times Saturdays from 9:30AM to 12PM, Sundays from 12PM to 3:30PM. And once you have more experience, Wednesdays from 6:30PM to 8PM, and yes, there is no rental fee.

If you want private lessons, I can organize classes for groups or individuals. You can reach me at losangelesarchery@gmail.com.

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You Are New to Archery and You Want Your First Bow…

RecurveYou might have taken one of the free archery classes at the range…or you might have not. You might not have even hold a bow in your hands before. All you know is that you want a bow. You want one, and you want it now. You always wanted it. You want to feel it in your hands, to touch it, to feel the coiled power inside it…to cares it, to own it. Maybe even to shoot it. Then you came to me. You reach me through this blog, or you email me, or you see me at the range and you ask me where can you buy one. Nobody ever likes the answer.

All the instructors at the range will give the same answer: “Please don´t”. The combination of disappointment and surprise  we see in your faces is painful to us.

Let me explain our answer.

Before you take an archery class, you don´t know which one is your dominant eye. You don´t know if you are going to hold your bow with your left or if you are going to hold your bow with your right.

You don´t know yet which style would you would like the most. Maybe you would like to shoot traditional, without any sights. You might even want to go one step beyond and you might like to shoot a long bow, or even make your own bow. Maybe you would like to shoot Olympic style and practice to shoot up to a 100 yards. Maybe you would like to shoot a compound bow and even hunt with it. You might want to try Kyudo, or clout shooting, or Korean archery, or…you just don´t know… yet.

Give it time. Come to one of our free safety classes, or book a private class. Then come back at least a couple of times a week to the range, and practice for free with our equipment, at least for three months…I would even say, at least for six. During that time you will see people shooting different types of bows, and in different styles. You will see what they do, and you will have the chance to talk with them. If you ask politely, they might even let you touch and hold the bows. Little by little, you will be discovering all the options you have. At that point you might decide which way you want to go. Then and only then, when you have made a decision, come to us, and we will guide you in your purchase.

There are a lot of things that need to be considered when you buy a bow. Your height, your length of pull, your strength, your ability, and the amount of time you can dedicate to the art of archery. Once you know what you want, we can help you get what you need.

Yes, you can go to Archers-r-us or any big-box sport store and they will get you measured and they will get you The-Best-Bow-Money-Can-Buy (c) from KillsaMuch brand. And without judging you. We don´t judge you. Believe me, we don´t. But we see the people that bought a bow that does not fit them or that it is waaaaaay to strong for them, or way too heavy trying to shoot it at the range. And we see them suffering…twice. Once because they spent the money, an twice because their archery dream got shattered.

Please, if you only get one thing after this rant, it is this. We want you to join the spot. We want you to come back at the range, and we want you to have fun practicing. We prefer you gain some experience before you get your bow. And because we know that good equipment is expensive, we want you to expend money wisely.

But if in spite of everything you just read, you still want to buy your bow. Please go ahead. When you come to the range with your new bow, we will help you set it up  and we will even provide you with some pointers. And if you stop using it completely or if you discover that maybe that bow was not the best option for you, please sell it to us. We know people that might be able to use it.

 

 

 

 

 

Let me count the ways

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AWOL

My apologies to you all. Yes, I´m alive! I´m ALIIIIIVE!

I have not posted anything in a while. Actually since January last year. A lot of things happened since then.

Marriage

A&V

The first one is that I had to plan a wedding…my own wedding. I met this wonderful woman that understands me, I asked her to marry me, and to my surprise, she said yes.

IMG_3887I moved to a new house

Home

Home

IMG_3661

And I became a US Citizen…

But the important thing is that I´m back, and I´ll be posting more often!

Stay safe!

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Hi There! Archery in LA

Welcome to Los Angeles Archery!

Hi, I am Alejandro Barahona, Instructor at Rancho Park Achery Range in LA. — the best place to practice Archery in LA.

We are located at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2459 Motor Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90064.  Rancho Park Archery Range in Cheviot Hills is at W. Pico and Motor, just south of Century City and the Fox Studios.

Enter the park at Motor, through the entrance closest to Pico, and drive to the back of the park until you reach the rotunda with the sign for the West Region Headquarters of the Department of Recreation & Parks.

You will find parking space there; the archery range is right behind the Petanque (Bocce) fields.

There are free archery classes every Saturday at 11AM and the second Sunday of every month at 1:30PM. We also provide all the equipment for free. We can take only 24 students and we run the class on a first come-first served basis, so try to be there early as you can. We open doors at 8AM Saturdays and about noon on Sundays.

Bring sunscreen, comfy shoes, water, and a willingness to learn something and have fun.

Once you take the class, you can come back to the range and shoot during our Open Shooting Times Saturdays from 9:30AM to 12PM, Sundays from 12PM to 3:30PM. And once you have more experience, Wednesdays from 6:30PM to 8PM, and yes, there is no rental fee.

If you want private lessons, I can organize classes for groups or individuals. You can reach me at losangelesarchery@gmail.com.

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Kyudo

We are somehow blessed at the range. Nanka Kyudo Kay from Pasadena practices Kyudo every Sunday from 8AM to around 11AM at Rancho Park Archery. Archery is to Kyudo what fast food is to a four star Michelin restaurant. We both launch arrows to the target, but they make it look good. Kyudo is “The way of the Bow”, and it shows in their execution.

Japanese archer at full length.

We have this image of the Samurai warrior with his katana hacking people in half from shoulder to hip. In reality, Kyudo was considered more important in the formation of a warrior than swordsmanship. From the 12th century to the 16th century in Japan, the bow was the symbol of the professional warrior, to the point that the way of the warrior was called “the way of the horse and bow” (kyūba no michi). When the matchlock musket was introduced to Japan in 1543, the importance of the bow in war declined, and the importance of the musket and the spear (yari) increased…then, after Tokugawa Ieyasu controlled all Japan and created the shogunate and peace lasted untill the 1860s, the whole mystique around the katana and the samurai was invented, but that is a story for another day…
Like with many other Japanese martial arts, the way of the bow evolved both as an art or a path “do” and as the martial techniques of the bow “jutsu”. Kyudo schools merged, disappeared, evolved
and expanded all over the world, and we are lucky at Rancho Park to have Nanka Kyudo Kay practicing here.
I highly recommend not only my archery students but also anybody interested in archery to go see them practice. It’s not only beautiful, it is also inspiring. Not only that, I also think that their approach to archery is also applicable to the modern archer.
One very interesting thing on Kyudo’s archery technique, if I understand it correctly, is that there is not a single point where the practitioner aims, the whole process of the shoot is aiming. If you have the correct stance and you perform the technique correctly, you will hit the target. That is something that I drill into my students. If your technique is correct, you will hit the target…and everything is aiming.

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We are always learning, Part 2

Now that I told you my story on the first part of this post, let me tell you how connects with Archery.

As a coach, I spent most of my time teaching, and not as much as I should practicing. As a coach, I could sit in my high throne, and decide that I know all there is to know about archery. As a coach, I could decide that I don´t need to learn anything else. Three problems there: First, you are letting your ego getting in the way of your learning. Second, we  we have a blind spot and we don´t see all we are doing or what we are doing wrong, and third, when we practice, we like to practice what we know how to do well instead of what we need to improve (coming back to point one again).

No, we don´k know everything there is to it. You are coming to a class because you want to learn something. Listen to the instructor, you are not born knowing how to drive and how to shoot.  And the difference between an amateur and a professional is that the amateur practices what he does right, and the professional practices until he or she can´t do it wrong.

You mix all this and you have a big problem brewing, because  you don´t know what you are doing, you can´t always see what you are doing, and sometimes, even if you see what you are doing, and you know that you are doing wrong, you will not want to recognize it because a guy/gal as good as you makes no mistakes… I´m not going to lie to you. If that is you, and you are one of my students, it´s great for me. You will not improve and you´ll need to pay me for more classes. Me? I want to learn. That is why I go to other coaches with more experience than me, and ask them to asses me and let me know what I am doing wrong and where I need to improve. Because I am alive.  Leave your ego at the door.

Stay alive!

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Archery Through the Ages, Part 2

Months ago, I posted one article about the history of the longbow, and I mentioned knights pinned to their horses through their armor plate and stories of arrows going through four inches of oak.

Those feats were possible not only because of the power of those bows, between 120 to 180lb, but also because of the design of the points. The archers had at the time specialized points in their bows called Bodkin points.

This was the .50 cal. Barrett rifle of those times. These where their armor-piercing rounds at that time.

I was lucky  that one  SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism) member at the range, had a couple arrows with bodkin points that he let me photograph.
Stay safe.

 

 

 

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