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In the Media

article imageArcher reinvents forgotten techniques and is faster than Legolas

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By Elizabeth Batt
Dec 1, 2012 in Lifestyle
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Danish archer Lars Andersen has studied the forgotten rapid-fire techniques of master archers. By holding several arrows in his hand at one time, he releases them with deadly accuracy and is now faster than Legolas from The Lord of the Rings.
Andersen describes himself as a Danish painter and writer who originally built repeater crossbows to shoot with. But he says on his YouTube website, he discovered that "man is faster than machines, so today, I shoot only with bow."
The display Andersen puts on in his video -- which was posted to YouTube on Nov. 26, is astounding. At times he draws and fires so rapidly, the eye cannot keep up with him. The deadly accuracy he shows even when moving, comes from studying history's long-forgotten master archers.
"Historically" Andersen explains, "archery was to shoot [a] series of arrows, fast, and hit targets in movement and ... be in motion simultaneously." Today archery is more of a sport says the narrator, but for 60,000 years man has shot with a bow and arrow. It was the advent of guns he explained, that forced rapid-fire archery to become a lost art.
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Lars Andersen/YouTube still shot
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In the first demo, Andersen goes up against Legolas, a fictional elf character in J. R. R. Tolkien's, The Lord of the Rings. Legolas, often seen as an unrivaled archer, is bested by Andersen's long-forgotten champion archer technique. The Dane shoots 7 targets in the time it takes the elf to shoot six.
After studying the ancient master archers of China, Turkey, Persia and other countries, Andersen is able to shoot off 10 arrows in 4.9 seconds. The accomplishment left Hungarian master archer Lajos Kassai, in the dust by almost 10 seconds. And top-rated fast shooter Iza Privezenceva from Russia, needed 13 seconds to complete the task.
The difference between the archers, is the number of movements used. The majority of rapid-fire methods use three moves to fire an arrow the video explains, whereas Andersen needs only one. He holds his arrows in hand, ready to fire in the blink of an eye.
The Dane came by his talent after studying the methods of master archers from different cultures, including that of the Saracens. Historical texts says that archers were tested on their firing speeds, and were required to release three projectiles in less than 1.5 seconds.
Many modern archers have queried the speeds and believe them wrong, but after three years of training, Andersen proved the feat was possible. Furthermore, in 2011, the Dane set a new world record, for firing 11 arrows into the air before the first one hit the ground.
Andersen's impressive video display has gone viral across the web, racking up over 1.2 million hits so far.
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