Topic: Khatra Speed Test
I've decided to post the results of a khatra speed test I did a while ago here. It was a bit of work and feel the results should be published for prosperity sake. I'm posting here rather than say ATARN's old forum or FB site because its somewhat of an overheated discussion there regarding what if any effects this technique has on the flight of the arrow. So this site being more on the lo-key side these days is really the perfect place to share I feel. Also, pardon if this post is a tad out of place here since its not an actual Korean technique, although it is one that is used in certain cultural contexts within the realm of Asiatic archery. With that said here are a few points of consideration before I reveal the results:
1) Khatra is a term referenced in the book Saracen Archery referring to a very specific technique. The book is a translation of an ancient Middle Eastern treatsie on archery written during the late 1300s AD by a Mamluk named Taybugha. The word is derived from Arabic and used by archers within the aforementioned cultural context and time. It should not be confused with Japanese yugaity/yugari found in Kyudo or the torque technique used in Korean traditional archery.
2) Khatra as a technique is described as a forward and downward motion of the bow emanating from the wrist. The purpose according to Taybugha is to improve the speed of the arrow.
3) Some people who have studied this technique over the years feel that it should be only used with bows that have a bulbous grip like Ottoman or Crimean Tatar bows have since bows like that would have theoretically been used during the time Saracen Archery was written.
4) None of the bows used in this test of khatra's purpose have a perfectly bulbous grip. The closest I have in my collection is my Saluki Crimean Tatar and I used that for the first trial. The second and third trials, I used my Yuan bow by Mariner.
5) The first trial may have many systematic errors since I find the Saluki Crimean Tatar harder to shoot. The second trial likewise may have a some systematic error as well. The third trial was tighter in terms of technique consistency and, I believe, removal of all systematic errors that may have been introduced in the previous two trials. Three's a charm as they say.
6) Given the above, I am not claiming these tests prove khatra effectively does what Taybugha claims. Its been said that measurements within 3 fps could be well within in standard margin of error. Keep that in mind when looking at the third trial results in particular. And remember, there may be other errors in the first two trials. You are free to interpret as you wish or compare with other known tests done in a similar manner.
7) All measurements were taken in feet per second (FPS) and were of course measured via an actual chronograph that I use and have shared results with here before. All three trials have a total of 15 iterations with and without khatra except the first due to
8) All trials were done with the same carbon goldtip arrow weighing roughly 415 grains with a length of 32 inches and drawn to just about 32 inches. The Crimean Tatar is rated 65#@30". The Yuan 50#@32".
9) Fluctuations in numbers may be due to various error introduced by lighting conditions, faulty execution of technique or various other errors introduced. Just keep that in mind when trying to make sense of things and figuring out what it may all mean.
10) Even if you don't have a bow with a bulbous grip, go ahead and try khatra out if you like. Its OK I say so.
With Khatra Without Khatra