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Guest appearance at Anime North 2017!

Anime North (May 26th to 28th) is right around the corner, and we are pleased to say that we have once again been invited to have our own space since we were such a huge success last year. Ours was indeed one of the biggest attractions at the event, and we intend to keep that status this year as well. Combat archery tag has been on a steady rise since it came to be a few years ago, and we are proud to be the top facility of the regions in and out of Toronto.

Some of you may be wondering: what on Earth is Anime North? Well, to give you a small idea, Anime North is in fact a convention that celebrates Japanese culture in close to every way, shape and form. Primarily, anime, manga, music, and games are most heavily featured, along with numerous guest appearances from people who are somewhat influential in that scene.

One of the best features in my opinion, at any convention, is the cosplaying. No matter your preference of genre, your ability at creating costumes (or simply buying one), or even how resembling you are to the actual character, none of that matters. There’s an implied understanding that any and all cosplay is awesome, and that’s the end of it. Some people take it even a step further, and actually want to learn the style of fighting different weapons require, or simply want to get absorbed in a world outside of their own. That’s where we come in.

Archers Arena offers not only the obvious bow-wielding experience through target shooting and combat archery tag, but we also have our own larping (live action role-playing) system through Champions Arena. We allow these people who want to explore new and exciting worlds a very real way to do just so. From bows and arrows, to dual-wielding swords, sword and shield, or even katanas (and maybe some lightsabers), we have what it takes to make your experience personable, memorable, and unique to you.

Everyone I know of has his or her own entry point to archery; whether it’s an actual person, a character, or even a game. Personally, The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time was my gateway to loving archery (and horseback riding, but that’s another story), as well as my huge crush for Legolas and the elves in The Lord of the Rings. Simply because they were just so damn cool. My point being that everything we see or watch influences our likes and dislikes, and the fact that archery is represented in such a bad-ass way through so many mediums only enhances one’s experience when they come and play at Archers Arena; seeing as regular people can let themselves become their own hero from their own story.

Tournament Results!

March 26th saw another combat archery tag tournament being held at Archers Arena, and once again, it proved to be a success. Our pool of competitive battle archery players keeps growing and the results of this tournament were extremely close. Our plan of splitting up old, dominating archery dodgeball teams (Blood Bath and Beyond, and Wetshots) ended up being an interesting factor for every team, but especially for the players that were always used to playing together. Facing their old teammates was “really cool and fascinating” as one of them later mentioned to me.

What was fascinating in my eyes was how differently they ended up playing among new players. Not only did they have to gage their new teams’ strengths and weaknesses, they also had to remember those of their buddies so they could exploit what information they had on them. It was a beautiful coming together of old and new discussing strategy and forging plays in order to win a match.

Furthermore, this time around we limited our archery dodgeball tournament to 6 teams, allowing rematches to better gage not only endurance, but how well players and teams evolve together. This new system was definitely a favourite for many players, along with a new twist changing team count from 6 to 5, creating a whole new level of intensity in gameplay. Each arrow fired had to count, and strategies were evolving with every round.

Some other highlights include:

- Shooting arrows at our brand new red ducks for target practice in our range to keep both mind and body warm and ready to go in between matches;

- each team had one coach to play with them, allowing balance to be had in this combat archery tag tournament while making it more interesting for every team coming in;

- retired coaches and members showed up for the tournament, and they had to acknowledge they were now out of practice and on a lower skill level than the new generation;

- an array of creative team names were had: The Lords of the Strings, Power Rangers, XxX, Shake’N’Bake, Strap-Ons, and Bowthoven’s 5th Stringphany;

- new players ended up doing great plays, wonderful headshots and fantastic catches;

- our archery-loving community keeps growing and expanding and that is awesome.

The victors were the cleverly named The Lords of the Strings (personal favourite pun), which was composed of 4 higher level players instead of the regulated 5, winning by only 1 point at 19. Second place was the less-cleverly named Strap-Ons with 18 points, a team that has been building itself from the ground up at Archers Arena with constant practice and coming out on Coach nights (every Tuesday). Goes to show that dedication really pays off. Third place ended up being a tie between XxX, and Power Rangers at 17 points.

Here’s to a next tournament just as successful! Keep a look out for it in upcoming blogs or through our Archers Arena facebook page.

18 Benefits of Playing Combat Archery Tag at Archers Arena!

Archery is widely known as being a therapeutic sport because of its calm, focused nature. However, combat archery tag (or archery dodgeball) is a much more active version of archery, which still encompases many of the same benefits, along with a few more of its own. The following are just some of the perks or skills you get out of playing combat archery tag here at Archers Arena.

1. Exercise

Combat archery tag is known as a workout; you will be leaving sweaty and satisfied.

2. Upper Body Strength

The constant, repetitive motions of drawing and firing a bow activates the major core muscle groups in the upper body.

3. Agility

Your reflexes and quick moves will be put to the test while playing archery dodgeball, allowing for constant improvement.

4. Instincts

At Archers Arena we encourage instinctive archery, which means less thinking and more feeling for more accurate results. Having a clear mind really does improve and sharpen your skills.

5. Balance

To successfully hit stationary targets, stillness is key, therefore control of your body is essential, and that develops one's balance.

6. Hand-Eye Coordination

Not only does it improve by shooting, it also improves with catching oncoming arrows.

7. Mental Focus

This is a big one. You have to both focus on hitting your target, while also keeping track of everything else going on in the game.

8. Analytical Skills

Because there is so much going on during a game, players eventually pick up prioritizing certain plays or tactics to either gain the advantage or survive an onslaught.

9. Teamwork/Communication

Lone wolves don't survive in the arena, no matter their potential. Working as a team always brings the best results as one player may see something others don't. Communicating is key to adapting to given circumstances.

10. Patience

The key to winning in archery dodgeball is patience, along with timing. Mastering archery takes time and requires a certain softness, kind of like a bow itself.

11. Confidence

Another big one. Seeing yourself improve and your shots landing is always a great way to boost both your self-esteem and your confidence, along with our encouraging coaches.

12. Community

We at Archers Arena are building a community of players that simply love the sport, and we all support and push each other to get better. There is nothing but love here, and it really shines through.

13. Safety

We provide arm guards and helmets, as well as a training which shows you how to handle our equipment safely and effectively.

14. Stress-Relief

No better way to let off steam than by shooting other people and they still get to walk away unscathed.

15. Two Outlooks

Combat archery tag can be conducted both in and outdoors.

16. It's Fun for Everyone

Kids and adults alike always enjoy their experience with us, and who can blame them? Archery is already badass, and now you get to make an hero out of yourself on our courts.

17. New Sport

Combat archery tag is a relatively newly developed sport, meaning that there are still various techniques and tactics waiting to be discovered to enhance the game.

18. Easy to Learn

Literally anyone can pick up combat archery tag if they truly desire to. We provide in depth training to ensure every new person starts on the same level as everyone else, personal predispositions notwithstanding.


These are just a few of the reasons why both Archers Arena and combat archery tag have become such popular attractions for the people of Toronto, although archery dodgeball itself is making it's way worldwide. It really is a choice that you simply can't go wrong with because it appeals to everyone on different levels. Whether it's from the excitement of being a bow-wielding warrior to even just being a competitive person who enjoys pushing their own limits, there really is no bad reason to want to play the game.

Intense Training at Archers Arena Thursday Nights!

We are now introducing a new evening where you can interact and evolve alongside coaches and members, as well as other fellow players who want to improve. You may already be familiar with our regular Coach nights, every Tuesday evenings, but you may not have heard yet of Thursdays being our combat archery tag training nights. None other than our own Jones Santiago is behind the idea, and he has been working hard to provide the ideal drills and necessary exercises to create a solid archery dodgeball player.

The idea behind the whole process is not only to help players hone their skills, but also to get healthier and fitter by going through 3 separate segments of training during the evening. With the training running for a little over an hour, we are subject to a cardio warm-up, body-weight workout, and drills. The warm-up is simple enough, it’s to get your body ready to work through cardio. The workout aims at developing core strength, while the drills focus on your agility. It’s a killer combination to turn you into someone more agile that can keep up with faster-paced gameplay.

Although there is a strong physical component to Jones’ training, there is also an archery component incorporated. During the whole session, you must keep your bow at your side, and use it throughout. Within the drills, there are multiple arrow reloading and shooting scenarios, which have you aiming at targets near and far, all in the interest of developing your instincts and furthering your accuracy while under pressure. It teaches you to focus and take control of your nerves before they take control of you.

Another huge part of combat archery tag is teamwork; you’re only as good as your weakest link. Not only communication is vital, but knowing your teammates and how to work together is a huge part of winning the games. Higher level of archery dodgeball requires smart gameplay, and you have to be on your toes as it constantly evolves. That’s why within the drills training, Jones can pair us up in teams to create a competitive environment to put us under more pressure to perform. Getting acquainted not only with your teammates, but also with that pressure, ensures that it doesn’t take you by surprise anymore whilst playing.

The intent in the end is to give you more control over your own body, by becoming faster, stronger and more agile. We want you to be able to move as fast as you think, so you can have an edge over your adversaries. This program will develop numerous facets of your personality, while offering training you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll always have a team there to support you, and push you forward in your development, wherever you want it to go. Come give it a try: you have absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain from just one session.

Combat Archery Tag: 4 Reasons You Should Make Archers Arena Your New Gym Membership Option

                If you’re like me, then you need motivation to work out. I find that going to a gym doesn’t cut it simply because it’s no fun. Running on a treadmill blankly staring at a TV (if you’re lucky), pedaling your life away without moving an inch, lifting weights over and over, I get bored rather quickly of the mind-numbing, same old, same old routine a gym offers. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to play sports, where you have a clear and fun motivation to get active. Here is why getting a membership at Archers Arena for combat archery tag will save you the boredom of an average workout session.

Cardio

If you’re playing the game properly, you will be constantly on the move. The more you’re moving, the harder it is to get a good shot at you. There’s also an initial sprint for the arrows in the safe zone at the beginning of every round. If you get to play full court, which means both of our courts combined, then you have two courts you need to cover and access at different points in the game to either press on the offensive, or support the defensive. It does require fast reflexes and quick moves because enemies can (and will) shoot at you cross-court. Dodging is a must if you want to survive long.

Upper Body

As mentioned previously, if you’ve never used a bow before, you will be surprised at all the muscles involved in the form. To have all of your power in a shot, you need to fully draw your bow. The only way you can properly do that is actually thanks mostly to your back, but also your shoulders, arms, and chest. We have bows that are 22, 26, and 29 pounds. Most competitive/athletic players end up using the 29 pound bows, which means every time they shot someone, they’re doing an upper body rep of 29 pounds. It might not seem like a lot, but in a session of an hour, you will easily have fired off close to 100 arrows. That’s close to 100 reps of 29 pounds in an hour.

Lower Body

As much as shooting is fun, you do need to pick up the arrows that you want to shoot. This implies that every time you reach for an arrow, you will either be lunging or squatting to reach. So if you take our earlier 100arrows per hour shooting statistic, it would mean you are performing around 100 squat and/or lunge throughout your hour session. In addition, when you are dodging, you are simply dropping out of the way, and demanding your muscles move quickly, so there’s constant use there too. And then there is hiding behind bunkers. None of them are tall enough for people to comfortably stand behind them to be hidden, which again would involve you to get down however you choose. However, when you go down, you must come up and muscles do come into play. It might not seem like much, but you do feel the burn the day after.

Benefits

Other than the physical benefits of playing combat archery tag, there are also a lot more reasons to choose to get the membership here at Archers Arena. There are constantly more players getting high on the game, which ensures that the quality of gameplay on Coach Nights always exceeds expectations. We encourage playful competitiveness by still playing our hardest, but also taking it easy when the time or the situation calls for it. You will also get to meet and get close to our already existing and expanding pool of members and coaches. Best way to learn and get better is to interact with stronger players on and off the court. We’ve created an atmosphere of kinship here where everyone is friendly and warm toward one another. On a more technical note, you also get the chance to drop in once a day on existing sessions at no extra cost.

 

 

When it comes to combat archery tag, I find it to be a very effective workout because not only is it fast-paced stop and go, but you get to work some muscles you didn’t even know you had, especially if you’ve never handled a bow with arrows before. It helps build a strong core as well as develop quick reflexes, flexibility, and agility. Archers Arena also provides a great atmosphere to play and grow in. Just be prepared to work up a sweat when you come and try it out.