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10 Awesome Acts of Archery Across the Ages

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Support our efforts to make videos about what we want: https://www.patreon.com/toptenz/overview By now we’re going to guess that approximately all of you have seen this video of Lars Anderson kicking more ass with a bow and arrow than all of Legolas’ scenes in the extended edition of the Lord of the Rings combined. While many have been quick to point out that Anderson’s abilities and claims in that video are hyperbolic, it’s still rekindled an interest in archery. So we decided to compile a list of some of the most awesome (verifiable) acts of arrow-based badassery from history. →Subscribe for new videos every day! https://www.youtube.com/user/toptenznet?sub_confirmation=1 Find more lists at: http://www.toptenz.net Entertaining and educational top 10 lists from TopTenzNet! Subscribe to our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TopTenz/ Business inquiries to [email protected] Other TopTenz Videos: Top 10 Failed Assassinations That Would Have Changed History https://youtu.be/LLM_zjR1FPY?list=PLQ4d2-ByGhnKajPA6HFawry8Y3my_VX5Q Top 10 Most Important ASSASSINATIONS In HISTORY https://youtu.be/O_4_GJfQqFM?list=PLQ4d2-ByGhnKajPA6HFawry8Y3my_VX5Q Text version: https://www.toptenz.net/10-awesome-acts-of-archery-across-the-ages.php Coming up: 10. Mongol Bowman Could Hit Targets Better Than Modern Riflemen 9. English Longbowmen Had Buff Skeletons 8. King Amenhotep II and the Brass Plates 7. Nasu no Yoichi and His Fan Shot 6. Demosthenes’ Archers Made Spartans Surrender 5. Lu Bu Stopped a Fight With One Arrow 4. Minamoto no Tametomo Once Sunk a Ship With a Single Arrow by Accident 3. Yue Fei Could Hit Nine Bullseyes in a Row 2. Finn, the Man Who Hit Another Archer’s Bow 1. Jebe, the Archer Who Shot Genghis Khan’s Favorite Horse Source/Further reading: http://www.yurt-ger-yourte.com/yurt/archery.php http://www.yeoldearcheryshoppe.com/drawlength.php http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/amenhotep2.htm https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qtjiNeRJXmsC&pg=PA113&lpg=PA113&dq=Nasu+no+Yoichi+fan+shot&source=bl&ots=5cVpXCPiQl&sig=qpOrlg02FtoR0tXGuomXdvXPGjM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1qLLVNOXLISC7Qayt4HwBA&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Nasu%20no%20Yoichi%20fan%20shot&f=false http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1008&context=classicsfacpub http://kongming.net/novel/sgz/lubu.php https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=u2DKesPhsxgC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=Minamoto+no+Tametomo+arrow&source=bl&ots=MnIixBTJ3L&sig=L4kYcH6Ny4WG3S6W6cJeppsxvxY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XLHLVP2HKoXn7garqYCwCQ&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Minamoto%20no%20Tametomo%20arrow&f=false http://www.badassoftheweek.com/yuefei.html https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0BYlgn6LURMC&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=Einar+Thambarskelfir+kings+bow&source=bl&ots=JkRIoxL8fx&sig=Z6jaGvW3Tw3pUgqt8YVlZnbpl74&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wbbLVLyNHuvW7Qbpp4GgCg&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Einar%20Thambarskelfir%20kings%20bow&f=false https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Yclu5Rw-3WUC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=jebe+genghis+khan+neck+arrow&source=bl&ots=tNdIBGy9sJ&sig=MB-1XYrkO0TcJFVA7f_3NQ-wPN8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PAXRVLK6G4fl7AbD14HoDQ&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=jebe%20genghis%20khan%20neck%20arrow&f=false https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEG-ly9tQGk https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mongol_warrior_of_Genghis_Khan.jpg https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2014/03/27/13/52/archer-299498_960_720.jpg https://ru.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Battle_of_crecy_froissart.jpg https://i.ytimg.com/vi/So3ikECKzxk/maxresdefault.jpg https://ru.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Longbowvertical-tag.svg https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8c/be/6e/8cbe6eb068e723f99811fe9d80f10e79.jpg https://ru.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Longbowmen.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Head_of_Pharaoh_Amenhotep_II_from_a_Sphinx_Statue_-_18th_Dynasty_-_%C3%84S_500.jpg https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mummy/images/0/01/Tmummypic05.png/revision/latest?cb=20160408091011 https://www.flickr.com/photos/manna4u/32134515936 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NasunoYoichi.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genpei_kassen.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Enrosai_Shigemitsu_-_Nasu_no_Yoichi.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dragon_Con_2013_Parade_-_300_-_Spartans_(9678103283).jpg
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Text Comments (633)
nathan miller (8 days ago)
As an archer of 20 years I'm still having problems hitting a 10 at 40 yards
Radoslav Kosil (9 days ago)
Samurais are best archers
Robert Lavelle (11 days ago)
Kim Jong Un did all of these things when he was only 3 years old.............and tRump believed him.
Adam Dorfbot (23 days ago)
VileScarMind (26 days ago)
The engagement range for modern weapons isn't based on how far the weapon can actually fire, but how far it is deemed effective during battle conditions. Same way the rate of fire under SOPs is fractions of the actual rate of fire.
cracka fantastic (29 days ago)
Okay we get it.. Asians are better at everything🙄
FABZ LAB (1 month ago)
Archery is the connection of mind body soul !
tremer 2009 (1 month ago)
ThanksTopTenz.😊 "To his surprise Zyrgunay stood up, (which must have been tough considering the size of his balls) and proudly took credit for the shot."😁
Emmit.U (1 month ago)
This is in response to the first one. You are wrong.
Marc Jones (1 month ago)
One of the myths associated with "English longbowmen" is that they were all English: many were Welsh.
Zurab Abayev (1 month ago)
Sorry, but spartiates at sphacteria island surrendered not from archery but because athenians burned the whole island there by depriving Spartans of all food, cover, and water.
Steven Burnett (1 month ago)
I wonder how these ancient archers compensated for wobbles arrows get when fired by a bow. I wonder what they used to make arrows out of!
My name (1 month ago)
As a Former Marine I'd like to say I could easily shoot you at 800m with iron sites. I have no doubt that it could even do this at 1000m WITH iron sites. Can't say the same for those I served with, some of those guys sucked lol
crusherbmx (1 month ago)
I'm disappointed in you guys. After watching the section about identifying longbowman by the size of their right arms I expected the comments to be full of jokes.
daylon boender (1 month ago)
Darth Cronal (1 month ago)
They were so powerful, they cut down wave after wave of French Knights at Agincourt.
Larry scott (1 month ago)
"To the lift eye of Phillip of Masadonia"
John Underwood (1 month ago)
this is mostly bull dust,,, I shoot a mongol bow,,,,,impossible crap in this one,,
Just Smashing (2 months ago)
Cupid has a lot to answer for...
Experienced User (2 months ago)
top 10 times this channel cant accurately explain what happened in history or why.
daylon boender (1 month ago)
It's just a top ten the rest is up to you bucko
Mark Ash (2 months ago)
Kudos to Karl, for writing this entertaining yet informative style of stories, and to Simon, for raising "Hosting-Badassery" to an art form! 😉
Norman Mattson (2 months ago)
What no mention of Odysseus slaughtering the suitors in his great Hall after shooting an arrow through a dozen bronze ax heads???
David Moor (2 months ago)
Just another thought about WIlliam Marshal he would appear in the top ten of "rising from rags to riches". Starting out as the uncared for second son of an unimportant knight to Head of the Regency Council for Henry III of England and the richest man in the remains of the Angevin Empire.
David Moor (2 months ago)
I find the Jebe story interesting. It is similar to William Marshal and Richard I of England, where William killed Richard's horse with a lance and their subsequent meeting. Perhaps Jebe and William be included in another top ten?
Scott Harris (2 months ago)
Horse bowmen could not hit targets at 500 meters. Could not have nearly enough draw weight while riding. Their bows were short with only about 50 pounds draw weight.
Doctor Lolchicken (2 months ago)
There are exactly 300 down votes. Spartans?
mikkel nyhuus (2 months ago)
9 times in a row is the way any Chinese folktale starts.
mikkel nyhuus (2 months ago)
Spartans were feared for their synergy in groups and their aggressive combat style that relied on intellect and trained instincts. Them learning combat from a young age mandatorily meant they had a better comprehension of combat than their opponents and relied less on chains of command.
Jojeaux Hagen (2 months ago)
What no mention of the Comanche or apaches. They were some of the worlds best archers for sure.
David Edbrooke (2 months ago)
Short poor bows, no contest.
Saud K (2 months ago)
One Arab tribe was famous of archery and accuracy. The story tells one night 40 of them were setting near the fire and they heard a sound. They all shot their arrows towards the sound and in the morning they found a cat shot with 40 arrows.
Chauncer (2 months ago)
Just by listening to the word choices I could tell this was written by Karl Smallwood.
Mountain Wolf (2 months ago)
I love the humor in this video!
Andrew Ward (2 months ago)
Wild and inaccurate claims, thank goodness there's some real true historical records out there.
Wheels Lifts (2 months ago)
#9 so in the future, serial masturbators will be confused for longbowmen
Aravis Charca (2 months ago)
And no Beleg Cuthalion?
David S (2 months ago)
500m? Are you sure? The draw weight to cast an arrow 500m would involve superhuman strength. Not a reasonable claim.
David S (1 day ago)
@Brendton R Normally shoot recurve. Had a go with a friend's longbow once. After an hour I felt that my shoulders were never going to be the same again. When I asked him what the poundage was he just grinned and said, "A lot!" There again he 'looks like' a medieval archer (Bloody great daft lump!). I could barely raise my pint to my lips by the evening.
Brendton R (1 day ago)
@David S I practice with compound recurve and longbow. Versatility is important. I like my compound because it is easy and my longbow because it is challenging. My longbow pulls at 120lbs.
David S (1 day ago)
@Brendton R But what happens when I take your modern hunting bow away and give you either a 'standard' target recurve or a medieval war bow. If you think your hunting bow is heavy ... Oh! Boy.
Brendton R (4 days ago)
I can launch an arrow 500 meters with my hunting bow lol. Not with any accuracy mind you but if you get just the right angle youd be surprised how far an arrow will fly
Tyler Simplot (1 month ago)
the bows were bigger than your thinking, you planted your foot into the bottem of them and drew them back with your whole body. Thats a long bow its not a normal modern bow size.
Barrett W (2 months ago)
“Considering the size of his balls” Haven’t used this term since I was 11. But.. ROFL 😂
JadedPandaGirl (3 months ago)
Oof, you were doing great till you started talking about the Spartans Simon. 90% of the praise you heaped upon them was Spartan propaganda that has persisted through the ages. Please do more thorough research -- in fact, do a video about the top 10 nonsense people believe about Sparta that we now know is utter hogwash!
P Fierce A.B.P Music (3 months ago)
Bawb Omb (3 months ago)
big poppa bu
noejacklou (3 months ago)
I wonder why princess Merida wasn't mentioned? was it because she's a girl?
Tim Travasos (3 months ago)
Lots of superhuman Asians.
Kiwiboii Supertramp (3 months ago)
How many channels does this guy have?!?!?😨
gaurav chattopadyay (3 months ago)
Yuuuup I m also amused
Mr. Macedon (3 months ago)
Matthew O'Connell (3 months ago)
Jack Churchill?
David Ekstrom (3 months ago)
I beg to differ on that US Marine trooper "comment"
DaemonLlama (3 months ago)
I'm an archer and i have serious doubts of the validity of #1. Modern compound bows would struggle to hit a target at 500 metres or half a kilometre with any accuracy. Korean archers shoot to 145 metres, which I believe would be about the longest distance anyone would regularly practice hitting a target. Although I believe for the longest distance shot in battle that title would go to the middle eastern archers who would fire a bow laying on their backs using their feet to hold the bow and both hands to draw. I doubt this form would provide any form of accuracy and was merely an ancient form of carpet bombing.
JPLX Labelle (3 months ago)
Are you related to ChocoTaco?
Ted Logan (3 months ago)
The longbow paired with the technologically revolutionary bodkin arrowhead was a perfect combination of 2 techs that made the English longbow the armor piercing weapon of the time.
Icarian (3 months ago)
Longbow didn't go through plate armor. If it did, England would've conquered all France in the 100 year war. In the Battle of Agincourt were the English used all their arrows, most French men at arms were capture and then executed, not killed in battle.
Frank Kovacs (3 months ago)
M16 is accurate to center-mass at 800 yards. I have personally hit ten out of ten shots in the center ring at 500 yards.
Michael Chidester (3 months ago)
Yeah this dude has 0 idea what he's talking about. Also pretty sure most the hunting bows today have the same draw force lol
SlowHandMcQueeg (3 months ago)
Not commonly known, but Athens and Sparta had a thing, Athens won. The Spartans never forgave them for beating them.
John Law (3 months ago)
The Marine has air support and artillery. Slow it down Simon.
maldclxvi (3 months ago)
Dude... Part of qualifying in the USMC is the the ability to routinely hit targets at 500 meters. I'm sure the Mongolian archers were great but being five hundred meters my money is on a Marine 0311
PrimalPeace (3 months ago)
Stationary targets, sure they may not have a large amount of time, but it would be seconds as far as I am aware. When you have to shoot a moving person in an environment without clear sites and unpredictable weather- that is different.
DATING HARLEY QUINN (4 months ago)
Verry witty episode :-D
Nick Gurr (4 months ago)
Mongol archer pose more threat than soldier with m4. I guess when it comes to flat out lies, go big or go home huh?
jeremy stewert (4 months ago)
I'm not seeing Rambo.
Africanjew (4 months ago)
Dude there's no way a Mongol is a better shot then a U.S. marine. Give me a break!
Navraj Gill (4 months ago)
See the thing is.. even if they have a similar kill range, bows don't have a "full auto" or reloading
Daniel Mitchell (3 months ago)
because the democrats banned full auto and self loading bows because the 2nd amendment only applies to firearms.
MegaLazygamer (4 months ago)
Too many of these are false to actually point out.
Daniel rogers (4 months ago)
Its lu Bu we must flee
Comedy Fox (4 months ago)
Your data on your number 10 is inaccurate the maximum effective range of an M16 is over 800m and United States Marines shoot at 500 m with extreme precision. Do not confuse us with the army.
Norman Fleming (4 months ago)
This was a very enjoyable video. I really love how badass archers can be. So many people today dismiss anything 'old'.
sarangahe (4 months ago)
Umm didnt you forget to tell that it was that all the cover on the island burnt up after a Spartan accidental burnt it all up and that was the reason the Archer was effective before that they wad just taking up space
Keith Wortelhock (4 months ago)
Very interesting, but arrows are never fired, they are always shot. 'Firing' things never happened before gunpowder got involved.
paul byrne (4 months ago)
Eamom ho tep??
paul1x1 (4 months ago)
Seriously try a new compound bow I'd much rather have any decent long gun
Kirk Morrison (2 months ago)
Have fun it takes a while to learn then it comes quickly hang in there. Start with a bow around 35 to 45 lbs draw.
paul1x1 (2 months ago)
@Kirk Morrison I have many neighbors who bow hunt in Alberta where I live you can hunt whiretails year round with a bow and I think I will ask one to give me some lessons
Kirk Morrison (2 months ago)
Paul it is simply learning to pull back correctly and developing muscle memory then sighting down the arrow until you hit the same point. Then the trick is moving back 5 yards or meters. I would start at 15 to allow for archers parallax. That is the "S ing" of the arrow as it leaves the bow.
paul1x1 (2 months ago)
@Kirk Morrison I'm just jealous I couldn't hit anything with that bow and I'm too old to change I have a 300 browning bought ir used in 85 we have made the elk around here nervous ever since
Kirk Morrison (2 months ago)
Compounds are more convenient to use than traditional bows but not as accurate, in my experience. I have a well made compound, longbow and recurve. I have been shooting since midteens, my favorite is the recurve followed by the longbow. The compound is minute of deer at 40 yards.
INERT (4 months ago)
Amonhotep was a "great listener"? Who wrote that clay tablet? Or was that the text from his e-harmony profile?
Redgren Grumbholdt (4 months ago)
Yue Fei taught eagle claw to his troops and xing yi to his officers so the officers would always have an advantage if challenged by one of their men, which was quite common then. still talked about in the hsing i community. the man would have taken the gauntlet right out of Thanos' hand and gone for the heart and the head at once
Jonathan Allen (4 months ago)
I really doubt a Mongol could take on Marines with rifles. Arrows at a distance can be dodged, blocked, swatted and caught
lexzbuddy (4 months ago)
callum boniface (5 months ago)
Lack of Jack Churchill irks me
Cartoon Raccoon (5 months ago)
Having a bow "so strong only he..." is pretty common among mythical heroes. As is being born on/near the solstice, during an eclipse, from a virgin, and other such rubbish.
Phantom Thief (5 months ago)
So you're just going to forget about Arjuna? Who is probably the most badass Archer in the history ever. Hawkeye was literally a Rip-off of him. He's even named after one of the most popular incident by Arjuna.
TheAwillz (5 months ago)
The longbow was Welsh not English 🤦‍♂️
1515327E (1 month ago)
​@Keith Chamberlain Saying Somerset was English 2,500 years ago is like trying to say it was modern Americans who won the Battle of the Little Big Horn, just because they now live on the land taken from Native Americans. With Anglo-Saxons not arriving to the island of 'Britain' until the 5th Century AD, this isn't, in fact debatable. It's all a question of history, not geography. Even later in the Middle Ages, Welsh archers were famous throughout the medieval period, with 500 helping Henry V win at Agincourt, even though he was heavily outnumbered. The English adopted the bow because of it's phenomenal effectiveness.
Keith Chamberlain (4 months ago)
Considering that two longbows were found in Somerset and dated to 2.500 years old, that "welsh" claim is debatable....
Kenneth Besig (5 months ago)
I saw a video of guy who loaded and shot a long bow, it was like a dance, with the archer working his whole body to shoot the arrrow, very cool!
Mike (5 months ago)
#4 got me rolling😂...
Blehkelekwet (5 months ago)
Not a word abour Rocket Robin Hood ?
Michael Valdez (5 months ago)
Well the Spartans surrendered because the Athenians had Spartan war prisoners and threaten to kill them if they didn't surrender
galolito (5 months ago)
Prithviraj Chauhan
json Qog (5 months ago)
Soo funny
Mathias B. (5 months ago)
these jokes sound like they where made by Karl Smallwood … read the article … written by Karl Smallwood :P
BP 23 (5 months ago)
Ollie Brown (5 months ago)
you nock an arrow, you don't notch an arrow....
Bitcoin Ninja (5 months ago)
So many terrible youtube videos out there! I have yet to be disappointed in any of your videos Simon. Keep up the hard work and teaching me new stuff that's factual, I love it!
Blacksands (5 months ago)
"Knockoff iPhone screens"... this had me laughing because even ORIGINAL iPhone screens would still cave under a bowman's assault. The iphone is neither arrowproof, bendproof, nor is it bulletproof.
Gene Rodgers (5 months ago)
Everybody has seen the video of Lars Anderson? I didn't. I wish he included more of that video.
DukeGaGa (5 months ago)
There are quite a few more Chinese stories about archery I think should be on the list as well, for example Li Guang, who is a famous general, once went hunting and saw a tiger hiding in the grass, he took a shot at it, when he went to check, to his surprise it was just a tiger looking rock, and his arrow has gone so deep into the rock he can only see the tip of the feathers.
Evernewb (5 months ago)
any archery myth claiming reliable accuracy beyond a certain degree (the actual measure will change with the bow and arrow in question) is either hyperbolised or just straight up false: arrows bend when fired and don't stop rebending from it until after they hit something and have more than just air to dump the excess energy into (this actually helps keep the flightpath straighter, quite accidentally but still) so the arrowhead will hit anywhere within a relatively large area even on a dead perfect shot. those longbows for instance would have had the arrowhead wobbling by about half the width of this comment while a modern carbon-fiber target shooting arrow would be closer to the width of the comment button. note: that doesn't mean impossibly accurate *single* shots are automatically false, just claims about someone being able to do it reliably...oh, and any splitting-the-arrow feat is just plain not gonna work: the grain in the shaft will lead something cutting it out the side and the incoming arrow would work it'self off aim on the way in even if it hit dead on, heck, just from the wobble alone this doesn't even work with hollow shafts and a round tip the width of the shaft...reallllllly easy for those claims to have actually happened and just been misinterpreted later as the split going all the way down though, especially if the target is the thing doing the splitting since it just has to hit anywhere within that wobble radius.
Dalograth (5 months ago)
how about top 10 Eriks greatest hits :P
WillJM81280 (5 months ago)
And fifth, for single long-distance shots, we use sniper rifles. That would be a more accurate comparison. And given there have been multiple confirmed kills from 800 meters and up, the records consisting of over a mile, you’re wrong in yet another way.
WillJM81280 (5 months ago)
@TopTenz Well where to start with your idiocy... First-off the US military currently uses the M4 because modern warfare is much more urban and close-quarter based. Comparing a weapon designed for that to archery which was used in an era where open-field battle was the norm is so ridiculous a child would know better. Second before that we used the M-16 prior which had a longer effective distance than the arrow in general. Third, rifles have two predominant distance guages for max effectiveness, area and point target effectiveness, which one are you (poorly) trying to compare? Fourth, the Army and Marines are different branches, you guys don’t even bother to inform yourselves of that.
Christopher Floyd (5 months ago)
Nice video, but you do not "fire" a bow, there is no combustion involved.
cloud strife (5 months ago)
Lars is better Because legolas uses a 190 pound bow.. err. Yeah.
Joseph Izzo (5 months ago)
If memory serves correctly, Douglas Fairbanks, the actor who played Robin Hood in the ‘20’s, was a remarkable archer. His prowess was responsible for the rest Robin Hood because he could shoot an arrow into an arrow already in the bullseye
Milkakuhist (5 months ago)
Turned the Video off when you said Mongols could fire accurately on 500 meters. Stop spreading lies thanks.
Ajay Rs (4 months ago)
why its true?
Arnold Thomsen (5 months ago)
Djengiz was a real Alpha, no napoleon syndrom in sight.
Alex Kirrmann (5 months ago)
There is no possible way in hell a arrow can go 500m. Complete lie.
Jerry Hampton (5 months ago)
funny how he says Lars Anderson is hyperbolic then goes on to say that mongols were more accurate than modern rifles. He totally overlooks the fact that their talking about into a massed formation of men. Not indevidyal targets like a rifle would be firing at.
jamierodg1 (5 months ago)
10 awesome acts of story telling.
jamierodg1 (5 months ago)
for a real act, try Agincourt. Archers en masse is how you won a battle.
nothing moore (5 months ago)
Considering the size of his balls....hahaha

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