Shooters Forum

Contribute to Trad Gang
Become a Trad Gang Sponsor





Author Topic: Rick Welch School  (Read 740 times)

Offline hammbone

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 9
Rick Welch School
« on: March 23, 2020, 10:01:37 AM »
Anyone been to Rick Welch's shooting school? If so how did you like it? I know bareshaft tuning is the most concise way of tuning. Was curious how Rick teaches to tune arrows and/or I know he has mentioned in videos of tuning the bow to where youre looking. Anyone have any experience attending this school?

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 5141
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 11:41:30 AM »
I've attended Rick's school several times and highly recommend it.  Ordinarily, Rick's classes are one on one, and you get the highest level of personal interaction of any school/seminar I’ve attended.  Because of that it can be intense, so be prepared for that.  Rick is very friendly and low key, so the classes are not intimidating, although it can be exhausting to be the focus of an expert's undivided attention for a whole day.  He also offers group lessons.  I think these are for friends or family who want to attend together; not groups of strangers he puts together himself, unless things have changed.

Rick teaches the dead, or static release.  This is a different concept from the dynamic release taught in most archery classes.  If you don't have an open mind for this, you probably shouldn't attend his class.  If you do have an open mind for this, keep your mind and ears open for the subtleties of this method.  Certain aspects of the dynamic release had been hard-wired into my brain before attending my first class with Rick, so I ignored some of the important differences.  It is a mistake to think you can blend the dynamic release with the dead release; if you try to do that, you will shoot worse than if you shoot either method correctly.

He does not bare shaft tune.  He has an instinct developed over many years that allows him to accurately match up arrows and bows and shooters.  I don't know how much good this is going to do you when you change arrows and bows later on, so you should probably tune in to the excellent on-line videos, such as Ken Beck's, that are available on the subject.  Nothing in bare shaft tuning is incompatible with what Rick does; he just doesn't do that, unless things have changed.
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline hammbone

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 9
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 08:46:47 PM »
McDave,

So he basically goes off the arrow manufacturer charts and uses recommended chart spine? Does he insist on using a lighter weight arrow vs. adding a bunch of tip weight? I shoot LH. From my understanding if I am grouping right, then I would want to build out the strike plate with double sided tape, to get it to shoot left? Build up under shelf rug any?

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 5141
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 10:46:08 PM »
He does not go off manufacturer recommended spine charts; he goes by his head.  He does not care what kind of arrow you shoot.  If you ask him for advice on arrows he will give it to you: lightweight arrows with lightweight points for 3D, lightweight shafts with stiffer spine and heavier points for hunting.  If he observes that you are not getting optimal flight from the arrows you bring, he will suggest improvements to you.  As a LH shooter, assuming spine is correct but you are grouping right, he would NOT suggest that you build out the side plate.  Instead, his first suggestion would be that you pick a softer material for your strike plate, i.e. Velcro instead of leather, or a Martin rug instead of Velcro.  If that doesn’t solve the problem, he would start playing with your dynamic spine.  Interestingly, this might be counterintuitive: for example, if the usual rule for a LH shooter would be to weaken the spine (for example, add point weight) to move the POI left, he might stiffen the spine instead.  None of this is theory; this is all done while shooting at targets.  It either works or it doesn’t.  He is happy to spend time with you adjusting your arrows if you want, and I found it worthwhile.
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline hammbone

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 9
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 09:41:55 AM »
I would really like to go to his school. I thought on the video if you were grouping right that you wanted a harder strike plate ie. leather. I do shoot LH. So even if youre shooting LH and grouping right. That tells me stiff spine. He would possibly try a stiffer spine? That does go against everything ive read. Im new to this have been shooting a few years. I havent perfected ANYTHING though haha. I was curious when he said to use a softer side plate or use a harder side plate if that wasnt meaning to build it out some. So to get this straight. If i shoot LH. i am grouping RIGHT. Then use a softer material? Or use harder material like leather to bring them back left? Thank you for responding BTW. Very interested in his way of shooting and setup.

Offline hammbone

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 9
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 09:45:04 AM »
Disregard this message. I was trying to correct myself w grouping right showing stiff. Didnt know how to delete this particular message but was able to go in and modify it.

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 5141
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 10:16:07 AM »
It's confusing to me too.  I think I know the rules for RH shooters, and I just try to reverse them.  For a RH shooter, if your POI is too far left, and IF your spine and form are okay (a big if), then it may mean that your strike plate is too hard and so the arrows are deflecting to the left.  By softening the strike plate, you reduce the deflection and cause the POI to move to the right.  This works, I know, because I have tried it myself on different bows and arrows apart from the time Rick showed me how to do this in his class. 

If this doesn't move the POI enough, then the next step would normally be to reduce the dynamic spine of the arrow.  The reason for this is because reducing the spine of a bare shaft will cause a nock left condition, which results in a POI to the right down range.  This doesn't always work for a fletched arrow, which is subject to more complex forces than a bare shaft.  Sometimes the opposite occurs, and the POI will move to the right from using a stiffer spined fletched arrow.  It's best to keep an open mind and try things until something works.

People do build out the strike plate to move POI to the left (for a RH shooter) but this is not optimal in my (or more importantly Rick's) opinion.  I think the optimal place to set the center shot on any bow cut past center is where the tip of the arrow is just outside the centerline of the bow.  For a bow not cut past center, the tip of the arrow will already be well past the centerline of the bow, so there is no reason to build out the strike plate.  Once properly set, I see no reason to ever adjust the centershot again, unless you change to really skinny arrows that move the tip of the arrow inside the centerline of the bow.

For a LH shooter, just reverse everything I said (except the part about the centerline of the bow).  😋
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline hammbone

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 9
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 10:44:46 AM »
You shoot LH dont you? I thought i read that. Thank you for responding to my questions. I would really love to make a trip there to learn. What about the subconcious release or dead release that everyone seems to be against? I spoke with Rick on the phone years ago. I remember him saying something to the extent of a lighter arrow is better for a flatter trajectory. Does he use like 50gr or 100 gr inserts?

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 5141
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2020, 11:11:36 AM »
Normally I shoot right handed.  I've learned to shoot left handed, so I can demo shots for left handed students, and show people who really ought to switch sides that it's not that big a deal to switch.  And because it is just fun to be able to shoot both ways.  But I always learn the rules right handed and switch them around when I need to apply them to LH shooters.

Rick really stresses flat trajectory for both target and hunting.  One time, I showed up for a pig hunt with 3555 GT arrows that had the wood grain wrap with 150 grain broadheads.  He thought the arrows were too heavy, at 432 grains, and the broadheads were too light.  So he switched me on the spot to GT 500 ultralights with 200 grain broadheads, and an overall arrow weight of 402 grains.  Weird to switch arrows on the morning of a hunt, but that's the way it goes with Rick.  Trajectory wise, at 15-20 yards the arrows would have hit in about the same spot, but the heavier arrows might have given a skittish pig more of a chance to spin around before the arrow got there.  Rick is as accurate at 40 yards as I am at 20, so flat trajectory means a lot more to him than it would for me. But flat trajectory is never a bad thing, in my opinion, particularly if you can get it without sacrificing penetration.

Yes, people are against the subconscious release and the dead release (two different things) that Rick teaches.  He also teaches instinctive shooting, although you can aim however you want without him noticing (or if he does he doesn't say anything about it).  He has obviously been phenomenally successful personally with these three methods, and has taught many others to use them effectively, although I don't think any of his students have surpassed his record yet.
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline hammbone

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 9
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2020, 03:33:05 AM »
McDave,

I have another question I have always wondered about with Rick Welch. With the anchor. You take your bent thumb and set it right on top of your earlobe? In front of the earlobe? Do you keep this bend in your thumb the entire time while at anchor? When I watch Rick shoot in videos from behind on the close ups....I dont know if its the angle or what but it looks like his second thumb knuckle is on the earlobe and it looks like his thumb is laying flat against his face and with no bend in it? Dunno if it was angle or what?

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 5141
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2020, 11:06:36 AM »
This is the “classic” Rick Welch anchor:

The first anchor is a moving anchor.  The thumb is cocked like you were cocking the hammer of a revolver, and it is left in the cocked position as the cocked thumb knuckle brushes the bottom of the earlobe.  Movement stops when the back muscles have been fully engaged, and the clavicle has moved as far toward the spine as possible. 

The image Rick would like the shooter to keep in mind is the back of the drawing elbow pressing as hard as possible against some immovable object, such as a pole or post in the ground, and maintaining this back pressure, which is really back tension, until the arrow is in the target.  Rick practices this as part of the lessons with a real pole in the ground until it can be visualized with an imaginary pole, and advises that students keep up this practice at home from time to time with some real object so the image of pressing against an immovable object at full draw can be visualized every time the arrow is shot.  This is a part of Rick's general advice of looking at the target at full draw while thinking about the shot.  One of the “thinking about the shot” parts is visualizing the back of the elbow pressing against a pole.  This really is one of Rick's anchors too, albeit an imaginary one.

After back tension is fully established and locked off, the shooter places his nose against the back of the cock feather.  This anchor establishes a fixed, repeatable distance between the dominant eye and the top of the arrow.  The student quickly learns where to place his nose in order to avoid having it hit by the bow string.  After this, final aiming is done for about 2 seconds, and then, in Rick's words, “wait for the shot to go off.”  Nothing is consciously done by the shooter to trigger the shot.  In fact, having absolutely no movement when the shot goes off is key to the accuracy of his system.

Anchors depend on the structure of the shooter's face, and Rick will change his “classic” anchor to suit an individual student's physiognomy.  We all tend to change our own anchors from time to time as we age or have new ideas about how to do things.  He may even change his own anchor, i don't know.  What he will never change is coming to full back tension and locking off before he drops his nose to the feather and completes his final aiming.  I know, moving your head after coming to full draw is considered bad form by most, but Rick is not the only top shooter I have seen who does that.

Note that in Rick's system of instinctive aiming, the shooter does see the sight picture in his out of focus peripheral vision, while the target remains in focus.  What makes his system instinctive as opposed to gap is that Rick allows his mind to come to a shot solution without conscious input from him.  I'll admit, for a long time I thought his instinctive system was identical to Howard Hill's split vision, where the shooter does direct the arrow point to a chosen, uncalculated location.  But finally, by observing some things that are outside the scope of this answer, I convinced myself that he really has no conscious input into the aiming process, so his system is truly instinctive, and not split vision.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 11:24:03 AM by McDave »
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline hammbone

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 9
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2020, 05:17:55 PM »
McDave,

That makes alot of sense now. Thank you for all your guidance. I definitely would love to go to the school when all this coronavirus ends in the country. Does Rick prefer a 5" or 4" feather?

Online McDave

  • Contributing Member
  • Trad Bowhunter
  • ****
  • Posts: 5141
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2020, 05:41:41 PM »
To my knowledge, Rick has always used a 4” shield cut left wing feather for both hunting and competition.  The left wing shield cut fits very well with the nose anchor for a RH shooter.  He would probably advise a 4” shield cut right wing feather for a LH shooter, as that gives the same fit on the left side of the nose.
TGMM Family of the Bow

Would someone please make up my mind for me?

Offline Cypresswolf

  • Trad Bowhunter
  • **
  • Posts: 1
Re: Rick Welch School
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2020, 11:46:48 AM »
Anyone been to Rick Welch's shooting school? If so how did you like it? I know bareshaft tuning is the most concise way of tuning. Was curious how Rick teaches to tune arrows and/or I know he has mentioned in videos of tuning the bow to where youre looking. Anyone have any experience attending this school?
I attended Rick Welch several years ago when he had just began this school!
I am sure he has added alot of addtional instructions since he began. I would
recommend attending the school! It was a very informative experience and Rick
is a very good and detail instructor!

Users currently browsing this topic:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
 

Contact Us | Trad Gang.com © | User Agreement

Copyright 2003 thru 2020 ~ Trad Gang.com ©