The Hunger Games Trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mockingjay) was one of those things I could not put down. I must have spent one weekend just reading through all three books. I love the character of Katniss Everdeen in the books and how she was portrayed in the movies. Her skill with the bow and arrow is just so badass. The same goes for Tauriel in The Hobbit. Though she doesn’t appear in J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book, the woodland elf in The Desolation of Smaug shows off awesome archery skills comparable to Legolas. I’ve always hated the “damsels in distress” stereotypes in movies so it’s refreshing to watch movies with strong female warrior characters.
Trying to channel Katniss in a Hunger Games District 12 training jersey
However, my previous experience with archery has been somewhat limited to virtual adventures. In Skyrim, (aside from shouts & destruction magic) bows are the most useful ranged weapon you use to damage the legendary dragons when they’re in flight. My demon hunter character in Diablo III also uses a variety of crossbows and bows to battle the minions of The Lord of Terror.
This girl is on fire! 🙂
While I’ve always been curious about learning archery since I was a kid, these movies and games rekindled my interest in recent years. So, when the invitation from Kodanda Archery Range for a lesson came, I eagerly volunteered as tribute. Fellow Hunger Games & Diablo addict Sab joined me, and thanks to her, I have this great photo of the target paper, which I was tempted to Instagram as my own :p The arrows on my own target were a bit more scattered. Probably enough to survive the initial bloodbath at the arena, but it was clear who the victor was.
THE ARCHERY RANGE:
Kodanda Archery Range is a seven-lane, fully air-conditioned indoor range located at the upper basement of the Makati Cinema Square that opened last July 2013. The range gets its name from a Sanskrit word that means, “He who has a bow.”
While archery has been around in the country for years, it has had a reputation as a niche sport for elites. Interest in archery has noticeably risen specifically because of movies like The Hunger Games, The Chronicles of Narnia, Disney’s Brave and The Lord of the Rings, to name a few. The range aims to give the general public a chance to try out the sport.
Anyone else think this poster looks like a Magic: The Gathering Card?
There are only a couple of archery ranges in Metro Manila, and the price per session can be quite steep. Kodanda offers one of the more affordable lessons at P550/hour, which includes international-standard equipment, protective gear and basic coaching from expert instructors, including Syd Fraginal, a former national team mainstay and a SEA Games record holder.
After being oriented on the equipment, how to properly hold the bow, load and release the arrows and the proper stance, we started shooting. Our first few shots were all over the place, and more than a few bounced off the board and fell to the floor. We were given five arrows each, and after every round, we had to retrieve the arrows for the next set.
After a few rounds, our arrows were hitting the target board. By the end of the session, I was hitting the paper nearer the red circle, with a few arrows grazing the yellow circle. Sab, meanwhile, was shooting like a career tribute with most of her arrows landing on the yellow bullseye.
Tribute Training scores: Me = 7/12 ; Sab = 11/12. The odds are not in my favor.
There’s something fun and addictive about the simple goal of hitting the target. Each set made me want to improve my aim more and more. It seemed like the hour just whizzed by. At the end of the lesson, we both had bruises on our inner arms (where the bow’s string accidentally hit), and shaky right arms from trying to keep the bow steady, but we had loads of fun.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT:
If you want to try something fun and different with friends, then an archery session is a good indoor activity that you can enjoy especially now that the rainy season has set in. Even if you’ve never tried it out, you’ll be able to see progress within an hour’s session.
Though archery is perceived as a stationary sport, competitive archers require a significant amount of strength, endurance and focus to perform well. Health benefits include increased upper body strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and improved mental focus. It feels therapeutic and is a great way to relieve stress!
If you’re a fan of the Hunger Games or The Avengers, you can channel your inner Katniss or Hakweye during your session, which feels really cool.
If you’re in a big group, the Archery Range could be a fun alternative venue for social gatherings like team-building sessions, or after-work bonding activities with colleagues. Anyone aged 7 and above can try it out, so instead of having a party at home, older kids can have a Hunger Games or archery themed party (in costumes!) here with friends. They also have a store where people can buy archery related equipment and items.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST:
- Kodanda Archery Range offers an hourly fee of P550 per person/hour which includes equipment rental, range fee and instructors.
- You need to pay an additional Php30.00 for the target paper which you can take home as a souvenir.
- For those who want to to take archery lessons seriously, the center offers a P6,000 fee for 10, one-hour sessions.
- They also offer group packages up to 15 people for those who want a fun bonding activity for friends or families.
- Range rental is P200 per person/hour if you have your own gear.
TIPS AND USEFUL INFO:
- The range is open from Mondays to Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- We went during noontime on a weekday, so we had the range all to ourselves.
- While walk-ins are allowed, it’s best to call in to reserve timeslots especially if you’re in a big group to make sure there are instructors available.
- Wear comfortable clothes and rubber shoes or footwear. Slippers are not allowed.
- Bring friends so you can take pictures of each other during the session.
- And remember, may the odds be ever in your favor!
Kodanda Archery Range is located at the Upper Basement, Makati Cinema Square, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City, Philippines. To view on Google Maps, click HERE. For reservations and inquiries, call 7745410 and 0932-8436614, look for Ronna May. Email address : firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook page: Kodanda Archery