When I watched Merida in Brave, Disney’s charming animation movie, I did not think I would soon meet flesh-and-blood women using a bow and arrow on horseback. Seeing the documentary ’Horseback Archer’ I got curious and wanted to find out how and why my fellow women chose this martial art.
Lajos Kassai, known as the founder of the Hungarian horseback archery sport, has been running his school based on military traditions since 1988. Nearly 50 of the 183 members of the school are women. Those who want to get admitted, from the very young to the middle-aged, come to the Kassai Valley to pass the physically and mentally challenging exam, in front of their supporters, their loved ones.
There are women who follow their own dreams, many young people are driven by their parents’ enthusiasm, but there are also those who would follow their sweetheart to jump on the saddle and catch a bow. Being a horseback archer requires discipline, commitment, diligence and perseverance, among others, and leaving one’s comfort zone is inevitable for substantial change in the horseback archer’s knowledge.
Time spent in the community, working together creates values that women are also keen to associate with. The supportive, retaining power of the horseback archery community is significant in the lives of the Amazons.