September 15th, 2016

Roberto Gonzalez

4/8/20233 min read

Hello! I am Roberto Gonzalez, competitor, traveler, coach and researcher of the Sport of Archery in all its disciplines (not hunting as it is not a sport)

My sporting career within Archery includes the competitive practice of all types of bows and traditions (the 4 main disciplines), which is not very common since in general archers choose a shooting style and stick to it all their life, they sometimes get to know and try 1 or 2 precision static styles (for example recurve, 3D or barebow) but even this is not very common, much less to change from a static style to a dynamic one, or from a western tradition to an oriental etc.

As the founder of the "Horseback Archery Mexico" archery school, in this blog I will tell my story of how I got to know and started this sport, being at that time a completely unknown tradition and sport in my country.

Year 2016 of my sports career

My experience in learning this discipline and historical tradition goes back to 2016 when I first learned about the Lajos Kassai school in Hungary, at that time he was one of the few in the West practicing this discipline, of which many say he is the responsible for bringing it back into the modern world and puting it "in fashion".

So I looked for the location of that school on the world map, it is in a lost place in the middle of nowhere near Kaposmérő, Hungary. It was an interesting journey to get there from Mexico.

After arriving at the Budapest airport, I took a train, which in a section of the track had a fire and we were detained for many hours, I finally arrived at the town of Kaposmérő and from there I had to find a way to get to the Equestrian Archery school. I decided to take a taxi, and since they generally don't speak English in Hungary (much less outside the cities) the way I was able to instruct the taxi driver where I was going was by drawing a horse and a bow and arrow on a piece of paper. The taxi driver told me: "OK!"... and I don't know exactly how, but we got there.

Once at the entrance gate, I paid for the taxi and stayed there... I knocked on the door, and a grumpy person (the one who runs the archery shop) finally opened it, surprised and asked me what I was doing there - I answered that I am an archer, that I came from Mexico and wanted to get to know Lajos Kassai and the world of Equestrian Archery. He told me in the coldest way that he was not available and that there were no visitors. Finally for some reason he talked to him and they let me come in and watch one of his training sessions.

I spent 1 full hour watching him train, just me in the stands, coming and going on his horse shooting hundreds of arrows and hitting every time. After the training session I took a picture with him, he shook my hand and that's it, end of the visit and time to leave, he didn't say anything.

Now the challenge was to find a way to return...

*The Lajos Kassai school is an international martial school of Equestrian Archery (as opposed to an international federation) with several member countries. The Hungarian technique is easily recognizable as it is the only one in the world, and in all western and eastern archery styles, that in the "follow through" open the arm outward after releasing the string.