Archery Meets Life in Epic
TED Talk Archery Meets Life in Epic TED Talk

One great thing about going back to school is getting back to extracurricular activities. Afternoons of football, soccer, track, dance, cheerleading, music and –you guessed it – archery make long days in the classroom worth it.

Sports like archery help students stay fit, set goals, make new friends and more. But for South Korean Dong Woo Jang, making bows after school was a means to survive.

At a 2013 TED talk, Jang, then 15, spoke of the competitive, high-pressure nature of South Korea’s school system. Like many kids his age, Jang needed an after-school hobby to distract him from the classroom’s daily rigors.

“Perhaps in the face of constant pressure, my caveman instinct of survival has connected with the bows,” Jang said.

After school, Jang braves the “concrete jungle” of Seoul to find a moldable tree, and then uses various tools to shape the wood, creating his ideal bow and a state of “bowtopia.” Just like each fiber and tendon must be exactly placed to make the ideal bow, Jang says each person is needed exactly where they are to make the ideal world.

To achieve a state of “bowtopia,” learn about the four components of Jang’s ideal bow, and explore the parallels between life, archery and bow-making, watch the TED talk below.

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