The bow features amongst the very first primitive weapons and is a very important tool in human history.
It is believed that this weapon originates back to 50,000 years ago. Some images of prehistoric cavemen armed with bows and arrows have been found on rock paintings dated to be approximately 35,000 years old.
Around 3,500 BC, the Egyptians were using these arms to maintain their dominance in the region, and Centuries later, developed compound bows, using different materials such as wood, bone, animal horn and sinew. This combination of media allowed them to manufacture and use re-curved bows, which resulted in much smaller and, in time, more powerful bows.
This advance in weapon technology enabled archers to attack their enemies from greater distances and the fact that it was smaller allowed them to shoot their bows at a radius of 360º while mounted on a galloping horse. This is, without question, the main factor in the expansion of the Mongol empire and the formation of the Grand Empire as we know it. Before the reign of Genghis Khan, in the year 1280 BD, the Mongol empire expanded to Austria and the regions of Syria, Russia, Vietnam and China.
There was a definite Mongol influence to Chinese archery, although it is probably impossible to ascertain the exact amount, since for thousands of years, millions of Chinese have used arrows in combat. There were many Chinese schools and a variety of styles, yet the traditional method became quasi extinct as a practice and the Art of Chinese Archery survived in that country only thanks to a few enthusiastic practitioners of the art, Historians, Traditionalists and Collectors of Antiques.
The study of Traditional Chinese Archery all but disappeared from China at the beginning of the 20th century, when the Emperor Guangxu excluded archery from the curriculum of the Imperial Army in 1901. The Japanese occupation of China during the Second World War was also contributed to this disappearance of the art.