By Jose Garcia
Gregorio Hernandez, Brookhaven College physical education instructor, teaches his archery class shooting techniques between the tennis courts and P1 parking lot. Hernandez has been teaching archery to students at Brookhaven since 2007.
“Proper stance, arrow down, draw back slowly, anchor, aim and release,” Hernandez said to his students as arrows began to fly through the air toward their targets.
The class, which includes beginner and intermediate students, takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10:30 a.m.
Students Jaime Zolfaghari and Alexander Espinoza said they were simply looking for another class to take. “This [class] seemed pretty fun. I’ve never done it before, so I was interested,” Espinoza said.
Hernandez said he did not originally plan to teach archery. Being a physical education instructor, he said he had to learn all of the sports, including archery.
“It was forced on me, and I’m glad it was forced on me because I learned to love it,” Hernandez said. He added that he encourages other students to give it a try.
Students first learn the ancient history and techniques of archery in a classroom before spending the rest of the semester on the range perfecting their aim.
Because archery is a sport that involves shooting an arrow, Hernandez said safety always comes first. He said the beginner class learns about safety for the first two weeks in order to instill safe habits.
He said encouraging his students to pay attention will help them carefully aim their shots to avoid any sort of injury.
Brookhaven provides recurve and compound bows, although students are allowed to use their own equipment in class.
A compound bow is a modern bow using a system of cables and pulleys, while the recurve bow only has a bow string connected from top to bottom, and the tips are curved away from the archer.
While some people might see archery as just another sport or physical education class, many people use archery as a way to hunt animals instead of using guns, Hernandez said.
He added that he does not recommend using archery as a way to attack someone, either offensively or defensively.
Hernandez said if students want to advance their archery skills, four-year universities are a great place to continue practicing.
Students interested in taking the class can contact Hernandez Monday-Thursday from 12-2 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Room T312.