World’s Fastest Archer Splitting an Incoming Arrow?… WTF!


”Every time he shot an arrow at me, I’d shoot it out of the air with one of my own. After five arrows, he just gave up in good-natured disgust. Sure, it was showing off, but it was also a lot of fun!” –  Lars Andersen  talks  about a one-on-one duel against a friend in a combat archery tournament. 

Lars Andersen originally started using bow and arrow to fight in pretend battles during larps (live action role play)events, where he played a soldier in a medieval-inspired army. While larps can be about anything – the Danish/Polish Harry Potter inspired larp College of Wizardry ( recently got world wide media attention and there wasn’ta rubber sword in sight there – many larps take place in fantasy worlds inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. And it was at one of these larps, that Lars started to learn to shoot fast while moving.

The Fastest Archer Alive

In 2012, Las Andersen released his video ”Reinventing the fastest forgotten archery”, where he showed how he had learned to shoot from old archery manuscripts. Using these old, forgotten techniques, Lars demonstrated how he was now the fastest archer on the planet, and after its release, the video got 3 million hits on youtube in two days. This video hit its first million views within 13 hours, and has already spent a few hours as the #1 thing on reddit.

A New Level of Archery

Since the 2012 video was released, Lars has studied and practiced, and he is now able to fire three arrows in 0.6 seconds
– a truly stunning feat making him much faster than the legendary fictional archer Legolas (played by Orlando Bloom in the Lord of the Rings movies). By testing his skills against moving targets in pretend play larp battles using soft, blunt arrows, Lars has been able to do something many historians are impressed by – testing theory in simulated reality under safe (and fun) conditions.

Putting Holes in Hollywood Myths

His newest video debunks several Hollywood myths and shows off not only impressive feats like grabbing and arrow in mid-air and firing it back. But to see the ultimate archery trick, you’ll have to watch the video to see for yourself! There have been many questions as to why the video is ”amateurish”. The answer is simple. Keeping the videos very rough and unpolished was a tactic Lars adopted early on to show that this was skill and not SFX, but since there are still doubters out there, he’s finally considering doing the next as a higher production value film. 😉

 Proof that Hollywood Archery is not Historical.


larsandersen3An archers with a quiver on his back is a movie icon which is widespread throughout the world.
But putting arrows in a quiver on your back is not a good solution.

It is bad in motion and the archer cannot see his own arrows, as he has an enemy in front of him. He must focus on his quiver, which makes him vulnerable.

Past archers often had different types of arrows simultaneously in his quiver but since the quiver is on his back, he cannot see which arrow he takes.

Placing the quiver in the belt solved most problems, and if the archer is horseback, the quiver could be placed on the horse in front of the rider. These methods were the most common ways to use a quiver.

The Round Divided Target:

The two dimensional target is not known from the past. Historical targets were not flat, but three dimensional.

Quiver, arrows in the bow hand, arrows in the draw hand:

I think there has always been an evolution in archery. Archers from even the earliest times have gone from using quivers, to arrows in the bow hand, and ultimately, to hold arrows in the draw hand.

Going from the quiver to holding the arrows in the bow hand is not difficult, it can be learnt. You get the arrow in front of you, so you do not have to focus away from an enemy.

It is far better in motion, so there are many advantages over a quiver. There are today archers which are really good with this method.

Keeping the arrow in the draw hand provides a wide range of benefits, but it assumes that one can draw and shoot in a single movement automatically.

If you must use multiple movements or have to use your fingers on the bow hand to get the arrow in place, then it is far better to go back and keep the arrow in the bow hand.

Double Draw

I have for many years experimented with drawing with both hands simultaneously so while your hand with the arrow pulling the string behind, while bow hand is pushed forward, this providing more power on the arrow.

2 years ago when I made the video “Reinventing the fastest forgotten archery” I had seen many historic pictures of a low half drag, and then I thought it would be interpreted as past archers only drew the bow short, but today I think it is more likely that the images show a double draw,

To hit an arrow in the air::

I have currently tried 14 times (everything is filmed)

For me this is the ultimate archery, which I until recently had thought was impossible. It can be done, but requires the handling of the bow and arrow to become completely bodily.

You may not have time to aim or think, and you must first be completely convinced you hit, you see, “feel” the incoming arrow and shoot in an instant.

Do Not Attempt This

I / we have been in doubt about wether this should be shown,because we were afraid that someone gets hurt if they try to emulate it,

I trained for many years and spent a really long time before I tried it the first time.

For several years, I along with my friends Peter and Ask also trained with harmless buffer arrows where I often have shot their arrows down and before we switched to proper arrows I had very safely hit 5 harmless arrows in a row.

It will not be shot with a very strong bow (but it’s still dangerous)

The arrow that fired at me is a light bamboo arrow with metal tip, I’ll shoot back with a heavy aluminum arrow so I’m sure that the incoming arrow flexes when they hit together.

The archer shoots at me normally sits behind one large safety sheet, but in the video is filmed with the sheets pulled away, so you can see what is going on.

I hope to try again during the summer outside, with an HD camera in slow motion.

Do I hit everything?

I use a lot of time practicing, and it can take a very long time before I learn a new skill. For instance, when I got the idea of jumping to grab and enemy’s arrow before I land, it took me months to learn, where for a long time, the arrows would fly everywhere, until I learned to handle it.

Thanks for reading and watching my videos

-Lars Andersen