When the studio locked down in 2020, longsword student Xander Sobecki was stranded away from his career, hobbies, and all human contact. Trying to keep his sanity by pursuing a solitary skill until he could cross swords again, he bought a recurve bow and took lessons wearing a mask while his instructor used a broomstick to maintain social distancing. With nothing else to safely do, he spent most nights of lockdown shooting at a forest preserve until the sun went down.
By the time Forteza reopened, Xander had gone farther in archery than he ever had in martial arts. Currently ranked in the top 40 Barebow Recurve archers in the country with seven state medals, he competes across the country on one of the most well-known teams in the Midwest. Known for being the most difficult style of sport archery, Barebow excludes assistive technology used in every other division and forces the archer to hone their technique. He competes with the same style of bow handed to students in our beginner classes, and uses an adapted version of the USA Archery National Training System that can be modified for any person’s body and ability.