Master II. level student of the Kassai Equestrian Archery School
I can’t recall the exact moment when I decided to be a mounted archer. However, I remember that the most precious memories from my childhood are the nights at my grandparents, when my grandmother read bedtime stories from an old book called “Hungarian legends” to me and my brother. I was around six when my other grandmother gave me the book of Professor Gyula László, titled ‘50 drawings of ancient Hungarians’. I opened it and set my eyes on a picture of a warrior shooting arrows on horseback. I knew I want to do the exactly the same. There was no turning back from that point.
My mother is a physical education and Russian language teacher, my father is a Greek Catholic priest, so the harmony of spirit, body and soul was priority for me from the beginning. My grandfather taught me how to make simple bows and arrows, how to use them, how to respect and love animals. I admired the tenacity of my great grandfather and his almost legendary love towards his horses. More so I was amazed by the determination and perseverance of my little brother who was an excellent athlete and basketball player. Although I tried several sports, by looking back now, it seems inevitable that my path lead to equestrian archery.
I graduated in 2012 at the Jesuit High School in Miskolc, Hungary. Then I studied mechanical engineering at Technical University of Budapest. Because of my horses and the importance of archery, I finished that BSc faculty at the University of Miskolc. The topic of my thesis work was the engineering and building of a traditional style fiberglass laminated bow. In 2021 I got my MSc degree at the Technical University of Budapest as engineering manager. My diploma thesis was about the ergonomic study and further development opportunities of the most cutting edge equestrian archery bow, the Phoenix from Kassai Ltd.
Although neither horse riding, nor archery was stranger to me I started to learn horseback archery only when I turned 15. I did it after I’ve driven my parents crazy with shooting arrows to the front, the side and backwards, while riding my bike… I started training under the wings of Tamás Hortsin who shortly made me understand that I had to forget everything which I knew about horse riding and archery. I had to learn to ride again and start archery anew from scratch because my technique was miserable and useless. My mentor taught me how to pull the string with my thumb. I didn’t realise back then what wide range of opportunities he opened for me. After the first couple of years my family helped me to buy my first horse, who further developed my riding and archery form.
I started to participate in competitions at the imposingly named events of various horseback-archery associations. After it came to me clear that there is no straighter way towards the deepest parts of equestrian archery than through the Kassai-valley in Kaposmérő, the cradle and beating heart of mounted archery. I took a successful entry exam to the Kassai Equestrian Archery School in 2015. I become a member of the Bodnár tribe of Debrecen. Master Kassai was helping me from the start. I do not remember any occasion when he would not answer any of my questions, regardless how obvious the answers could seem for him. At first everyone watched a bit confused the strange left handed archer with his odd technique – most of them saw thumb draw for the first time then – Master Kassai was the one encouraging me the whole time. He advised me that if I can find the important fundamentals of mounted archery in the thumb draw, there is no reason why I should give up practicing it. I never did, so thanks to the strict and thorough teachings of my masters: Master Kassai and Hortsin, I managed to take a successful 1st grade master exam in May of 2019, as first thumb drawer archer in the history of the Kassai Equestrian Archery School. Later that year in summer I finished at 3rd place on the World Championship at the Valley. In 2020 I took 2nd grade master exam and with this I became one of the equestrian archers with the highest exam grade.
The reason of taking these exams was not the self-serving climb of the hierarchy, rather to give proof to the fact that the methods and teachings of Master Kassai are universal. They are applicable for any appropriate technique. And above all, his school is home for those whose seek the highest degrees of equestrian archery. For them, this sport becomes the way of life, a true martial art. As a member of the Official Instructors of the Original Kassai System my goal is to represent and pass on the values which were meant by the teachings, life, and school of Master Kassai to those who wish to fill themselves with the essence of equestrian archery.