In an ongoing debate between the Hungarian vs the Mongols (Mongolians), I’ve always found the Hungarian’s to be more “fun” to shoot and, more importantly, take archery lessons from. The reason being, that not only were their bows easier to handle in comparison, but their arrows were also easier to store and better for travel and training. However, the Mongols had something that Hungarians didn’t: horse riding skills! And with that came an entirely new set of problems. These are the factors that make an archer choose a certain breed over another one:
First off, the Mongolians had horse training skills while the Hungarians, well, had horse archers. While the Mongols were masters at horsemanship, they weren’t nearly as good as the Hungarians at archery. If you take into consideration all of the horse fighting skills that they developed, this fact could mean the difference between a very successful archer (or non-archer) is a very unsuccessful one. This is the same reason why most Westerners don’t care for Russian arrows any more than they used to… they were just designed to fight horses!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at how the two archers measure up. I’ll tell you right now, the answer will surprise you. The Hungarians do have a slightly more stable stance and they seem to have a more natural feel to their shots. This is not to say that the Mongols are slow, just that they don’t seem to perform unnatural motions at the point of release. The Hungarian bows are typically more flexible than the Mongols’, which means that they won’t be held back by uncontrollable muscles. Again, this should make training more pleasant.
There is one thing that seems to be an undeniable fact about the Mongolians and that is their incredible patience with the training gear. This comes as quite surprising, seeing that most Westerners expect the Hungarians to be supremely skilled with the bow within hours of being trained. And that, I think, is exactly what is going on here. The Hungarians seem to have a built-in, almost fanatical confidence and willingness to keep practicing until they have achieved perfection. Whereas the Mongols can’t boast this same calm or confidence, it does mean that they can’t be as quick to practice.
So, in terms of stamina, the Hungarians win by a hair. However, in terms of flexibility, this might be a closer call. The Mongolians seem to have a very good grasp of how their muscles work and so this translates into superb flexibility, which translated into a faster release. There’s one other area that Mongolia edges out in the end. They seem to be, overall, the more mentally tough of the two-horse archers, able to cope with the constant mental challenge that comes with training and exercising their muscles.
In the end, the choice really comes down to personal preferences. Both of these archers are incredibly accomplished archers, so I guess it really comes down to which one you like more. Personally, I prefer the more disciplined, cold hearted Mongolia. But that doesn’t mean that the Hungarian bowers are any less competent. At the end of the day, it all boils down to you.