Apex skills are those that require a high degree of proficiency and understanding in many of the other disciplines.  In our school, self-reliance and a proactive problem solving mindset are critical attributes.  Bow making involves an understanding of tree growth, species identification, wood working techniques, patience, focus, and sensory awareness.  Working with metal involves an understanding of body alignment, the effects of temperature, tool use, and understanding sensory input in order to make a superior project.  Combined, these two skills compliment each other. The bowyer can make draw shaves, fro’s, and other tools to hone and shape wood.  The metalsmith can refine their understanding of arrow weight and proper spinning of arrows before creating metal hunting tips.  Combined, these skills open a depth and breadth of understanding the goes far beyond the consumer mindset of purchasing materials on the word or marketing advice of others.  It is a more difficult path, but any thing of worth is.  The premise is simple.  Any thing of true value doesn’t come easy.  It is earned.  Once learned through experience, bow making and blacksmithing becomes a part of who you are.