Introduction: How to Throw Throwing Knives

Knife throwing is a practice that has been around for centuries. It is a rewarding, and easy to learn hobby who's popularity is making a comeback. Really nothing's more awesome than the sound of a knife hitting a target from yards away. Knife throwing can be done with anything from a hunting knife to official throwing knifes. In this instructable, you will learn safe and accurate methods of knife throwing. We will go over: choosing knives, throwing basics, types of throws, throwing stance, advanced throws, and general tips.

Enough talking, let's go find some knives!

Step 1: Choosing a Knife

Your choice of knives are endless. Any knife with a semi-sharp point and a little weight will work, but keep in mind different knives require different techniques. Throwing a hunting knife does not use the same grip as throwing a true throwing knife.I will go over the difference in technique later on, but for now lets just go around your house, cabin, local store, or shed to find some knives.

The ideal throwing knife will have these traits:

-No sharp edges, just a sharp point.

-Rounded corners are ideal for safety.

-Thick enough so that the tip will not become bent.

-About 200 grams in weight. Anything less will take more throwing accuracy. (Christian Thiel describes this on his website)

-Keep in mind: fancy grips do not make a knife any better than the rest. Find a knife that won't require later upkeep.

-Knives with perforations are more prone to breakage than solid blades. So if you have a choice, find a knife with minimal perforation as any hole in the knife can lead to a shattered blade.

Step 2: Throwing Basics

Before we throw a single knife, we need to learn exactly what our goal is, how we achieve it, and what we need to achieve it.

Besides a knife, we will need a target. Selecting a good target is critical for beginners and experts alike. For beginners, it is imperative that you have a soft and large target. This ensures that you do not focus on accuracy or power, and you do focus on working on correct rotations. A large rotting tree trunk is ideal if you're in the north woods of Wisconsin since they are easy to find, and meet our specifications stated before.

Safety is essential for knife throwing. While throwing, you NEED to wear hard shoes, and be sure your throwing space is away from people and pets. Before you throw, notify people nearby that it is dangerous and continue with caution.

Now that we have everything we need to throw knives, let's focus on what our goals will be!

The goals of knife throwing vary depending on your skill level. In this instructable, we will go over different "rotations". Our first goal will be to throw a knife with half rotation. Then we will focus on full rotations, and finally I will present advanced throws. All of these throws present a new challenge which will build your skills and will give you the gratification of conquering your goals.

Now that we know what we are going to do, gather your knives and let's get down and dirty with our throwing stance!

Step 3: Throwing Stance and Knife Grip

Like other sports or activities, knife throwing requires a certain form and stance.

To prepare for your throw, first focus on your footing and body posture. Indicators of good throwing posture are:

-A relaxed body. If your body is tense, you will most likely try overthrowing the knife which leads to bad form and inconsistent throwing.

-Standing up straightly. Its important to stand straightly to ensure a straight, accurate throw.

-For right handed throws: Keep your right foot forward and your left foot slightly behind it. When throwing left handed, do the opposite.

Also, while throwing, you should focus on how you hold the knife. To hold a throwing knife correctly, hold it "as you would a hammer" (Christian Thiel). Be sure to keep your thumb on top of your other fingers and make sure no fingers will alter the trajectory of your throw.

If using a hunting knife (or any sharp edged blade) it is important that you leave room between the edge of the blade and your hand while you grip the knife. (See 5th and 6th pictures).

Once you understand correct throwing stance and form, get some shoes on and head out to your target so we can learn some throws!

Step 4: Half Spin Throw

Now that we are all prepared, lets learn your first throw!

Our first goal will be to: throw a knife into our target with one half of a spin. Once you master this simple throw, you will be on your way to doing more advanced knife throws.

WARNING: Before preceding, you must take safety precautions. Be sure to wear hard toe shoes, especially if you are a beginner!

To begin this throw, you must first be at the right distance from your target. A knife thrower, Tim Valentine, wrote a great article on how to find an appropriate distance for each type of throw. However, your personal distance will depend on your knife as well. Generally for a half rotation spin, you will want to be about six feet from your target. (experiment with different distances to find your "sweet spot").

Next, grip your knife with blade facing you (handle towards the sky). Throw the knife at your target with moderate force. Don't try to throw the knife as hard as you can. Just a moderate throw will be sufficient if you have the correct target and knife.

If the knife will not stay in the target (and your rotation is accurate) make sure you are using a soft wood target and that your knife's tip is sharp!

Step 5: One Spin Throw

After sticking the half rotation throw, you can move onto your first single rotation knife throw. This throw will take more precision so it is critical that you review correct throwing stance and knife grip.

WARNING: Before preceding, you must take safety precautions. Be sure to wear hard toe shoes, especially if you are a beginner!

To begin this throw, find your most optimal distance from the target. According to Valentine's article, for a single rotation throw you should stand about ten to eleven feet from your target. Once again, this is an estimate. Your knife and your form will alter these approximations, so try to find your own "sweet spot".

Now grip your knife from its handle (blade facing the sky). Throw your knife with moderate force at your target. Focus on your stance and staying relaxed, since this throw will take quite a bit more precision than the half rotation throw.

If the knife doesn't stick in your target, make sure you are using a soft wood target, and that your knife's tip is sharp.

Step 6: Advanced Throws

Since this is a beginners guide, I won't be going over the specifics of other throws. However, for those looking for a challenge, I will mention some more advanced throws.

Basically, more advanced throws just involve more spins, or even no spins. Using Valentine's throwing distance formula: (toe distance - reach distance) / (turns + 0.25) = distance per turn (link to original site). You can find the approximate distance for any number of rotations of throws. In his article he even talks of a seven rotation throw.

Alternatively, there is the "no-spin" technique. This is a method of throwing where the knife has no rotation. This a more practical technique for close distance throwing, since there is no rotation any object that passes the knife's trajectory will be hit.

If you would like to get more into advanced knife throwing, there are plenty of articles and books on the physics of throwing and other techniques.

Step 7: Throw Safely and Practice!

The most important part of knife throwing is to continue to practice. Since much of throwing is in "muscle memory", practice can help you retain and build on your skills.

For more information on knife throwing visit one of these great resources:

-Spin Distance Formula

-International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame

I hope you have had fun learning how to throw throwing knifes, and are hooked on the sport. Please share your favorite knife throws in the comments section of this instructable! If you think this article was awesome please support me by voting in either the Great Outdoors, squeeze more awesome out of summer, or Vintage contest! Thanks for reading!

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