Beginners Guide to Throwing Knives
Getting started throwing knives is not only a great survival skill to have but it is also incredibly fun. Don’t get me wrong, it is challenging to get right so it will require plenty of practice and patience. Today I want to share some ideas to better help those that are just getting started throwing knives and give them the best chance of success.
Learning to throw knives for self defense is not a good idea. Accuracy is hard in a difficult situation and this pretty much just hands your opponent a weapon.
When throwing knives, consistency is key. You must release the knife in exactly the same way and at exactly the same position each and every time. The correct distance between yourself and the target is also important in ensuring that the throwing knife sticks.
To understand the distance needed a little better let’s take a quick look at a little simple math:
- If you throw the knife by the handle, it needs enough room to make complete revolutions in order to stick.
- If you throw the knife by the blade, it needs to complete a half rotation in order to stick. So it would be half rotation, one and half rotations, etc.
From the moment that the knife leaves the thrower’s hand, it starts to rotate through the air around its center of gravity which is typically halfway between the tip of the blade and the end of the handle. If the throwing knife is balanced this way, then both ends of the knife will trace out equal circles as it flies through the air. If the knife is unbalanced—that is, the center of gravity is located closer to one end or the other—then the trajectory will be less predictable, which makes it harder to throw accurately.
What You Need
Like anything, to get started with knife throwing, there are certain items that you need and in this case, we need good quality throwing knives. These are not sharp so as to protect your hands but will have a point that is made for sticking in your target.
You don’t want to choose knives that are too small or light as they are difficult to grip and don’t stick easily. At the same time, you don’t want to choose knives that are too long or heavy as they require more muscle power than most people can easily muster. A set of throwing knives will generally be around 12-15 inches long and weigh between 12-20 ounces.
Getting Started Throwing Knives
The easiest grip for those just starting out is what is known as the hammer grip. With this, you hold the throwing knife just like you would hold the handle of a hammer.
Some throwers will place the thumb along side of the knife, pointing towards the tip, instead of wrapping around the knife. This is purely preference and the grip you use will depend on what is more comfortable for you and ultimately what works for you.
Once you are comfortable with the hammer grip, it is time to take a look at your stance.
Stand back from your target about 3m away with your right foot about 2 feet length behind your left. Your feet should form a 45° angle and almost as if both heels are on an imaginary line, keeping your knees slightly bent.
Bring your hand up ready for the throw. This should be slightly behind your head. Now imagine you want to cut a branch before you with the knife, but you have to stretch to reach it. This is the motion that you will be using when throwing the knife. Practice the movement a few times to get a good feel for it without releasing the blade. Once comfortable, you can go ahead and throw for real. What you want to do is release the knife at the precise moment that it points directly at the target point.
Chances are, it won’t stick in the target first time, or even on the second or third attempt but these fails will allow you to correct your distance but try not to change the motion in which you are throwing the knife. Get your motion right first before even throwing your knives.
Once you have had enough of throwing your knives for a while, you must be sure to clean any debris from the blade before packing it away. While doing this, take the time to check over the knife to ensure that it is still in good shape.
First and foremost, if you are going to try your hand at knife throwing be sure that you are doing so safely. You must be aware at all times as to the area in which you are throwing as well as anybody that is around you.
Have fun while learning, stay safe and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions in the comments below.