Few arts are so satisfying and stylish as knife throwing. If you're a blade lover, an interest in throwing knives is only natural. The trouble is learning how to throw knives.
If you've ever tried your hand at this art, you know it's often tricky. Even if your throw is accurate and you hit the target, there's a strong chance you don't sink the blade in.
This article will help you change that. In this guide, we'll cover everything from throwing stance to what types of knives to choose. If you practice 6 hours a week with these tips, you can learn knife throwing in just six months!
The Three Types of Throwing Knives
Let's start at the very beginning. Just as there are different types of pocket knives or hunting knives, there are also specific ways of throwing knives. The style of your throwing knife will affect how you throw it.
The type of knife you choose is largely up to preference. None of them have any particular advantage in terms of accuracy. Whatever knife feels more comfortable to you is the one you should choose.
However, to make an informed decision, it's helpful to know the differences between the knives and how they affect their throwing.
This knife is exactly what it sounds like. In a blade-heavy knife, most of the weight is concentrated in the blade rather than the handle. These knives are helpful for beginners, as they are well-suited for hammer-style throws.
What does hammer-style throwing mean? Simply put, it's just gripping the knife from the handle when you throw it. This is the simplest and likely safest way to learn knife throwing.
Handle-heavy knives are the opposite of blade-heavy throwing knives. Just as blade-heavy knives concentrate most of the weight in the blade, these knives' weight is in the handle.
These knives are often trickier for beginners since you must throw them from the blade. Many beginners find this tough to get used to, but who knows? Maybe this throwing style appeals to you.
Balanced Throwing Knives
These are the jack-of-all-trade knives. Unlike the previous two knife types, a balanced throwing knife's center of gravity is in its middle. This balanced weight means you can throw the knife from its blade or its handle with little consequence.
Balanced knives tend to have more regulated rotations, giving them a great deal of flexibility. They're excellent choices for beginners who'd like to experiment with their styles.
When buying a set of throwing knives, make sure that the knives weigh 200 grams exactly. Any more or less will throw off their usefulness.
Also, be sure your knives don't have a sharp edge. Throwing knives should only have a durable, sharpened tip for puncturing targets.
As fun as knife throwing is, you should always bear in mind that you're handling blades. These can cut and injure you if mishandled, so you must follow some basic safety guidelines.
First, wear hard shoes when throwing knives. We'd recommend a pair of boots, personally, but at the very least don't wear open-toed shoes.
Never set up a target near children or pets. The last thing you want is to injure somebody else while practicing. Lastly, if you're practicing in a public place like a park, inform people around you of what you're doing.
Two Essential Knife Throwing Principles
At last, we've reached the moment you've been waiting for. Here is where you'll learn the basics of how to throw your knife.
When you begin practicing, remember that knife throwing relies on two principles: precision and consistency.
Your goal, whether you're a beginner or a pro, is always to hit the target. The competitive distance for a knife-throwing target is 13 feet away. As a beginner, you may not be able to hit that distance.
If so, adjust your distance accordingly. If you're hitting the target but not sinking the blade, consider altering your throwing style.
When you get your precision down, the next step is to stay consistent. Once you get your knife in the target, you have to train your accuracy repeatedly. If, for instance, you can hit the target 6 out of 10 times, try to get to 8 out of 10.
Throwing the Knife
All that's left is to discuss your actual throwing. As with learning to throw anything else, whether it's a pitch or a punch, a lot goes into throwing a knife well. In this last section, we'll break down the essentials for you.
Stance and Posture
Just like any other sport, your stance when throwing knives is crucial to your success. First, relax your body. You want to be loose and limber when throwing knives, so it's a good idea to stretch out before you begin.
Next, stand up straight. Leaning too much into your throw can throw off its accuracy. Then, with your back straight, put your right foot forward.
Take your left hand and point it towards the target as if you're aiming. Then, raise your knife directly above your head. Pretend you're a butcher about to slice down on a rack of meat.
Then, throw the knife. Bring your arm down as if to chop the meat and release your grip.
When To Release
Learning when to release the knife is often the primary struggle beginners have. Unfortunately, there's no precise sweet spot. Too many variables affect your throw to give you a one-size-fits-all approach. The trick to learning this is frequent and diligent practice.
Other Types of Throwing
This guide has focused on the standard hammer throw method. However, in competitive knife throwing, you'll find several other types of throws exist. You can find more information on those throws online.
Find a Set of Knives
Throwing knives isn't a super complicated task. Once you find a knife set that works for you, keep your goals in mind and maintain a consistent practice schedule. If you do this, you're well on your way to mastering knife throwing.
The first place to start in learning this skill is finding a set of knives that works for you. There are several options out there, so find one that seems comfortable to you!