Newbie problems

Discussion in 'Throwing Knives & Knife Throwing' started by Beachcomber John, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Beachcomber John

    Beachcomber John

    Jun 4, 2020
    I bought three throwing knives in the belief they would be balanced so that throwing them from most distances would result in them balancing out to straighten up and land point first.

    Seems I was wrong and 24 attempts resulted in 3 successes.

    Was I wrong in my expectations as otherwise I might as well have gone to my kitchen draw and used a steak knife?

    Thank you
  2. Beachcomber John

    Beachcomber John

    Jun 4, 2020
    Thank you but is there no such thing as a throwing knife that is balanced to land point first?
  3. zzyzzogeton


    Feb 17, 2013
    No there is not.

    How you hold the knife and how you throw/release the knife also affects how the knife hits. Where the balance point is does matter, but not as much as some think.

    Also the STYLE you are throwing affects where the "balance point" should be.

    Are you throwing rotation or no-spin? What distance are you throwing from? What is your target made of and how is it constructed?

    What knives are you using? Short? Long? Light? Heavy? These characteristics also affect how a knife flies/sticks.
  4. Beachcomber John

    Beachcomber John

    Jun 4, 2020
    Thank you.

    As I said I'm new to this so hold the knife by the back and I presume it is spin.

    Distances from 10 foot to 30 foot.

    Target is an old fence panel

    When I watch tv and they throw a knife in a film, there's no measuring of distances, they throw it and it lands point first every time, have you ever seen one not do that LOL

    I have not got a lot of strength in my arms due to illness and so do not have a strong or accurate throw.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Maxrez74 likes this.
  5. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Are you set on throwing knives ?

    Perhaps a set of Cold Steel throwing stars would be enjoyable.
  6. Beachcomber John

    Beachcomber John

    Jun 4, 2020
    Thank you for the suggestion but they don't do it for me the same as a knife.

    I really am having trouble believing there is not a knife out there that is not balanced to land point first over almost any distance (No not 3 feet :))

    As a would-be engineer surely if the pointed end (Say 25%) was heavier than the back end it would straighten out with the heaviest end facing forwards over let's say 20 feet?
    Maxrez74 likes this.
  7. zzyzzogeton


    Feb 17, 2013
    Any knife can be thrown, either rotationally or no-spin and hit point first. It all depends on the speed of release, the type of hold, the type of release, the arm and wrist motion, the body mechanics, the follow through, consistency of all actions. Then there are the external factors - target composition (tree rounds or end grain assembled or planks), wood type, condition of the wood on any given day, the temperature, humidity, ........

    Forget the movies - 99% of what happens is the result of editing.

    There are several types of throwing - each one is USUALLY done with different types of knives with different balance points, although any knife can be used in any style, with varying results.

    -- no-spin, where the knife does little to no spinning after release, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of a rotation with distance not needing to be known, but it helps. A lot of no-spinners prefer butt heavy knives, while others prefer their knives to have a more even weight distribution. I have no-spin knives that balance at the mid-point, and I have some that have 80% of the weight in the back half of the knife.

    -- rotational - the knife spins in multiples of 1/2 spin and varies in the number of 1/2 spins based on distance and whether the knife is held by the blade or handle - these are usually done at distances known to the thrower. These knives USUALLY have their balance point some where within an inch or so of dead center, but it is up to the individual thrower's preference.

    -- Mountain Man, where the throws are all by the handle and are only complete rotations (1,2,3...). A lot of these knives tend to be very blade heavy. The thoughts behind the rotational mechanics are that the heavy blade is pointing at the target longer during the spin process.

    -- combat - also, sometimes called "1/2 spin throwing", where all throws are by the blade and the knife makes only a half rotation. One technique for this style is called blade walking - the grip puts the thumb at different locations on the blade between the tip and the balance point.

    One of the things that new throwers do is bounce all over the place when throwing. The following information is based on the assumptions that you are using knives 12 to 16 inches in length and weight at least 12 ounces. Shorter knives have much shorter distances as you add 1/2 spins.

    The best thing to do is --

    1) pick a style- rotational or no-spin. Doesn't matter which one, just pick one.

    If you picked rotational -
    2) Start at about 2 meters (6-1/2 to 7 feet). Throw ONLY from that distance until you can consistently stick 20 out of 20 knives. Practice, practice, practice. You will be holding the knife by the blade for this distance.

    3) After becoming proficient at 1/2 spin, move back to 3 meters (about 10 feet). This will be your 1 spin distance - 1 full rotation. Repeat the practice, parctice, practice, practice segment, including practice each day at the 1/2 spin distance to maintain proficiency at that distance.

    4) Once you become proficent at 1 spin, move back another meter and add 1-1/2 spin, held by the blade. Rinse and repeat for 1/2 and 1 spins while gaining proficiency at 1-1/2 spin.

    5) Keep adding distances until you get out to 3 spin - that is the most spins thrown in IKTHOF rotational throwing.

    The distance will NOT be exact. The distances indicated - 2,3,4,5,6,7 meters are the MINIMUM distance allowed for a particular spin total. You can stand at 7 meters for 1 spin if you want (no recommended ). example, MY 1/2 spin distance for MY knives is 7 ft 3 inches, which is greater than the 2M minimum (6ft 8in). My 1 spin distance is 11 feet. 3M is roughly 10 feet,

    Watch how your knives hit - if they hit point up, move back a couple of inches and try again OR try to spin the knife slightly faster so it gets further around in the same throwing distance. If they hit point down, do the opposite - move up a little or slow your spin a tad. Moving is ALWAYS easier than changing the speed of rotation.

    If you choose to go no-spin first,
    2) start at 2 meters. Throw "no spin" until you consistently stick 20/20.

    3) move back to 3M and repeat, while also continuing to throw at the original 2M.

    4) keep moving back, learning muscle memory at each M distance - you are teaching yourself to "know the distance".

    You can also just move back 6 inches at a time and keep practicing until you can nail each distance.

    -- instinctive - the thrower can "instinctively" throw rotationally from any distance, without knowing the exact distance. Some can throw a knife or tomahawk from any distance and the knife/hawk only makes 1 rotation, while other make do with 2 or 3 spins. The single rotation at all distances is controlled by how fast/hard the knife is made to rotate. They accomplish this skill by LOTS and LOTS of practice.

    Some folks have different knives for each throwing style. I do too. BUT I also have successfully completed in all 5 styles with the same oversized behemoths of knives that I made early in my throwing life when I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing - they were 15.8" long and weight 18-1/2 ounces. I even threw them in Mountain Man competition by glueing wood slabs on them to make them legally handled.

    Don't get enamored with how far you can stick the knives. Get good at close distances first. Add distance over time while maintaing your existing proficiency. Every time you change knives with nospin, you have to "relearn" each distance with the knives. Different knives WILL throw differently.

    You can work on both styles at the same time - rotational practice one day, no-spin the next, etc. When just starting out, mixing styles can be confusing.

    There's your basic throwing lesson for the day. :D:rolleyes:
  8. Beachcomber John

    Beachcomber John

    Jun 4, 2020
    Thank you for your complete guide to throwing knives, I really did not think there was so much to it.

    I think my illnesses will be a problem for me and so will bin the knives and go and find something else to take up my spare time.

    Kind regards and enjoy your knife throwing.
  9. BitingSarcasm


    Feb 25, 2014
    Throwing knives is skill-based, and your 1/8 average is not bad at all for your first outing. It's a puzzle with many variables, I see it as an intellectual exercise as much as a physical one. Knives are going to spin if there is any rotational energy added to the equation without some sort of stabilizer, it's less a function of weight than of how the energy is imparted to the thrown object. You can bypass all that by throwing some sort of plumbata--it's a Roman weapon like a lawn dart meant to be lethal, and you can buy them online or make your own. For that matter, you might want to look into darts. They are fun to throw, accurate, and easy to lug around and store. I mean the adult version of darts, not those kiddie plastic things that look like they belong in a balloon popping game. Arm strength wouldn't be an issue then, since a large part of throwing darts accurately is learning NOT to overpower the throw. Starter sets aren't badly priced too, though you can progress to wallet-melting, divorce inducing levels with super precision gear.
  10. Sergeua


    May 1, 2016
    Could be easier to throw something heavier and longer than short and light because you gotta feel the weight and with longer stuff you can throw it slower and just observe how it spins. Its heavier, but you might put less force into it and let its weight do the work. Longer stuff will increase your distance. More distance, safer for you. Small stuff can spin back at you and harder to see comming.
    Can throw some long nails and balance them how you like with some tape at the end for example.

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
  11. thebrain


    Dec 12, 2007
    Balance in a throwing knife helps it spin evenly that is really about it. Movies are nearly entirely fake in almost every way. The "skill" shown in movies would require thousands of hours of constant practice and would still result in a handle first or flat impact fairly often. The idea of a tip heavy knife would need a very light butt end with something to add a bunch of wind drag, like a Asian style throwing dart or a lawn dart. In real life you need to judge distance for spin and from that decide if you will throw blade hold or handle hold, something never shown in movies.
  12. Sergeua


    May 1, 2016

    (Sorry poor quality)
    Felt like this condor terrasaur was a good throwing knife :D

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