Knife throwing

Last updated
Knife throwing show KnifeThrowingShow.jpg
Knife throwing show

Knife throwing is an art, sport, combat skill, or variously an entertainment technique, involving an artist skilled in the art of throwing knives, the weapons thrown, and a target. In some stage performances, the knife thrower ties an assistant to the target (sometimes known as a "target girl"), and throws to miss them.

Contents

Basic principles

Knife throwing, whether in a martial or sport application, involves the same basic principles of mechanics. The objective in each case is for the point to stick into the target with a sufficient amount of force. For this to be successful, accuracy, distance, number of rotations and placement of the body all must be taken into account.

If the thrower uses a spin technique, the knife will rotate during flight. [1] This means that the thrower, assuming they are throwing the same way every time, must either choose a specific distance for each type of throw or, more practically, make slight adjustments to the placement of the knife in the hand or to the throwing movement. [2] Another adjustment that can be made is the way the knife is held. If it is held at the blade when it is thrown, this makes it spin half, whereas if it is held by the handle, this makes a full spin. So if the thrower estimates he needs one and a half spins for the point to hit the target, he would hold the knife from the blade when it is thrown. If he feels he needs two full spins for it to hit the target point-first, then it would be held by the handle.

With the much more intricate no spin throwing techniques, the throwing motion is made as linear as possible, the knife's rotation being slowed even more by an index finger on the spine during release. [3] Thrown no spin, knives will make no revolution or only a quarter spin before reaching the target (point first), but the no spin throws are not as accurate or stable in flight as the spin techniques. The knife does not need to be sharp to stick, as long as it has a point, it will stick into your target.

Sport

Knife throwing competition Knife throwing competition.jpg
Knife throwing competition

In the US and in many European countries, there are communities of people pursuing knife throwing as a sport, similar to archery. For example, in Europe more than 30 knife throwing clubs [4] exist.

The competition itself consists, in the most common form, of a series of straight throws aimed at a set of standard wooden targets or in some cases foam. Similar to an archery target, competition knife throwing targets have a bullseye surrounded by one or more rings. A sticking knife scores points. The thrower must be standing at least a set distance away from the target, with higher distances for more challenging events. IKTHOF keeps a ranking [5] of its members based on their performance during these sponsored competitions. EuroThrowers maintains a register of the world records, [6] and for each championship publishes the full scores together with the meetings' reports. [7]

Martial arts

Although it was popularized in the US in the late 19th century by traveling acts such as the Barnum & Bailey Circus, the history of knife throwing dates much further back. The art of knife throwing was first used in martial arts or hunting applications. It has been incorporated into the martial disciplines of the Japanese as well as African and Native American tribes. In Central Africa, they were used as weapons of war (thrown horizontically) as well as for ceremonial purposes. [8] In medieval Europe Hans Talhoffer (c. 1410-1415 – after 1482) and Paulus Hector Mair (1517–1579) both mention throwing daggers in their treaties on combat and weapons. Talhoffer specifies a type of spiked dagger for throwing while Mair describes throwing the dagger at your opponents chest.

Throwing a weapon when fighting is generally thought of as a risk. If unsuccessful, it can leave the thrower without a weapon and arm his attacker. However, many warriors traditionally carried two or more weapons at the same time and often multiple weapons specific for throwing to nullify this.

Representations

The opera Queen of Knives , which premiered in Portland, Oregon on May 7, 2010 tells the story of a brother and sister knife throwing act in the midst of the student protests in Birmingham in the early 1960s. [9]

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Physics of knife throwing" . Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  2. "Knife throwing training" . Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. "No spin knife throwing" . Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  4. "List of knife throwing clubs in Europe" . Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  5. "IKTHOF knife rankings (USA)" . Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  6. "Eurothrowers world records" . Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  7. "Eurothrowers championship reports (EU)" . Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  8. Schmidt, Annette M.; Westerdijk, Peter (2006). The Cutting Edge. West Central African 19th century throwing knives in the National Museum of Ethnology Leiden. National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN   9054500077.
  9. McQuillen, James, Opera review: "Portland's Vagabond Opera's 'Queen of Knives' is one sharp show", The Oregonian , May 11, 2010

Sources

Related Research Articles

Boomerang Thrown tool and weapon

A boomerang is a thrown tool, typically constructed as a flat airfoil, that is designed to spin about an axis perpendicular to the direction of its flight. A returning boomerang is designed to return to the thrower. It is well known as a weapon used by some Aboriginal Australian peoples for hunting.

<i>Shuriken</i> Throwable Japanese concealed weapon

A shuriken is a Japanese concealed weapon that was used as a hidden dagger or metsubushi to distract or misdirect.

Filipino martial arts

Filipino martial arts (FMA) refer to ancient Malay and newer modified fighting methods devised in the Philippines. It incorporates elements from both Western and Eastern Martial Arts, the most popular forms of which are known as Arnis, Eskrima, and Kali. The intrinsic need for self-preservation was the genesis of these systems. Throughout the ages, invaders and evolving local conflict imposed new dynamics for combat in the islands now making up the Philippines. The Filipino people developed battle skills as a direct result of an appreciation of their ever-changing circumstances. They learned often out of necessity how to prioritize, allocate and use common resources in combative situations. Filipinos have been heavily influenced by a phenomenon of cultural and linguistic mixture. Some of the specific mechanisms responsible for cultural and martial change extended from phenomena such as war, political and social systems, technology, trade and practicality.

Arnis

Arnis, also known as Kali or Eskrima/Escrima, is the national martial art of the Philippines. The three are roughly interchangeable umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines, which emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons, as well as "open hand" techniques without weapons.

Throwing knife Knife designed to be thrown

A throwing knife is a knife that is specially designed and weighted so that it can be thrown effectively. They are a distinct category from ordinary knives.

Ranged weapon Any weapon that can engage targets beyond hand-to-hand distance

A ranged weapon is any weapon that can engage targets beyond hand-to-hand distance, i.e. at distances greater than the physical reach of the user holding the weapon itself. The act of using such a weapon is also known as shooting. It is sometimes also called projectile weapon or missile weapon because it typically works by launching solid projectiles ("missiles"), though technically a fluid-projector and a directed-energy weapon are also ranged weapons. In contrast, a weapon intended to be used in hand-to-hand combat is called a melee weapon.

Butterfly sword Single-edged blade

The butterfly sword is a short dao, or single-edged sword, originally from southern China, though it has also seen use in the north. It is thought that butterfly swords date from the early 19th century. Several English language accounts from the 1840s describe local militia in Guangdong being trained in the "double swords", short swords with a hook extending from the guard, and fitting into a single scabbard.

San Miguel Eskrima is one of the major systems of eskrima, a martial arts from the Philippines. Founded by Filemon "Momoy" Cañete of the Doce Pares Club, SME served as vehicle for his own personal expression of the art and methodology of the club of which he was a co-founder and instructor. The name San Miguel is taken from Michael (archangel), the slayer of Satan, and is one of the major strikes used in Eskrima.

Pencak silat Indonesian martial art

Pencak silat is an umbrella term for a class of related Indonesian martial arts. In neighbouring countries the term usually refers to professional competitive silat. It is a full-body fighting form incorporating strikes, grappling and throwing in addition to weaponry. Every part of the body is used and subject to attack. Pencak silat was practiced not only for physical defense but also for psychological ends.

Indian martial arts refers to the fighting systems of the Indian subcontinent. A variety of terms are used for the English phrases “Indian martial arts”, usually deriving from Dravidian sources. While they may seem to imply specific disciplines, by Classical times they were used generically for all fighting systems.

Impalement arts

Impalement arts are a type of performing art in which a performer plays the role of human target for a fellow performer who demonstrates accuracy skills in disciplines such as knife throwing and archery. Impalement is actually what the performers endeavor to avoid – the thrower or marksman aims near the target rather than at him or her. The objective is to land the throw or shot as close as possible to the assistant's body without causing injury.

Mambele

A mambele is a form of hybrid knife/axe in central and southern Africa, originating from a curved throwing dagger used by the Mangbetu.

Gil Hibben is an American custom knifemaker from Wyoming who is based in La Grange, Kentucky. Hibben designed the first line of Browning hunting knives in 1968, the American Kenpo Knife for Ed Parker, and the Rambo Knife for the films Rambo III and Rambo. Hibben's "Fantasy Knives" have been used in over 37 films and television shows, particularly science fiction, earning him the title "Klingon Armorer" from the Star Trek franchise. Hibben currently serves as a President of the Knifemakers' Guild, a post he has held for fourteen years.

Italian martial arts is the use of weapons. Each weapon is the product of a specific historical era. The swords used in Italian martial arts range from the gladius of the Roman legionaries to swords which were developed during the renaissance, the baroque era and later. Short blades range from medieval daggers to the liccasapuni Sicilian duelling knife.

STI Knives is a tactical knife company based in Moissac, France. The president and CEO is Jeff Thenier, who designs the tactical products including knives, Impact Tools and other edged weapons. STI Knives are different from other tactical knives because they are modeled after the hand gun, using pistol bayonet type techniques for combat, these tactical folding knives have multiple locking positions making them able to mimic characteristics of various other weapons.

Fighting knife

A fighting knife is a knife with a blade designed to most effectively inflict a lethal injury in a physical confrontation between two or more individuals at very short range. The combat knife and the trench knife are examples of military fighting knives.

Buster Warenski

Buster Warenski was an American custom knifemaker from Kimberly, Nevada who made "Art Knives" utilizing gold and other precious metals. Warenski is best known for making a reproduction of King Tut's dagger with a forged gold blade; over 32 ounces of gold were used in the construction of the dagger, making it one of the most valuable knives made in recent years.

Jack Dagger is a knife throwing and primitive weapons expert. He grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he started practicing knife and axe throwing from a young age.

Native American weaponry Weapons used by Native Americans for hunting and warfare with other Native American tribes

Native American weaponry was used by Native American warriors to hunt and to do battle with other Native American tribes and European colonizers.

Indonesian martial arts

Indonesian martial arts includes a variety of fighting systems native to or developed in the archipelago of Indonesia, both the age-old traditional arts, and the more recently developed hybrid combatives. In the Indonesian language the term bela-diri is used to mean martial art, and in essence the Indonesian fighting arts are meant as one's defence against perceived threat and assault. Other than physical training, they often include spiritual aspects to cultivate inner strength, inner peace and higher psychological ends.