Knife Throwing

Knife Throwing

I have been working on my knife throwing recently. It’s not a mainstream sport perhaps, but it has its own charm. I heard someone the other day describe it as “like darts but more macho”; indeed, but it is more than that. It is technically more difficult to stick the knife in the target than it is to stick the dart in the board, because the knife rotates; so, the skill element is more demanding. Plus, it is more dangerous, potentially lethal. To me it has three characteristics that appeal: aesthetic, athletic, and scientific. The knife flies through the air, spinning beautifully, then it pierces the target with a satisfying thud, as if by magic. Knives are quite beautiful in themselves but their ability to stick in a target when thrown from a distance is a sight to see. The action of throwing a knife so as to achieve this end is athletically demanding and takes a good deal of practice (plus innate talent). There are a lot of clanging misses, rebounding blades, frustrating failures, but when you have the skill down it is like a well-executed tennis stroke. Scientifically, the trajectory of the knife follows strict laws that have to be respected, especially when gauging distance from the target: it rotates at its own pace. The sport is mathematically precise. It isn’t just macho but also artistic, skilled, and scientific. I recommend it.

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6 replies
  1. Giulio Katis
    Giulio Katis says:

    I did devote some time to knife throwing when I was younger. It disabuses you of the idea one could hit a receding target with a spinning blade. There are also a number of no spin styles of throwing (some techniques more advanced than others, and requiring special knives). More enjoyable than axe throwing (though axe throwing can be fun with groups of people).

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  2. Henry Cohen
    Henry Cohen says:

    How is knife throwing “dangerous, potentially lethal”? I assume you mean to the thrower and not to a person who unwittingly enters the room during a throw. For that matter, how is dart throwing dangerous, if less so than knife throwing?

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  3. Colin McGinn
    Colin McGinn says:

    Also, throwing knives left-handed has improved my tennis backhand, given that I now use a two-handed backhand (“transfer of training”–one of the first things I studied as an experimental psychologist).

    Reply

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