Knife Throwing Techniques 1 – Spin Vs No Spin

There are many techniques practiced in the sport of knife throwing. If done correctly, the sport of throwing knives can generate hours of enjoyment for you and others. How do you throw with spin? How do you throw without spin? Let’s take a look.

HOW TO THROW WITH SPIN

Mike "Alamo" Bainton throws a Bill Page bowie with 1, 2, and 3 spins. (click to watch video)
17-time world champion knife thrower Mike “Alamo” Bainton throws a Bill Page bowie with 1, 2, and 3 full spins. (click to watch video)

The key to throwing with spin is consistency.  Here are some steps:

  1. Grip the knife from the blade or the handle, using either a pinch grip (thumb and index finger) or hammer grip (just like gripping a hammer or shaking someone’s hand).  If your knife is sharp, don’t use a hammer grip on the blade though.  Most throwing knives will be dull, so it’s not usually an issue, but there are plenty of guys who throw sharpened knives with spin (like this guy HERE, throwing bowie knives from approx. 7, 14, and 21 feet).
  2. Extend your throwing arm straight out in front of you, pointing your knife right at your target.
  3. Keeping your elbow pointed at the target, bend your arm at a 90 degree angle and bring the knife back beside and behind your head.
  4. Make sure to keep your shoulders square and then swing your arm down and release the knife when your arm is pointed and extended directly at the target.
  5. Make sure to keep your wrist completely stiff in order to ensure the proper rotation. If you desire to throw with a full-spin, stand at least twelve feet away from your target.

Approximate distances for half and full spin throws…

  • 1/2 spin…6-7 feet
  • full spin…11-12 feet

Also, check out this other post for a more detailed discussion of all the variables that come into play in rotational/spin knife throwing:  How To Stick Your Throwing Knife Every Time

HOW TO THROW WITHOUT SPIN

There is also the no-spin method (or several methods, actually) preferred by many people including throwing expert Ralph Thorn. In this YouTube video HERE, he demonstrates his method, step-by-step:

  1. Place your middle finger or your index finger on the spine (back/unsharpened edge) of the knife with your thumb resting on the flat side of the handle.
  2. Make sure that you have a relaxed grip.
  3. Bring up your hand straight – elbow once again at a 90 degree angle — and then draw your hand back. Release the weapon in a slinging motion by snapping your wrist straight out at your target.

SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR NO SPIN KNIFE THROWING

According to Thorn, there are a lot of elements that need to be considered in order to successfully throw your weapon in the no-spin style. He notes such things as grip, wrist action, finger action and timing.

First of all, the style of grip depends on what you desire to do. An index finger grip is more versatile, whereas a middle finger grip is more powerful for long range throws.

Secondly, the wrist action will affect the accuracy of your throw. The proper wrist action consists of a slapping, or flipping action, and as Thorn demonstrates should be in a motion where it is cocked back, then brought forward

Third, Thorn suggests an action where the finger used for gripping “lightly strokes” the handle upon release. This ensures a straightened flight path for the weapon. So basically, the knife handle gently slides along the extended finger during the release.  Allowing the finger to drag along the knife during the release is crucial – it’s what keeps the knife from spinning.  Of course, there may still be some rotation, especially on longer throws, but proper technique will keep this to a minimum.

Finally, timing should be considered because it will affect how the knife hits the target. For example, if the knife is released too early, it will hit the target with the point up. If released too late, the knife will hit the target with the point down.

There are some guys on YouTube that are excellent at no spin knife and shuriken throwing.  Here are links to some of them:

redlinebo

knifethrower72194

knifeshuriken

CONCLUSION

Remember that spin vs. no spin is a matter of personal preference for the hobbyist. What about a real-life tactical situation?  I wouldn’t recommend throwing your only knife at an attacker if you can help it, but if you do choose to throw, you’ll probably find a no-spin technique to be more practical.  With spin-throwing, everything has to be so precise.  But no-spin techniques allow for more flexibility.

But that’s all hypothetical, right?  We’re not out there actually throwing knives at people, right?  Right?  [Insert boring legal disclaimer]

Right.

For most, if not all, of us, the main goal is simply to have fun!

 

Further Reading…