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How to Throw a Knife Straight like You Know the Game

how to throw throwing knives
Written by Erik Himmel

Knife throwing may not be a popular sport but it has its hardcore followers and fans. When you want to learn how to throw a knife straight, this means you’re taking your sport seriously and really trying to master the game. We’re here to make you familiar with all the no-spin techniques out there.

Check out these methods one by one and try them today! See which one suits you best!

1. Russian/Fedin
2. Mumyou-Ryu/Bo Shuriken
i. Front Throw
A. Koso no I
Level 1: Manji No Kata
Level 2: Toji no kata
Level 3: Chokushi no kata
Level 4: Koso no I
B. Jikishin
C. Uranami
ii. Side Throw
A. Hon uchi
B. Yoko uchi
C. Gyaku uchi
3. Traditional Japanese
4. Thorn

How to Throw a Knife Straight in Different Ways?

How to Throw a Knife Straight in Different Ways

1. Russian/Fedin

The Russian technique is one of the easiest and well known knife throwing techniques with no spin that evolved from Russian martial arts. This technique works best if you have med-sized knives with lengths from seven to eleven inches. Let’s master this method.

The distinctive characteristics of this throwing style are the slide release and snappy arm motion. Draw the arm back first, and then suddenly pull it forward. The rapid back and forth motions make the Russian style inappropriate for long knives but absolutely perfect for medium length knives.

Russian-Fedin

Russian style knife throwing form

Get a grip on the knife with your drive-finger, and hold it between your thumb and curled fingers. The index finger will rest on the knife spine. The technique requires releasing the wrist early- creating a lengthy spin flight pattern and generating power by the shoulder and arm’s extended wave motion.

An advantage of the Russian technique is it takes way less arm to apply, and you can throw the knife over the shoulder level. For a successful throw, bend down with the knife like you are snapping a bull whip and release it in the correct place. Make sure your forefinger is stiff and shoots along the knife tang when released.

2. Mumyou-Ryu/Bo Shuriken

The Bo Shuriken throwing technique is known for its inflaming practice. With enough hours invested in the practice, you can be the master of no-spin throwing.

In general, the Bo-Shuriken throwing knives are nine to twelve inches long, and they can cover a distance from three to nine meters. Let’s see the things you need to consider checking for a perfect Mumyou-Ryu style knife throw.

It is important that you lock the wrist back at about 45 degrees, position the knife between your fore and index fingers, and support it with the thumb. Hold onto the knife like you are choking it while projecting the point out from the fingers.

Mumyou/Ryu Bo Shuriken

To start the throw, bring your hand straight down at an anticipated speed and control the knife’s trajectory with the fore and index fingers before it leaves your hand. You will almost feel like brushing the back of the knife.

Once you can master the correct technique, the knife will feel like slipping out of the hand and flying straight to the target to stick in. The more you become proficient with the throw the less you will even have to hold the knife- it’s simply a matter of positioning the throwing knife in hand and going through the steps for a smooth slip out.

In the shuriken technique, there are two basic types of throwing styles:

  • To the front
  • To the side

Both types of throws have their own distinctive forms, so let’s go through them one by one.

Front Throw

A. Koso no I

Every throwing technique, including the Koso no I, requires learning a series of steps that jump from basic to advanced. You can learn the Koso no I throw in four levels.

Level 1: Manji No Kata

Level 1 has eight simple movements that form the essence of constant throw which you can’t neglect. At level 1, you learn throwing without a knife to avoid the temptation of scoring a hit and keep concentration on learning the form.

For preparation, stand naturally with the heels slightly kept apart and the feet wide open at 60 degree angle. Keep the arms hanging down by the sides, and your face directly towards the target. Look at the target like you are striking a direct line from your abdomen to it. You will feel the target is giving you a response and giving information about the correct line.

Manji No Kata

Swivel the feet inward like they are pointing forward and straighten your arms. Hold your fingers together and keep the palms flat to the sides. Then, raise both of your arms at a time, swing them forward and up so they can directly meet palm to palm in front of your chest. Make sure the hands are postured horizontally to the surface like you are diving through the water.

Manji No Kata

Next, slide your left foot forward along the striking line while turning the right foot at about 60 degree outward angle until you find yourself standing in a comfortable stance. While sliding forward, keep opening the arms horizontally backward until they are 180 degrees apart from your left to right sides.

Manji No Kata

Turn your hip 90 degrees to the right while keeping the focus on the target. Your left hand is still pointing to the target and your right hand reaching backward. Both hands have the palms facing to your right side. Now bend your right-hand elbow to raise the hand and bring it up right behind your right ear. Keep the hand and wrist straight and keep the whole body still.

Manji No Kata

Manji No Kata

Next, turn your hips and face forward, incline on your left knee, and throw down your right hand downward-forward like throwing a knife directly towards the target. In the meantime, your left hand drops to the side and hangs in a natural position.

Your right hand then goes down next to your left knee- take it back upward to your forehead and keep its fingers pointing upward. Let your thumb rest on the hairline as you are feeling the result of the throw.

Manji No Kata

You can now step back, drop your right hand to the natural position, and stay posed looking at the prey.

Manji No Kata

Level 2: Toji no kata

The second level brings in a concise number of steps to the Manji No Kata form. Some major differences between them are the subtraction of the manji shape, the arm raising from the side of the right ear to it behind, and the right foot doesn’t require you to step forward for the throw.

Toji no kata

Toji no kata form

Level 3: Chokushi no kata

The third level shortens the form even further by subtracting the need to hold the right arm by side. This way, your arm does a round movement to travel back the rear and raises position behind your ear.

Chokushi no kata

Chokushi no kata

Level 4: Koso no I

The final form is the actual core of the front throw movement. Your shape of throwing the knife becomes more natural and smoother with years of training. The throw is immediately available with this posture and you don’t have to adjust the right arm before cutting it down. The supremacy of this form is you can simply focus on the target and strike a throw without a miss.

Koso no I

Koso no I

B. Jikishin

If you find the Koso no I method somewhat complex, try the Jikishin. It’s just a simplified form of the Koso no I method with significant speed and an element of surprise. It works in short distances and applies a different method of holding the knife.

Following the Jikishin method is helpful for a quick draw. The simple yet natural grip lets your right hand reach and take the knife in a fast single move and throw it as quick as raising the arm. The drawback of the grip is it doesn’t allow you to throw a long distance.

The Jikishin technique keeps your hand relaxed like holding a small egg, yet you can throw the knife like swinging a sword.

Jikishin

Jikishin throw form

C. Uranami

Uranami is the most difficult front throw technique among the three we are discussing here.  The way it works has a resemblance to softball pitch where you swing the arm at the right side from the natural to the downward pointing position and then forward it towards the target at a horizontal angle.

The Uranami technique is an “underhand” variation of the Jikishin throw and it takes advantage of a right forward step when you throw the knife. Just like the Jikishin throw, this technique is also fast and has an element of surprise.

Uranami

Uranami throw form

Side Throw

Side throw can be done in three different forms, both from a standing and sitting position:

A. Hon uchi for the basic over the arm throw

B. Yoko uchi for side way throw, and

C. Gyaku uchi for under the arm throw

Side Throw

1. Hon uchi, 2. Yoko uchi, and 3. Gyaku uchi throw forms

Hon uchi is the most basic throwing technique to learn and practice. Yoko uchi has more difficulty but Gyaku uchi is the toughest of them all. It’s best to learn the latter two only if you have mastered the Hon uchi technique.

A. Hon uchi

Learning the hon uchi throw requires practice at different levels. The final form consists of all the core elements that you learn from different levels of over-arm throws, and it involves two main movements: raise and throw.

Hon uchi

Hon uchi throw form

B. Yoko uchi

Yoko uchi produces more power and is quicker compared to the hon uchi throwing technique. The main lesson here is to change the hand movement for a fast, powerful sideway throw- both from the left and right hand.

Yoko uchi and gyaku uchi throwing techniques mostly consist of different extensions and variations of the first form, so you need to master the hon uchi throwing technique at first. This makes attaining the second and third forms easier though they are harder to learn.

Yoko uchi

Yoko uchi throw form

The illustration shows how you should take steps when passing the knife from one hand to the other, and then throw it from a static posture. With the advanced form, you can do the stepping and throwing in a single movement.

C. Gyaku uchi

Because the throwing action produces from the shoulder, gyaku uchi is far more difficult than the other two forms. You raise the arm with the palm facing downward until your hand points towards the prey. Stop your hand at this moment, and let the knife depart from your hand.

This throwing technique is different from uranami in the sense that you have to raise the hand from the front of your body with your palm facing down. Whereas, in uranami, the hand comes from the side with the palm facing to the left.

Gyaku uchi

Gyaku uchi throw form

3. Traditional Japanese

The traditional Japanese knife throwing evolved from the Japanese martial arts that is being promoted by two prominent Japanese figures – Katori Shinto Ryu and Meifu Shinkage Ryu.

With a long standing Japanese history, this technique works best with smaller knives and is known to be a more precise technique. To effect this throw, follow these steps

Traditional Japanese

Keep Your ARM in a Downward Motion

This placement of your hands is what helps you hold the knife firmly.  This is very important considering the size of the knife.

Follow up and AIM the Throw Directly at Target

As you let go of the knife and set it on motion, make sure your eyes are steady fixed on the target.

4. Thorn

You need to consider a lot of elements for a successful thorn style knife throwing. For instance, your gripping form depends on what you plan to do with the knife. Gripping with the index finger gives you more versatility, whereas gripping with the middle finger is helpful for long-range throws with more power.

Another thing for consideration is the wrist action. It consists of a flipping or slapping action and affects the throw’s accuracy. You have to tilt it back and then move it forward to accomplish the correct thorn method.

Third, use the gripping finger to lightly stroke the knife handle when you release it. This is important to ensure a straight flight pattern for the knife. When the knife handle slides along with your extended finger, it can prevent the knife from spinning. You may still expect some level of rotation on the throws, especially when they’re longer. But you can keep the spin to a minimum once you master the technique.

Timing is the final element for consideration in the thorn method. Release the knife too early and it will hit the target pointing its nose up. Release it too late and the knife will keep the nose down when touching the target point.

Once you understand all the necessary elements, you should go through these four steps for a successful thorn style knife throwing:

Step 1

First, hold the knife firmly. You should grab it high up on the handle and use either the thumb grip or an improvised hammer grip for better stability. You have to use your whole arm for the throw, so make sure you have a solid grip on the knife to control its path.

Step 2

Maintain a relaxed shoulder. A windmill like motion is crucial for your arm to secure the perfect throwing in the thorn form. Too much tension can cause strain on your tendons and ligaments, so shake out the arm and loosen up your body before you start. You can end up with injury with a careless session.

Step 3

Draw the arm back beside your head and bend the throwing arm a bit to secure it into place. Form a 35 to 40 angle with your upper arm and elbow and raise your arm till it reaches above and a little behind your head. The key to the thorn technique is to use your whole arm rather than the pushing power of your forearm.

Step 4

Use your entire arm to throw the knife towards the target. Drop the arm rapidly in a circular arc without bending the elbow and release the knife just before the hand aligns with the target. Propel your index finger forward through the release phrase and conclude the throw so that the knife doesn’t spin. With the correct execution, the knife should reach the target smoothly through a direct line.

Hold the Knife by the Handle Firmly

There are two grip types available here and they are the thumb or modified hammer grip. Both ensure that you have a firm grip of the knife, but it shouldn’t be so tight.

Use Your Arm

As you advance to throw, a circular arm will be created that requires your arm to be dropped in. Make sure your arm doesn’t fall off before you release the knife for its flight. Make sure you throw the knife with your eyes fixed on the target.

Understanding the Basics

1. What’s No-Spin Throwing Knife All About?

The idea behind how to throw a throwing knife without spin is very simple. It aims at ensuring that you are able to throw a knife at a target object or person without necessarily having the knife go through a complete spin.

While this process of knife throwing is called different names by different people, the idea is that no spin is required. Because the knife doesn’t go through a complete spin, it is likely to hit the target more.

2. Understanding the Science Behind No-Spin Knife-Throwing

If you have been wondering how to throw a knife without spin, let us quickly run through the physics behind throwing a knife without spin.

When you throw the knife, it gains momentum in the air making a radical shift. From a close study of its flight, you will discover that it spins but not so much to be noticeable. So when the throw is referred to as a no spin throw, it simply means there is an incomplete spin and not totally the absence of a spin. The incompleteness of the spin is what makes it higher to hit the archery target.

3. How Long Should the Knife Be?

The material that makes a special throwing knife is as significant as the size and balance of it. The size of the knife affects the throw and this depends on how well you have mastered throwing a knife without spinning. While a beginner can make use of smaller knives to enhance precision, a professional might have a better understanding of how it works. However, make sure the knife to be used is of an average and moderate size.

4. How Should the Balance of the Knife Be?

The knife should be well-balanced. It is always very difficult for you to hit the target with ease when you make use of a knife that is not balanced. A balanced knife is one that has its handle as light as the blade. The handle or grip should not be excessively heavy else your throw might not be as perfect as desired.

How to Throw a Throwing Knife Without Spin? One Real Method!

Explaining how to throw a knife without spin in one real method is not an easy conclusion to make. However, I would share how I go about mine so as to set a good pace for you to learn.

When throwing, I hold my index finger and thumb and have my forefinger laid flat. The remaining fingers are wrapped across the handle very tight, this way, the knife doesn’t fall off. A throw is effected from the shoulder and not the elbow as is the usual case. Here, it is important that the knife is in a straight line with your hand and pointed to the target. Make sure as you throw the knife, you follow it through till it hits the target…

Ensuring Own Safety

A knife is a sharp object that can hurt you when it comes in contact with your body or any part of it. So when throwing a knife at a target, it is very important that you stick to some safety precautions, some of which includes

  • Make sure you understand what is required of any throwing technique before you engage it. When engaging it, make sure to follow every of its instructions to the letter.
  • Keep the environment cleared off anything that can affect your throw or can be affected by it. Take away people most especially children and items away to safety.
  • Wear safety gear like goggles that will shield your eyes. Also, you may keep an essential first-aid box near you because you don’t want to let yourself bleed in the event you cut yourself accidentally.

Knowing how to throw a knife straight is a very impressive ability that has to be developed. When you know how to throw a knife straight making use of the different techniques, you will no doubt become a better knife thrower.

To keep getting better, make sure you’ve read all the instructions provided here. With the right knowledge about throwing knives straight, you can boast about your skill anywhere any time! Don’t forget to keep your knives super sharp with the best knife sharpeners for better performance.

About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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