View Full Version : Throwing knives

October 26, 1998, 12:06 AM
This is something I have always wondered.

Does anyone actually use throwing knives in combat? Or self defence? I mean...I know there are some guys out there who are really good at propelling a sharp piece of steel into the air and having it land with the pointy side first...but is it just something neat and fun? Or is it really a tactic used?

October 26, 1998, 09:52 AM

"JUST SAY NO" to throwing your knife.

Harry Humphries
October 26, 1998, 11:37 AM
Why would you want to through your last weapon away?

There has been a lot of fiction puplished on this. The operative word is "fiction"


October 26, 1998, 04:06 PM

This is not quite the reasoning you wanted to hear, but I'm sure you agree with the logic:

I know one fellow who, while exiting the subway but still underground, was approached by two subjects. One asked him for the time. He responded that he did not have a watch. Another asked for spare change and was told that there was none. The two stood there at which point the fellow asked, "Do either of you guys have a gun?" "No." "Anybody have a knife?" "No." The fellow pulled out a folding knife and threw it on the ground in front of the subjects. "Pick it up," he offered to the two. They looked at the knife and at each other and walked away.

Pays to bring your gun to a knife fight, doesn't it?

October 26, 1998, 05:27 PM
You know... I like that little story...

Thats good.

October 26, 1998, 06:38 PM
ok, so combat rules on throwing knives is only throw your knife whne prepared to back it up with gunfire? http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

October 27, 1998, 12:03 AM
Uh-oh. Spectre is about to fly in the face of tactical truth.

We (in the Bujinkan) tend to like to keep our weapons, especially if we might need them. Few people can throw a knife hard/well enough to disable immediately (yes, I do know several who can). HOWEVER, there *might* be some occasion where being able to throw a pointy object well may save your life. I would suggest throwing your knife at least occasionally as a matter of course. I would also advise being able to throw large nails at close range, or similar spike projectiles. The idea is to be able to use whatever is at hand.
In summary: if you only had a few minutes a day to train, would I advise using it to practice knife throwing? No. Is this a skill worth having? I believe it is.

October 27, 1998, 10:20 AM
Ah... I think I will practice 4V50's method.
I'm good - but I'm no a NINJA!
If I am going to throw some thing other than jacketed lead... It will either be O.C. or a grenade! http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/smile.gif

Spectre - let me clarify myself... I agree with you... a warrior should be a well rounded person - knowledge of ALL types of weapons... Samuri trained in everything. Including painting, poetry, and pottery. Believing that the whole person is more important than focusing on ONE ASPECT. Like a fighter pilot that only turned left - he would not last very long, dispite how good he was at left turns.

[This message has been edited by Kodiac (edited 10-27-98).]

Nestor Rivera
October 29, 1998, 02:13 PM
Fist I am not an expert nor even a serious pupil of the knife, but if one was forced to carry a thrown object for defence, one might get a nice set of darts wiht LONG steel tips. My reasoning is as follows 1 you can carry them very easly 2 if stoped by a LEO you can honestly say you are going to go and play
[which at this point YOU ARE http://www.thefiringline.com/ubb/wink.gif ] 3 as ineffective as they are probably you opponet will either duck,dodge or be stuck and any way you look at it you get to disengage by distance (run)

Rob Pincus
October 29, 1998, 02:55 PM
Should anyone choose to take up kniofe throwing, might I recommend the Black Jack mini broadhead or the 8" throwing knives from Colt. I love to throw, but I don't consider it a tactical excercise.

I tried to make myself like the Gil Hibben knives, but never could honestly....

October 29, 1998, 04:42 PM
Throwing a knife for self defense is a myth except for one possible exception. You lose the knife, you could never be sure that it will stick. Moreover, if you are far enough away from the BG to throw, you are far enough to run. The exception - you could throw the knife as a last resort to get the assailant off rhythm because he will try to dodge the knife or react to it somehow. I think that's what throwing stars were really meant for anyway. I'm no martial arts historian so my opinion could be wrong. If you do throw be sure you have a backup that's better than what you threw. Besides, if you are justified in drawing a knife, why didn't you draw a gun? Oops, I just remembered that some places still don't allow gun carry. Move to a free state, my friend. Then carry the most powerful gun you can conceal.

October 29, 1998, 05:22 PM
I believe using what is at hand is key to a good survival strategy (how can you use what you don't have?). Toward that end, (knowing that throwing a knife is less effective generally than keeping it in hand, and also knowing that throwing knives are probably even less explainable in virtually all situations) it makes sense to practice throwing your combat blade, at least occasionally.
As far as the use of shuriken/shaken: these objects were often thrown to distract or slow down an opponent. For most modern combat applications, an autoloading handgun works nicely. (but, I do train with shuriken occasionally)
Learn to use what you are likely to have. Chunks of firewood, golf- to softball-sized rocks, sand, gravel, saucers, FOUNTAIN PENS, keychain knives, change...the things likely to be close enough and usable when the chips are down are limited solely by one's skill and imagination.

[This message has been edited by Spectre (edited 10-30-98).]

October 29, 1998, 08:39 PM
Nestor Rivera: I like your idea, its creative...but one thing I hav to say about that is that when I was a ski tech, me and the other shop tech would actually relax BY throwing darts at each other. We were quite good at catching them...even when thrown quite hard. We enjoyed it for a long time until the shop's drive came in one day and wanted to try...dart stuck strait into his leg and the boss made us stop.

Spectre: I agree with you, it is a good thing to be ready and able to use anythign within reach. Good point.

September 10, 2002, 06:13 PM
i guess if i practiced enough with it, i'll use throwing knives. i just don't want them thrown back at me.

September 11, 2002, 03:09 PM
So, they cannot be carried or used for defense ( or offense, or anything other than show or whatever it is you're supposed to do with an illegal weapon. )

So, I can get a license to carry a firearm, but a sharpened bit of steel that is much less likely to be a threat, is not available to me, legally.

With that being said, I've tried throwing knives, and based on the number of times it stuck on the target vs the number of times it flew back at me after making a loud noise, I think I'll hold onto them in the future.


September 11, 2002, 03:32 PM
I'm ok at throwing knives and other objects and know a couple of people who WAY outclass me but I really don't know of anyone who could successfully and consistently use a thrown weapon to cause incapacitating damage to someone else. It's neat for fiction purposes and I actually think that there are documented cases of a thrown knife killing someone in modern (WWII era, anyway) times but is it a useful skill? No. The time spent getting good with a thrown knife would be far better spent getting better with a handgun.

September 11, 2002, 07:02 PM
your interest should be in 'throwing lead'. Thats what guns do.

September 13, 2002, 07:26 AM
with both throwing knives and shuriken (throwing stars)....Found that without a HUGE amount of practice can't get knife to "stick" other than occasionally...OTOH shuriken almost always stick...However, chances of doing serious damage with either pretty much slim to none...At best, I would use as a "distraction" while I closed with attacker(s) so I could use fighting knife, or bare hands (I don't carry a gun)....My .02

Christopher II
September 13, 2002, 09:36 AM
Throwing knives are fun.
That's all they are.

- Chris

September 13, 2002, 11:20 PM
Even if you succeed...which is highly doubtful...how are you going to explain that to a judge. They'll think you're a sick, sick man. Courts hate anything with knives, I can just imagine what they would say if you send someone to the hospital with a puncture wound from a thrown knife.

September 14, 2002, 05:29 PM
If you can find Harry McElvoy's biography of Skeeter Vaughn, ol' Skeerter tagged a German or two with thrown knives during WWII.

Learn to throw knives if you want to, it's a good skill. However, save it for hunting, or as a OhMyGawdBecky last resort/extra knife/nothing to lose kind of thing.


September 14, 2002, 06:13 PM
Until your down to your last knife, you've got nothing to loose. :cool:

Don Gwinn
September 15, 2002, 12:17 PM
Supposedly Mr. Vaugn took out a German sentry at 25 yards with a thrown knife, but he never got a chance to pace the distance.

Of course, the caveat here is that Skeeter Vaughn made his living throwing knives in exhibitions for years and he was VERY good at it. Also, the sentry was stationary and he had a chance to estimate distance, set himself, and throw.

All that said, there IS a record of a thrown knife solving a combat problem. :D

September 15, 2002, 01:20 PM
Don....A couple of tuesdays ago in class 9outside of course), Conrad was sticking the target with some consistency from almost 50 feet out. Naturally, he is only throwing as another discipline, he would never seriously consider throwing a knife at anyone (and with him probably never at any living thing...*g*)......he is interested in throwing competitions though...but he's got a lot of work to do yet.

Don Gwinn
September 15, 2002, 04:39 PM
Class. . . . that sounds like fun. I'd like to try one of them there classes one of these days. ;) I hope to get there Tuesday night, but the only other night I'll have open from work is Friday, and we're getting a visit from a state agency that night. Just paperwork, but I have to be there. The world revolves around paperwork.

September 17, 2002, 12:19 PM
Never did like leaving ordinance behhind so that it could be used against me.
Could never get that point to end up point first every time. Have to work in close if I have any knife work to do.

Good luck with finding the right knives.

December 10, 2002, 06:14 PM
If you plan to use throwing knives , first find a good one that goes with your (lack of) throwing style. Next there are 2 ways to throw , first the usual circus style throw in witch the knife rotates while flying toward the target. The other way is with the palm grip of spearhead throw , that causes the knife not to spin while flying. The circus style throw is useless in any combat situation , except when you're really good.

December 10, 2002, 08:50 PM
the palm grip of spearhead throw , that causes the knife not to spin while flying. More info please.

December 11, 2002, 12:54 AM
If you want something that should be reasonably effective, the old throwing axes had a reputation for working well. However, if it doesn't work, you've just given the other guy a good contact weapon!

Keep the knife in your hand.

Better yet, see the perp ahead of time and avoid him.

December 11, 2002, 06:13 AM
More info please.

go to:

December 13, 2002, 04:12 PM
Cold Steel Torpedo is the only 'toy' that I think most people can learn to use quickly. However, it is just a toy.

Only knife throwing I've seen that looks good is in FMA when a knife is thrown to finish off someone, -typically someone who is already incapacitated or somehow tangled-up. It is not a first move, AND you always maintain your primary weapon -such as a sword.

December 18, 2002, 01:36 PM
So, I can get a license to carry a firearm, but a sharpened bit of steel that is much less likely to be a threat, is not available to me, legally.

Knife laws are often more convoluted, arbitrary, and just plain stupid than gun laws.

May 20, 2004, 06:24 PM
It depends. If you are really, really, really good, purpose-designed throwing knives can be more effective than handguns because you have complete control of the knife's trajectory up until the exact moment of release and can make it curve to hit a moving target, wheras with a handgun you are committed to a straight-line aim a few milliseconds before the shot actually goes off.

On the other hand, very few people are this good with throwing knives.

May 23, 2004, 12:48 PM
I know two people- of hundreds I've seen train with knives- who may be this good.

Both of them would prefer a firearm, any firearm, to defend themselves.

If one has this much motor control, one can simply plot the target's track. Even easier with a firearm.