NO SPIN Knife Throwing Tutorial (For Beginners/Advanced) By World Champion Adam Celadin
How to Throw a Knife Without It Spinning
Knife throwing is a timeless skill handed down through the generations that requires extraordinary focus, dexterity and precision. Most knife throwing techniques are recognizable by the mathematical calculation of the thrower and the signature whirl of the blade as it spins through the air. However, it’s also possible to hit a target accurately from almost any range without prior planning or a meticulous setup. This is accomplished through no-spin techniques, where the blade travels from the thrower’s hand to the target with little or no rotation. Throwing a knife with no spin only requires minor adjustments from standard knife throwing techniques, and can often be learned in just a few days.
Using the Mumyou-Ryu Technique
Take the proper grip.Sticking a knife with no rotation is made possible by modifying the standard throwing grip. Wrap your hand loosely around the handle of the knife. Pinch the handle between your thumb and the length of your middle finger. Place your index finger flat against the spine of the blade at the knife’s center of balance. This is known as the “thumb grip,” or sometimes the “drive-finger grip,” as you’ll be using your thumb to guide the movement of the knife and your index finger to drive it forward as you release.
- The thumb grip is used to neutralize the rotation of the blade after it leaves the hand.
- Every knife will have a slightly different center of balance. Locate the knife’s center of balance by laying it across one outstretched finger and adjusting it until it balances on its own. This is the section of the knife on which you should place the point of your finger.
Line the knife up with the target.Hold your arm straight out in front of you with the tip of the blade trained on your target. Eyeball the exact spot you’re aiming for. Pay close attention to the angle and position of your arm. This is where your arm will need to be at the moment you release the knife.
- Pointing the knife in the direction of the target before you throw can help muscle memory take over, giving you a sense of exactly where your arm should be when you release.
- For better accuracy, make a quick initial lineup part of your throwing ritual.
Raise the knife up beside your head.Keeping your shoulder fixed and your upper arm parallel with the ground, draw the knife back until it’s level with your head. Your elbow should be bent about 90 degrees, with the blade of the knife pointing straight up. Square your stance and take a small step forward with your opposite foot.
- To get an idea of what position your shoulder and forearm need to be in, hold up your throwing arm as though you were making the “goal” gesture used by fans of American football.
- The Mumyou-Ryu technique was derived from a technique used by ancient Japanese warriors to throw circular projectiles (shuriken, or “throwing stars”) without rotation. It was adapted for use with straight, modern knives and spikes.
Release the knife in a smooth slinging motion.Lean over your front foot as you prepare to throw. Let go of the knife while your throwing arm is at roughly a 45 degree angle—this will help compensate for gravity and create the relaxed arc that the knife will trace in the air. At the moment of release, lightly “brush” the length of the spine with your pointer finger. Straighten your arm so that you complete the throw pointing at your target. With any luck, you’ll hear the thump of a successful stick.
- Bring your forearm and knife hand down in a circular path, in one quick movement.
- Your forearm should stay straight up and down throughout the windup and release.
Using the Russian Technique
Hold the knife with the thumb grip.Assume the thumb grip. This will be the most efficient way of minimizing the knife’s rotation in flight. Press the handle of the knife snugly between your thumb and middle finger, but don’t squeeze too tight. During the throw, your wrist and forearm should move as one.
- With the thumb grip, the blade must be flung with the arm and shoulder using a pushing motion, rather than the snap of the wrist which usually causes the knife to spin.
Raise the knife up and out to the side of your body.Extend your throwing arm with the knife held upright just above and behind your head. The blade should be almost vertical, hovering out at a shallow angle. When using the Russian technique, the knife should point slightly out to your dominant side before it is thrown. Bend your elbow a little so that the blade of the knife is nearly parallel to the ground. Stay loose and ready to time your throw.
- Holding the knife out further from your body creates additional torque, allowing you to throw the knife with more force.
- The Russian technique requires a little more room to move, so be aware of your surroundings before you start waving the knife around.
Rotate your hips and shoulders.Initiate the throwing motion by winding up with your upper body. Turn your hips and shoulders a few inches away from the target in the same direction of your knife hand (right-handed knife throwers will turn clockwise, left-handed throwers should turn counterclockwise). The Russian no-spin throwing technique relies on lateral motion to generate force, which means you’ll be focusing on the movement of your midsection rather than just your arm.
- Don’t let your knees or feet turn as you twist your upper body. This will throw off your base, as you’ll no longer be facing the target.
Use a whip-like motion to throw the knife.Once you’ve drawn back all the way, reverse the motion suddenly. Rotate your hips and shoulders in the opposite direction. At the same time, sling your arm out at an angle, releasing the knife just before your throwing hand lines up with the target. Follow through with the throw the way you would if you were cracking a whip, keeping your arm extended until the blade makes contact.
- The trickiest part of the Russian technique is timing your release correctly. It’s more difficult to gauge where the knife will end up as you’re throwing from the side and not centering the blade’s path with your line of sight like with vertical throws.
- Despite the somewhat complicated mechanics, the Russian method of no-spin throwing is thought to be more consistently accurate than other techniques.
Using the Thorn Technique
Take hold of the knife.Grab the knife high up on the handle. For the Thorn technique, you can use either a thumb grip or a modified hammer grip for increased stability. Since you’ll be using your entire arm to throw, so you should make sure that you have a secure grasp in order to control the path of the blade.
- The Thorn method of no-spin throwing was invented by and named after knife throwing instructor Ralph Thorn.
- To modify a hammer grip for no-spin throwing, wrap your whole fist around the handle of the knife, the way you would a hammer. Then, uncurl your pointer finger and rest it along the spine of the blade.
- Whether you choose a thumb grip or a modified hammer grip, your grasp should be firm but not too strong. The tighter you hold on, the more difficult and unreliable your release will be.
Keep your shoulder relaxed.The key to the Thorn technique is the windmill-like motion of the arm. This can put a lot of strain on the tendons and ligaments of the rotator cuff if you’re maintaining a lot of tension. Shake out your arm and loosen up a bit before you start throwing. If you’re not careful, you may be setting yourself up for injury.
- Warm up before your knife throwing sessions with some basic mobility exercises and a little light stretching.
- If the Thorn method causes pain in any part of your shoulder or arm, stop and switch to a less strenuous technique.
Pull your arm back beside your head.Bend your throwing arm slightly and lock it into place. Your upper arm and elbow should only form about a 35 or 40 degree angle. Raise your arm until it’s above and slightly behind your head. With the Thorn technique, you’ll use your entire arm to throw, not just the momentum of the forearm.
- Stand up straight and fully extend your back as you start the windup.
Throw the knife using your entire arm.To perform the throw, drop your arm fast in a circular arc, not letting the elbow bend. Release the knife right before your hand falls level with the target. Thrust your index finger forward during the release and follow through to prevent the knife from spinning. When executed correctly, the knife should sail in a smooth, direct line toward the target.
- It may be helpful to practice the Thorn technique in two separate phases: the wide, looping motion of the arm and the timing of the release.
- Most no-spin techniques, like the Thorn method, are a combination of a traditional knife throwing motion and the heaving action used to throw spears.
QuestionWhat about throwing a kukri?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFor larger blades like the kukri, a technique that uses the whole arm and a lot of leverage from the body will work best. Give the Thorn method a shot, or try modifying the Russian technique to account for the increase weight of a long blade.Thanks!
QuestionCan I do it while holding the blade?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you were holding the blade using a no spin technique, you would just be throwing the handle directly at your target. if you're holding the blade then you should be throwing at a half-spin or greater.Thanks!
QuestionWhat about a knife with a cross guard that prevents you from putting a finger on the spine of the blade?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to put your finger on the handle instead.Thanks!
QuestionWithin how many feet or yards would this be accurate?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt would be accurate for as many yards as you could throw throw the knife, which would depend on the weight of the blade. This is because the no-spin technique causes the knife to always stick, as long as it is thrown in the right direction.Thanks!
QuestionWill this work with kunai?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, as long as you can stop the shape of the handle affecting the spin of the knife as it leaves your hand.Thanks!
QuestionWould this be easier for a newer person to learn instead of a method where spinning is implemented?JlegobotCommunity AnswerIt really depends on the person. If they rely on confidence, they should use straight-type throws. If they like mathematics, then spinning throws are better.Thanks!
Can you throw a knife on horseback?
Do you have to throw a specific kind of knife for that to work?
- Despite the name, the knife does rotate a small amount in no-spin throwing techniques. The basic idea is to use the pointer finger to slow the spin enough to consistently stick the knife blade-first from a distance.
- Practice no-spin throwing every day to develop muscle memory. You’ll be placing shots like a pro in no time.
- Trees and other broad, flat wooden surfaces make the best targets.
- Keep your knives sharp and well-maintained to ensure that they’ll penetrate the target. Sometimes, the difference between a stick and a miss isn’t your accuracy but the condition of the blade.
- Carry multiple knives so that you don’t have to constantly go back and forth retrieving your knives from the target. Look for knives that are specially designed and balanced for throwing.
- Always carry throwing knives with the blade pointed toward the ground. Don’t grip or point the blade at yourself. Hand knives to others handle-first.
- Never aim a throw at another person.
- Check to see whether throwing knives are legal where you live before practicing with them.
- Practice at a safe distance from your home, vehicle, pets or destructible objects.
- Let the people around you know about the activity you’re involved in so they don’t come too close.
Sources and Citations
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