Throwing Edged Weapons
Thomas E. Vachberin

In the type of anti-freedom world we live in today it would be wise to perfect your aim at close and long ranges with a variety of arms. Guns are not the only weapons you should be skilled in using and have on hand. Though I may go over them or other such requested weaponry in future articles. You don't always have time to reload your gun, and this can pose to be quite a problem. So, why not take up various other arts such as knife or axe throwing. There are numerous age-old weapons such as bows, blowguns, and Chinese throwing stars that can really help you when you're either out of ammo, or just don't have enough time to reload.

Axe throwing
Lets start out with axe throwing. This is a relatively easy skill to acquire the basics of. Mainly because the Weight of the blade does nearly everything for you. Don't be afraid to put a little muscle into it. You should use from a 12" to a 14" throwing axe (32-37cm). The taller you are the longer of an axe you should use, so if you're a shorter person use a 12 inch axe if you're a tall person use a 14 inch axe. You choose whatever length fits you best. You may use pretty much any type of axe as long as it's sharp enough to do the job. Though it would be much easier to use one made for throwing. If you don't feel like going out and buying a throwing axe it's not hard to compensate. The best way would be to use a simple wooden axe and wrap duct tape all the way up and down the handle for grip. Duct tape is better than the plastic grips some axes come with because it allows for a better release when throwing.

So all and all when it comes to picking a throwing axe you should if you can buy one made for throwing. If you can't get an axe made for throwing I would go for a plain wooden one with a duct tape grip. If neither of those is possible you can still use a plastic gripped axe but that's the last option you should consider.

When it comes to choosing the weight of an axe you should keep in mind a few things. The lighter the axe the less power you will have to put into throwing it. Also with a lighter axe it is easier for you to keep your wrist straight when throwing. The down side to lighter axes is the force your throw delivers won't be as great as with a heavier axe. With either a heavy or a light axe how you aim shouldn't change. Gravity has an equal effect on the fall of all objects. The only exception to this is if the weight of an object is spread out over enough of a surface for the opposite force of the air under it to slow down the fall, but this does not effect the axe.

The best metal for the head of a throwing axe is going to be low chromium content steel. This will allow the axe head to keep its edge better. You don't want the Chromium content too low though because this will take away from the steel's ability to take blows without shattering. For axe throwing I recommend minimum stainless steel which has 12% chromium. This allows the steel to hold an edge well enough and will resist stains as well as give it the ability to handle blows. Though if you don't want to get into all this, whatever the axe comes with should work well enough.

    1. Hold the axe firmly in your hand with a fist-like grip with your thumb at the top on your grip on the very end of the handle with the head up and pointing where you're aiming (It isn't gonna stick if you throw the blunt end at the target.) To be most effective when aiming you should always use the center of the axe's head to aim at the center of your target. There will always be some arc of the axe due to gravity, to deal with this I recommend that you always aim at the very top of the bulls eye when you're no more than 10 feet away. As you move back from 10-15 feet you should try aiming maybe an inch and a half above the top of the target. Then from 15-20 feet aim 3inches above and adjust this to suit you. The more power you put into throwing the axe the faster it will go and the less of effect gravity will have on it.

    2. Your stance is very important without it I don't care how well you got the rest of the technique down, you wont be very accurate or consistent. First you should keep your feet about shoulder length apart so that you're well balanced. Now bring the foot that coincides with your throwing arm about 6 inches to 1 foot forward so that you're stable and point your foot at the intended target; if you're looking for something to connect the stance to it is similar to that used to throw a football. Before the throw while you're aiming you should stand straight.

    3. Finally what you've all been waiting for, the throw. Now first off you want to keep your wrist aligned with your lower arm and you shouldn't snap or flick it during the throw. According to how you feel you may want to keep your arm close to you side or you may want to have it a little farther out. Bring the axe back up to your ear and take in a breath and hold it for increased concentration and stability (Don't take too much time holding your breath and concentrating though.) Now bring the axe forward from your side to in front of your face. While starting out your throw and you may want to try putting you back into it. When your hand is level or close to level with your face release the axe sending it towards your target.

If you find you're too hesitant because you're nervous while throwing try thinking of something pleasant in the back of your mind. If you can't come up with anything, think of a lime green cream filled Popsicle on a during a hot summer day.

Chinese Stars
Chinese throwing stars come in a variety of shapes, from the standard star, to more of a square with inward slopping sides. The stars were first used by ninjas in China long ago. The original name for thrown weapons is shuriken. There are many different types of shuriken. The differences are mainly just shape; the way they are thrown is basically the same. The star is most effective if thrown at a weak spot. A weak spot is an area such as the stomach and possibly the neck, where your insides aren't protected by bone so the star can really get in there. The technique I will go over is called The Vertical throw. The vertical throw will go up to a distance of 15 meters, which is roughly around 45 feet.

    1. Hold the flat star vertically long ways between your thumb and index finger keeping your index finger curved in as much as an L shape as possible bending it at the second joint down to make the L. You may also want to rap one of your middle fingers around a point if you are using a pointed shuriken.

    2. The stance used in throwing Chinese stars is very different than that of an axe. Plant you feet firmly in a "horse" stance.

    Horse Stance

    3. Bring Chinese throwing star up to your ear with your throwing hand, your palm facing the target. Now as you throw step into a "front" stance.

    Front Stance

    Release the star just as your arm reaches horizontal. The ninjas released with the spirit of "pressing" the Chinese star towards the target with their mind. Who knows it might help you too.

Many of you wonder about tipping the edges with poison. Though I strongly recommend you do not for safety reasons. However, I will briefly go into a substitute poison. I have heard when ninjas could not obtain poison they substituted it by coating the star's edges lightly in horse manure. They did the same with blowgun dart tips. Be very careful you do not cut or scratch yourself with the poisoned edges or darts. If you do tip your darts insert them into the blowgun through a funnel made of maybe 5 sheets of paper. This is so that the poison does not get on the mouthpiece. If you do happen cut yourself go to the doctor immediately, you will probably get a tetanus shot. Without treatment I have been told you could die within a week.

The real key to all of this is practice. Keep with both arts until you're good at them. If you need a makeshift practice target you can spray paint one on an old door you found in the trash or some scrap plywood. You want to start close and work your way back. Remember; always try for consistency over distance.


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