Grips for throwing

The easiest is the hammer grip, where (external link / new window)you hold the throwing knife as you would hold a hammer. You may place your thumb on the spine (=small side) of the knife, some people find they can aim better this way. Your wrist has to be absolutely stiff when throwing, otherwise you will get uncontrollable rotations. If the knife is sharp, you should only use this grip on the handle!
The edge of the knife is pointing towards the target. Having the spine pointing forwards is suitable for throws where you know that the knife will under rotate, that is it will reach the target with the handle slanted downwards. Here, the straight (and somewhat sharpened) back of of blade - better even the hook of an (external link / new window)adopted bowie knife - can bite into the target wood much better than the longer contact surface of the curved edge.

blade grip, blade is blunt The pinch grip is used to throw light knives fast, suddenly and with force (that is some stress for your poor arm :-( The knife has to be gripped (pinched) between thumb and index finger, in a manner that it is a straight extension of your arm. You can hold it with the 2/3 of your finger that are next to your hand and the thumb (compare picture #1, my preferred method), or only with the fingertips. If you grip a heavier knife or want to throw further, you can additionally use your middle finger. If the edges are not sharp, you can use this grip also on the blade.

blade grip for sharp blades

If the throwing knife is not sharpened, a blade grip is no problem, just do it as described above. If the blade is sharpened on only one side, you can carefully hold it with your thumb and middle finger as shown in picture 2. I prefer not to have the knife extend such a long way in my palm, it might cut. Of course, the sharp edge faces out of your palm! You have to hold the knife so tight that it does not leave your hand early, but not too tight, especially not cramped. Only a relaxed throw is a successful one!

There are many other grips for throwing knives, especially from Asia, but the ones described above are the easiest and most common. John Bailey`s technique uses variant of the hammer grip that I like. Thrower has a (external link / new window)overview of different throwing grips.

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