A Spyderco "Throwing Pocket Knife".

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Michael Janich
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Re: A Spyderco "Throwing Pocket Knife".

Postby Michael Janich » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:55 am

I have been throwing knives for more than 40 years and also have a greater-than-average interest in the use of knives in self-defense. When I first started throwing, I was enamored with the Hollywood hype and worked hard at being able to throw my knives--cheap, light sets of three that I bought at the cutlery shop in the mall (when such things still existed)--from all ranges. I was using traditional half-spin, full-spin, and multiple spin throws, as learned from Harry McEvoy's classic book on the topic (bought in the same mall, when malls had bookstores). Ultimately, I learned to judge distance by eye, choose the proper throwing technique, and tweak my grip to throw effectively at all reasonable distances. Although "no-spin" knife throwing is now the rage, it's not the only way to throw at multiple ranges.

In addition to my own backyard fun, I also began researching knife (and other weapon) throwing and its actual use in warfare and personal combat. Using Charles V. Gruzanski's classic book "Spike and Chain," I made and learned to throw Japanese shuriken--steel spikes about the size of a pencil. Although the term shuriken is often used to describe throwing stars, the proper Japanese term for those is "shaken," or "vehicle knife." I made those too, by super gluing industrial razor blades together into star shapes or cutting them by hand out of sheet steel. In the process of learning about their actual combative use in the Japanese martial arts, I realized that they weren't intended or expected to stop an attacker or end a fight. They were designed to buy time to draw or access a better, much more capable weapon.

The more I learned about throwing weapons, the more I realized that anything that could have a prayer of causing serious damage to an animal of significant size also had to be of significant size. For example, the story of hunting wild boar with Tru-Balance throwing knives:

https://books.google.com/books?id=947TA ... fe&f=false

or the legendary Skeet Vaughan's incredible knife throw in World War II:

https://blademag.com/knife-history/hero ... nazi-loses

I also learned about the "hunga munga" throwing knives used in Africa, which are effective combat throwing weapons, but huge:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mambele

When I got my first Endura with integral pocket clip and riveted construction, I wondered if I could throw it--so I did--a lot. Full-spin throws by the handle are fun and work great. However, it is still a small, light knife that is not going to deliver a stopping or killing wound on a man. To do that, you'd need to hit the central nervous system--the brain or spinal cord--and penetrate deeply enough to cause serious damage. That would require a level of skill and training that is far beyond the reach of most people.

Stay safe,

Mike

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emanuel
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Re: A Spyderco "Throwing Pocket Knife".

Postby emanuel » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:24 pm

-double post-
Last edited by emanuel on Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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emanuel
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Re: A Spyderco "Throwing Pocket Knife".

Postby emanuel » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:28 pm

Spyderman91 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:06 am
But as everyone has said, it'll probably have to be a one in a million throw. I wouldn't expect to stop someone completely, but if you have a big knife sticking out your back it could momentarily.
That's mall ninja mentality. Youngster cocky talk. It doesn't work that way irl I'm afraid. For your own good, get a pepper spray AND learn some basic physical self defense. It will help you 1000x more than that false thing you believe about armed combat with a knife. Admittedly, it isn't as cool, but is that cool factor worth dying for? Also, if you live in USA (depending on state I guess), Switzerland, Czech Republic, get a conceal carry permit. They're easy to get. Problem solved in a way, but still carry a pepper spray since these two go hand in hand.

Also, yes, you probably won't need much in Europe for self defense, the violent crime is just extremely low even with all these migrants that people cry about. A pepper spray will allow you to take down multiple people, especially a good brand one (Fox), and a diffuse spray, not the jet one! My ex-gf was harassed by 4 gypsies one night walking home, guess how that ended up for THEM?
Michael Janich wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:55 am
I have been throwing knives for more than 40 years and also have a greater-than-average interest in the use of knives in self-defense. When I first started throwing, I was enamored with the Hollywood hype and worked hard at being able to throw my knives--cheap, light sets of three that I bought at the cutlery shop in the mall (when such things still existed)--from all ranges. I was using traditional half-spin, full-spin, and multiple spin throws, as learned from Harry McEvoy's classic book on the topic (bought in the same mall, when malls had bookstores). Ultimately, I learned to judge distance by eye, choose the proper throwing technique, and tweak my grip to throw effectively at all reasonable distances. Although "no-spin" knife throwing is now the rage, it's not the only way to throw at multiple ranges.

In addition to my own backyard fun, I also began researching knife (and other weapon) throwing and its actual use in warfare and personal combat. Using Charles V. Gruzanski's classic book "Spike and Chain," I made and learned to throw Japanese shuriken--steel spikes about the size of a pencil. Although the term shuriken is often used to describe throwing stars, the proper Japanese term for those is "shaken," or "vehicle knife." I made those too, by super gluing industrial razor blades together into star shapes or cutting them by hand out of sheet steel. In the process of learning about their actual combative use in the Japanese martial arts, I realized that they weren't intended or expected to stop an attacker or end a fight. They were designed to buy time to draw or access a better, much more capable weapon.

The more I learned about throwing weapons, the more I realized that anything that could have a prayer of causing serious damage to an animal of significant size also had to be of significant size. For example, the story of hunting wild boar with Tru-Balance throwing knives:

https://books.google.com/books?id=947TA ... fe&f=false

or the legendary Skeet Vaughan's incredible knife throw in World War II:

https://blademag.com/knife-history/hero ... nazi-loses

I also learned about the "hunga munga" throwing knives used in Africa, which are effective combat throwing weapons, but huge:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mambele

When I got my first Endura with integral pocket clip and riveted construction, I wondered if I could throw it--so I did--a lot. Full-spin throws by the handle are fun and work great. However, it is still a small, light knife that is not going to deliver a stopping or killing wound on a man. To do that, you'd need to hit the central nervous system--the brain or spinal cord--and penetrate deeply enough to cause serious damage. That would require a level of skill and training that is far beyond the reach of most people.

Stay safe,

Mike
The tomahawk guy reminds me of that British (???) guy that had a katana on the beaches of Normandy during WW2. From the recounts of the German soldiers, they didn't shot him because they thought he was mentally ill. I don't wanna take away from the skill of that thrower you mentioned, but we must take these stories with a grain of salt. They just aren't good for the average Joe to fantasize about...

Monty
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Re: A Spyderco "Throwing Pocket Knife".

Postby Monty » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:55 pm

Michael Janich wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:55 am
... that I bought at the cutlery shop in the mall (when such things still existed)....
I haven't thought about one of those shops in decades. Childhood revisited. :)

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Wartstein
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Re: A Spyderco "Throwing Pocket Knife".

Postby Wartstein » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:35 pm

Michael Janich wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:55 am
I have been throwing knives for more than 40 years and also have a greater-than-average interest in the use of knives in self-defense. When I first started throwing, I was enamored with the Hollywood hype and worked hard at being able to throw my knives--cheap, light sets of three that I bought at the cutlery shop in the mall (when such things still existed)--from all ranges. I was using traditional half-spin, full-spin, and multiple spin throws, as learned from Harry McEvoy's classic book on the topic (bought in the same mall, when malls had bookstores). Ultimately, I learned to judge distance by eye, choose the proper throwing technique, and tweak my grip to throw effectively at all reasonable distances. Although "no-spin" knife throwing is now the rage, it's not the only way to throw at multiple ranges.


Hi Mike,

Very interesting stuff, as usual!

To be clear: I am far from being much more than a better beginner when it comes to knife- and Tomahawk throwing, but I practice both a bit.
And I am totally clueless when it comes to a martial context of that, I do it just for fun, like others throw Darts or play golf. But I can estimate how much power (or not) is behind a thrown object, and how much (or not) it could do damage to a human.

The Tomahawk I throw of course in full / multiple spin throwing (can´t imagine any other way to do it), but the knives (mostly an Esee Laser Strike) in "no spin".
You corrected that to half spin, and of course you are right: When I do "NO" spin, the knife (and so the tip) is flying in a wide arc, so the tip is a little bit more up in the beginning,and starts to move more downwards during being in air.

When I stated in previous posts that you´d have to do "no" spin throwing to even have a chance to reliably hit an opponent with the tip (and not any other part) of the knife, I was thinking of a somewhat unpredictably MOVING target.

To some degree I also have learned to judge distance by eye, and so can quite reliably make the (spinning) Tomahawk stick in a target.
But if the target was MOVING, and I would not know how exactly, if it would maybe suddenly stop or accelerate, I can´t imagine HOW exactly to judge the distance, since that distance would not be static, but changing very fast... in that case I personally think "no" spin (with knives of course, not possible with a Tomahawk) would be the safer bet... What do you think, if I may ask?
Last edited by Wartstein on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Pelagic
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Re: A Spyderco "Throwing Pocket Knife".

Postby Pelagic » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:14 am

Throwing knives can be a lot of fun. Paint a bullseye on a piece of plywood, lean it against a tree when some friends are over, and try something new. Most women even like to give it a try. Some people get lost in hypothetical knife fighting scenarios. I'll bet 99.9% of throwing knives on Earth have never been purposefully thrown at a human being. It's just a fun hobby.
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