The Sport of Knife Throwing

The Sport of Knife Throwing

Posted by Clayton on Feb 3rd 2015

For true knife enthusiasts, nothing can be more frustrating than the lack of sporting events available to them. Those who favor guns and bows have ample opportunity to hone and demonstrate their proficiency with their tool, but, for knife lovers, the same simply cannot be said. In response to that deficit, knife throwing has grown rapidly in recent years as a challenging and skillful new sport.

It’s pretty simple: The object is to throw your knife as accurately as possible at a target. Typically made of wood, the targets have one or more concentric rings and may be set back at various distances; the further back, of course, being a higher level of difficulty. While this may sound straightforward, it is quite a difficult feat to achieve.

Knife Throwing

Knife throwing has been around for centuries, and has been practiced as an art and combat skill, as well as a form of entertainment, although most experts agree knife throwing has little practical defensive or offensive application for the simple reason that, once thrown, your knife—whether or not it finds its mark—is no longer useful to you.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Impalement Arts were popularized by vaudeville acts and circuses, whereby a thrower would demonstrate their accuracy by lodging their knives within millimeters of human targets. Today, knife throwing has evolved primarily into a sporting competition.


In the United States, as well as in Europe, there exist several organizations comprised of people who are passionate about the sport of knife throwing, although it remains relatively small-scale and alternative. Specifically in the United States, two distinguished groups primarily conduct regular sporting competitions and meetings:

  • IKTHOF (International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame) – This is an organization dedicated to the expansion of the sport of knife throwing, as well as to increasing the accessibility of knife education for all enthusiasts.
  • AKTA (American Knife Throwers Alliance) – This is an organization dedicated to the sport of knife throwing, as well as to recreational knife throwing.

In Europe:

  • Eurothrowers (European Throwing Club "Flying Blades") – This group is primarily responsible for event and competition sponsorship across Europe. These gatherings provide knife throwing enthusiasts the opportunity to exchange information and techniques, as well as to gather socially.


Competitions are relatively straightforward and are not dissimilar to the way archery competitions are structured, with a series of straight throws aimed at wooden or Styrofoam targets. Competition targets always contain a bullseye, as well as one or two concentric rings representing a lower point value. In order for thrown knives to score, the thrower must remain at a set distance from the target, and the knife must remain embedded in the target.

The IKTHOF, for one, keeps an active ranking of its members determined in accordance with how well members perform during competition. These scores are frequently broadcasted during meetings and distributed in organizational newsletters.

Getting Started

If the sport of knife throwing interests you, you are not alone. Take a look below for some basic steps you can follow to get involved:

  • Do Some Research– Before committing to a knife purchase; make sure that you first do some research. Understand the different knife throwing styles, knife brands and prices, organizations operating near you, state and local knife regulations, as well as the potential safety concerns inherent to the sport. First and foremost, make sure knife throwing is right for you.
  • Purchase a Throwing Knife – A wide range of throwing knives are available for purchase. If quality and variety are important to you, looking online can be the best route to take. Once you have completed your research, select a knife that is going to meet all of your specific wants and needs.
  • Learn How to Throw – Once purchased, you must learn how to throw your knife. A variety of specialized websites is available to aid with instruction. Even sites like YouTube can be great.
  • Practice – Knife throwing takes a lot of hard work to master. The more you practice, the more adept you will become. When you first begin to practice throwing, make sure you are in an isolated area with a lot of wide open space. Large wooden boards make excellent
  • Join a Sporting Competition – Join an organized competition to really put your skills to the test. You’ll never know how you stack up against the competition until you get out there.


Knife Throwing, while not as popular as some other range sports, is by far the most badass. Nothing is more likely to inspire awe and admiration from others than a display of extreme accuracy with a throwing knife. Whether you decide to pursue the sport seriously or simply wish to take it up as a hobby, knife throwing is a fantastic and rewarding way to spend your time.