A couple of weekends ago, guest instructor Sifu Restita DeJesus from the Seattle Wushu Center paid a visit to our dojo to teach us the basics of the fine art of throwing weapons. In Jiu-jitsu, we spend a lot of time throwing people, but most of us had little to no experience throwing weapons, so it was an entirely new concept for us.
Sifu started out by showing us how to throw knives designed to be balanced for throwing. The first type of throw she taught was with a spin then we later moved on to no-spin. Here is a really useful video she shared with me that explains the two types of throws:
There are a lot of details to learn when throwing. It’s not simply a matter of lining yourself up with the target then chucking the knife at it. You have to be at the right distance otherwise it won’t hit the target with the blade. There is a lot of form in the throwing technique as well. She also explained that when you throw, you throw more from the shoulder. Apparently most people try to throw from the wrist more, which makes it harder to aim and hit your target. Basically, you bring your shoulder back with the elbow bent at about 90 degrees, then as you throw from the shoulder you just let the knife kind of slip out of your fingers toward the target, rather than actually throwing it out of your fingers.
After we got comfortable with the throwing knives, we moved on to household implements as throwing weapons. We had encouraged students to bring in all sorts of different items, which included, chopsticks, forks, scissors, screwdrivers, BBQ skewers and more. The concept of throwing is more or less the same, but it’s a bit harder when using items that are not properly balanced for throwing. She had us throwing from 3 feet to make things easier for us. Below are a couple of videos of our instructor throwing chopsticks and pairs of scissors:
If you want to try your hand at throwing weapons, we created our own targets using wood, boxes, and duct tape, using the instructions found here. For throwing chopsticks and other similarly weighted items, you can just use a large cardboard box. Below is a photo of the targets we made.
Anyway, it can be great fun to go outside your comfort zone and learn a completely new skill. Everyone who attended the class seemed to really enjoy it and a few people decided to pick up a set of their own throwing knives so they can continue to practice. Here are all the photos from the seminar of people proudly displaying their targets. If you’re ever in the Seattle area and you want to try your hand at throwing weapons, blow darts, bull whip, sling shot and other cool weapons, look up Sifu DeJesus. You won’t be disappointed.