How to Throw Kunai Knives & Shurikens

Written by edward drummond
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How to Throw Kunai Knives & Shurikens
A five-point shuriken throwing star. Shuriken can come in many other shapes. (Justin Ried)

Anyone who watches a lot of martial arts flicks or anime cartoons is probably familiar with the basic fighting weapons. While collectors enjoy buying and displaying the swords and fighting staffs, the kunai knives and shuriken throwing stars are popular for another reason: You can throw them yourself and play semidangerous ninja games in your own backyard. There are many ways to handle and use these weapons. We'll look at a couple of popular throwing techniques used today. These techniques may not be historically accurate, especially for kunai knives, which were not traditionally used as throwing weapons.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Kunai knife
  • Shuriken
  • Target board

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    How to Throw a Kunai Knife

  1. 1

    Clear the area between you and your target.

  2. 2

    Choose a throwing style: dagger like (with no spin), or with the blade in your palm (in which case you'll need to put some spin on the blade as you throw it).

  3. 3

    For the dagger-like throw, hold the blade by the handle. Raise your arm at the elbow so the blade is pointing straight behind you. In one motion, bring your arm down and release it as the tip of blade points toward your target.

  4. 4

    Alternatively, hold the kunai with the blade in your palm and the handle pointing out, in line with your middle finger. Keeping your wrist straight, raise your arm and throw the blade as you bring it back down, putting enough spin on it so that the blade turns and points toward your target in flight.

    How to Throw a Shuriken

  1. 1

    Clear the area between you and your target.

  2. 2

    Choose a of the throwing star for your grip. As these weapons are balanced, any point will do. Hold that point between your thumb and forefinger.

  3. 3

    Raise your arm over your head as you would when throwing a baseball. Focus on your target and release point.

  4. 4

    Bring your arm down and release the shuriken as it comes in line with your target. Put some spin on the blade so it turns through the air, allowing any one of the points to strike the target.

  5. 5

    You can also throw a shuriken like a frisbee, holding it sideways and flinging it side armed from either side of your body. Again, let the shuriken spin so that any of the points can strike the target.

Tips and warnings

  • Form boards and thin, flat wood boards make excellent beginner targets.
  • A good distance for beginners is 8 to 10 feet.
  • Never throw a kunai or shuriken at or near someone.
  • Clear the area in front of you of people, animals and objects except for your target.
  • It's very easy for these weapons to go off course, especially when in the hands of beginners.

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