Knife Competitions Around the World

Knife throwing originated back in prehistoric times, and was primarily used to hunt. The first weapons were sharpened sticks used to hunt birds and other animals.




Other examples are Boomerangs, created by Australian Aboriginals. These large, blunt objects were thrown at kangaroos and wallabies from short distances. The Metal Age then came, and soon throwing sticks were replaced with throwing knives. Some variations were shurikens from Japan and the tomahawk from Africa and Native America.


Then came the 1800s, where knives were crafted into throwing knives, and the hobby became a competitive sport. To date, many people all over the world participate in knife competitions, where people challenge each other to determine the best throwing skills and the best accuracy. While the sport is not exactly mainstream, it's gaining popularity in the US and in most European countries. In fact, there are more than 30 knife throwing clubs that exist in Europe alone.


Knife Throwing is a Popular Hobby


Knife throwing may sound easy, but it encompasses physics, dynamics and speed. In any typical competition, participants throw a series of knives on a set of standard wooden or foam-made targets. The targets have bullseyes surrounded by one or more rings.

When a knife sticks on the target, the player earns points. There is a set distance that players must adhere to, with longer distances for an added challenge.

Knife Throwing Competitions & Groups

Competitions around the world were seen as a form of entertainment. Groups such as the American Knife Throwers Alliance (AKTA) and the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame (IKTHOF) still organise knife throwing competitions every year. IKTHOF keeps a ranking of its members based on their performance during these competitions. 

Another knife throwing group, the EuroThrowers, maintains a register of the world records, and for each championship publishes the full scores together with the meetings' reports. The largest event in Europe is the Big Throwers Meeting / European Championship, held by several countries: Italy, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, Russia and England.


Some of the standard knife throwing events held by EuroThrowers are as follows:


  • Walk-back precision throwing - In each round, the thrower cycles through all of the five distance markers and throws three knives at each marker.
  • Single distance precision - The player throws knives from a single distance from the target for a final score.
  • Long-distance - The thrower chooses a distance within the first section of the range (4-7m) and throws three knives with no test or practice throws permitted, until the thrower is unable to get one of the knives back to stick.
  • Sports silhouette throwing - Standing 3m (9.8ft) away from the target, the thrower must throw their knives at the smaller black dots and hit them in numerical order.
  • Duel-Cup - Throwers compete in pairs (duels) from a distance of 3-3.5m (9.8-11.5ft). The two throwers competing in the duel have five seconds to throw their knives as accurately and as fast as they can.
  • No-spin knife throwing - A thrower throws their knives and they must not rotate in the air on their way to the target.


Knife throwing is fascinating as both a hobby and a sport. While it isn't as widely popular as similar sports such as archery or recreational shooting, the fan base and fan clubs continue to grow in numbers. Australia, of course, is one of the many.


If you'd like to get started on this intriguing yet challenging sport, grab a throwing knife set here at the Full Force Hunting website. We even provide a free printable target practice so you can start working up on your knife throwing game.


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