tomahawk

HOW TO THROW A TOMAHAWK OR THROWING AXE

The tomahawk is without a doubt one of the coolest weapons on the planet. The Algonquian native American tribe developed the weapon using stones attached to wooden handles. Throwing a tomahawk or throwing axe is not difficult. Anyone can learn how to do it in their own garden and I find it an incredibly relaxing and therapeutic recreation activity.

The first thing to do is find yourself a sturdy target. A tree trunk or rounds cut from a log are ideal. You will definitely want something big for your first attempts. The wood should also be fairly soft. You want the hatchet or axe to dig into the wood. If it’s young wood, it might be too hard and could cause the axe to bounce out, sending you running for cover. Older, softer wood makes the best targets.

CHOOSING YOUR TOMAHAWK

Starting out with a light tomahawk is preferable. Once you perfect your stance and technique you will be able to move onto the heavier axes. The handle length dictates the strength of impact. A larger handle will give a heftier blow on impact. The best throwing tomahawks have a handle of between 16-20 inches, however, with practice, it is possible to throw weapons with handles of all lengths.

SETTING THE STANCE AND THROWING

You need to stand in a similar way to throwing a ball. Fairly upright with your feet apart, one foot in front of the other. Your weight should be on the front foot. Your grip needs to be similar to how you would clasp a hammer. Hold the tomahawk upright as you throw it. Your arm needs to be vertical and in line with the target.

Position yourself around 12-15 feet or 5-6 paces from the target. This will be long enough for the tomahawk to make one revolution. If you are using a longer handle you can throw from further back to allow the axe to complete the revolution. You don’t need to be any closer than that. If the axe bounces out of the target you don’t want to be close enough to be struck.

• Line the tomahawk blade up with your target.

• Position the alternate leg to your throwing arm further forward. If you are throwing with your right hand, your left leg should be further forward and supporting your weight. For a left-handed throw, the right leg needs to be further forward.

• Grip the handle near the end. Your hand should be near the bottom of the axe, away from the blade.

• Bring your arm back and propel it forward, maintaining its vertical, upright position. Release the tomahawk, delivering a straight throw.

• Keep your wrist in position and follow through with your arm.

• Your axe should stick into the wood after a few practice attempts. If it isn’t you probably need to adjust your distance from the target. Check if the axe is under rotating or over rotating and move closer or further away accordingly.

• Repeat the process until you perfect the art and can throw a tomahawk with surgical accuracy.

 


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Oli Ward
oli@dinga.com.au

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.