Benjamin B. of Kalamazoo, Michigan likes to attend Renaissance fairs, and is a member of the Michigan Entertainment Renaissance Curiosities Society.
In his spare time, Ben likes to train in ritualized combat using replica weapons.
He plays a character in Renaissance re-enactments. But, he says the fighting and contact in these events is very real.
One of the weapons he trains with is a double-headed carbon steel battle-ax. He purchased it years ago and calls it “his baby.”
Around midnight one evening, Ben heard a knock at his door. The knocking turned into kicking. By the third kick, the man at the door had broken through.
The man was over six feet tall and 250 pounds…
But the intruder only got two or three steps inside before he was struck by the battle-ax.
The man was struck in the torso and began bleeding, but he ran from the home.
Police K-9’s were able to follow a blood trail that led them to the intruder.
He was transported to a local hospital for treatment and survived his injuries. He was charged with first-degree home invasion.
Benjamin knew how to defend himself when his life was on the line.
An ax is a great survival tool. It should be part of your bug-out and survival gear.
And as you can see it can also be used as a self-defense weapon.
But, have you ever wondered if you should throw an ax?
Not unless you have trained a lot to do it.
So here are a few factors to consider if you have ever wanted to learn how to throw an ax.
Picking an ax:
Just because an ax looks well-built doesn’t mean it’s good for throwing.
The first thing to do is make sure you buy an ax that is designed to be used with one hand. Some require two hands and these are more challenging to throw.
I would suggest a metal-handled or wood-handled ax. Metal is going to be a better option since they are less likely to break. But, wood will still work.
Find an ax that is on the heavier side – between three to five pounds. They will stick to your target easier.
Once you become more experienced you can use a lighter ax.
Ideally, use an ax with a handle of 14-16 inches. A few axes I would consider are the SOG Tactical “Tomahawk” And the CRKT Woods Nobo Tomahawk.
Traditionally, most people use tree stumps when throwing axes. But, this isn’t always easy to find.
A better option is to use plywood. This is more challenging when trying to get your ax to stick. But, it’s something you can buy at the hardware store and paint a target onto.
If you are using plywood one of the most important things is to keep the ax sharp. This will help it stick. Also, it helps to wet down the plywood with a hose before throwing.
Just like when you are shooting a gun make sure you have a safe backdrop. Also, don’t forget that an ax can come back at you depending on how it hits the target. Depending on all the factors you should stand about 12 to 15 feet away from your target.
Stance with an ax:
Similar to shooting a gun, your stance when throwing an ax will play a big role in your accuracy.
First, you want your dominant foot backward.
When you start to throw you will bring the ax and most of your weight over this foot.
Then, you will step forward with your dominant foot as you are in the throwing motion.
You want to complete your step forward with your dominant foot right as you release the ax.
Throwing an ax one-handed:
Throwing an ax is not easy. Yet, if you are going to do so with one hand you want to grip the ax near the bottom of the handle.
Let the ax down to your side, then bring it up forward until it is behind your head.
Next, bring the ax forward and release it when your arm is straight and parallel to the ground.
Just like throwing a baseball, remember to follow through with your arm movement.
Throwing an ax two-handed:
Throwing an ax with two hands gives you more control.
If you are using two hands one of the keys is to make sure your body and hands are in line with the target.
Grip the bottom of the handle with your off-hand, and put your dominant hand around your other hand.
Keep your elbows slightly bent and your wrists straight. Keep your stance with your dominant foot back.
Bring the ax up and behind your head. Then, swing your arms forward and down as you step forward with your dominant foot. Release both hands at the same time.
Ax throwing is a skill that takes a ton of practice. But, if you are looking to learn a new skill it can be fun and cheap. You won’t break the bank buying plywood and an ax.
Chances are you won’t pick up an ax when an intruder breaks in, but you never know when you might need the skill, even just to wow your friends.
So use these tips to learn and train on ax throwing.