Frequently Asked Questions
Are you actually "professional" instructors?
We have decades of experience and conduct ongoing training to maintain skill in accuracy, consistancy and knowledge in history and equipment. Several of our members have specific training in instruction techniques ranging from business, education, martial arts, and presentation culminating in over 50 years of cummulative teaching/training experience.
We provide numerous references from years of instructing thousands of new throwers and performing.
Are your knives & axes real?
Uh, yeah! Of course!
David S. shops and tests axes and handles all year long. The impact is quite strenuous on an axe head and must hold up to thousands of throws.
All the instructors investigate different throwing knives, analyzing metals, resiliance and tensile strength. Again, they have to hold up to literally, thousands of throws.
This takes up a lot of personal time to research product, talk with manufacturers, and of course throw... a lot. But the fun of putting new blades through their testing paces is the "dessert" of our business.
Cooler? Axes or Knives?
Dave S.: Axes!
Dave S.: Axes!
Dave S.: Axes!
...this could be a while. Come see them try to win the crowd over!
Do you ever use "live target" assistants?
That will never happen in our troupe.
The use of "live targets" is, in our opinion, far too risky. Accidents happen no matter how good you are and absolutely no one can gaurantee safety.
Can we actually perform a "near miss" of a "live target?" Sure. But in the event a knife slips from sweat, a muscle twitches, or the target moves... well, we can't turn back time so we don't do it.
- Jonathan can split a 1 1/2 inch by 1 inch miniature playing card from 15 feet away with a knife!
- David K. throws a double rotation tomahawk blindfolded!
- Dave S. throws quadrupal spins from over 56 feet and can split 7 inch thick white oak log with a single tomahawk!
- and other instructors do other things equally impressive.
... if that doesn't impress you, well, that's just too bad. None of us has an ego so big we can't over-ride it with common sense.
Do you offer private lessons?
Private lessons are available. We will provide all the equipment needed during the lesson.
We can come to your location if you have a private grassy area and in some cases, our head knife instructor will conduct private lessons at his home.
There is no group too small or large. Lessons start at $25/hr plus travel costs.
Do you teach small groups or private parties?
Use the Contact Us page to reach Jonathan and we can set up a private lesson and demo for smaller groups or private parties. Great for a unique feature at parties or as a team building excercise for companies.
Each party is priced differently based on number of guests and instructors needed, instruction vs. demonstration, etc. but all prices are truly affordable and professionally conducted.
How can I become an instructor?
We are a very tightly knit group; positions in our troupe are by invitation only. We provide all the training, even if you already know how. You must learn our methods and standards then mesh them with your own.
"Yeah but I really, really want to join. What can I do?" ... Well there are only 3 steps:
#1 - Seek professional instruction. Come see us, then practice, practice, practice. Once you are consistant in your throws, practice some more. Have fun.
#2 Tell us you are interested. Come by and chat with us
#3 Sometimes when we see consistant, and exceptionally safe and professional practice and feel you "gel" with our team...we may ask you to come to a troupe practice and begin training with us.
How do you throw a knife?
Seek "live" professional instruction. Knives and axes are NOT toys and take discipline and patience to master. Professional guidance is best.
No book or DVD can duplicate the hands-on experience of a live instructor's guidance. Once you learn how to throw, many books/DVDs can add to your knowledge of technique and history but cannot even come close to matching live instruction.
Please NEVER use a live assistant or target. This type of skill takes many years to attain, literally 10's of thousands of knives/axes thrown and most importantly many, many injuries are suffered during the process.
Please, just don't try it.
How hard is it to throw with a handicap?
We have instructed all types of people to throw and overcome any so-called "limitations."
Think you can't or wonder if it will be too hard? Some of our students and guest have arthritis, wheelchairs, blindness, canes, tremors, no depth perception, limited range of motion, MS, missing digits and more.
However one truth is undisputable: You cannot throw if you don't try.
Come visit us!
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
According to the Tootsie Roll Company:
At least three detailed scientific studies have attempted to determine the number of licks required to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.
A group of engineering students from Purdue University reported that its licking machine, modeled after a human tongue, took an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Twenty of the group's volunteers assumed the licking challenge-unassisted by machinery-and averaged 252 licks each to the center.
University of Michigan
Not to be outdone by a Big Ten rival, a chemical engineering doctorate student from the University of Michigan recorded that his customized licking machine required 411 licks to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. (411-364. Go Blue!)
Swarthmore Junior High School
Rejecting the notion that one needed active college status to undertake the Tootsie Pop licking challenge, a group of junior high students at Swarthmore School used human lickers, reporting an average of 144 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie Pop.
And according to our own unofficial study.....
Midwest Knife & Axe Throwers
Please. Like anyone has that much restraint. 8-9 tops!!!
< CRUNCH! >
How much do you charge for demonstrations?
Please contact us via our contact page or call Jonathan at 414-861-5334 for a quote.
We will tailor our demo to your needs; as large or small as your would like. We can provide demonstration only or all instruction, half and half, etc. Travel must be calculated as well so each event is unique.
Our trademarks are safety first and community awareness. We can help you create a great fund raiser at the show for a member / cause in the community that may be in need of some help. Please ask Jonathan how we can do this for you.
How sharp should my throwing knife be?
This is probably the biggest misu Der standing in choosing a throwing knife.
A throwing knife is actually dull with a well defined and strong tip.
Remember you are throwing this knife onto wood, a very hard material, and the sharper the top or edge means it's also thinner which means the edge is going to bend, crack, roll or deform. Throwing k Ives are not cutting tools like a good kitchen knife (very sharp) but rather an impaling tool which requires no cutting surface but a well defined and durable tip to hold up to repeated impacts against the target.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Where can I buy knives/axes?
Please check our Links page. This page contains sites and stores that we have personally had very good experiences with in product and service. There are no guarantees of course, nor do we recommend one more than another.
Where can I see you perform?
Please check the Upcoming Events tab.
Which are better in your troupe, the guys or the gals?
Why you gonna go startin' somethin' like that?
ok, yeah... the gals, definitely!!!
Which type of wood is better for targets?
Try to stick with soft woods for knives; like pine. Hard woods like oak can be used with axes then knives once the wood is "softened" up. We've found poplar works well but doesn't last quite as long.
Either way try to keep log rounds about 6 - 9 inches thick for longevity.
Why are new throwers taught handle-throwing?
Throwing from the handle is inherently safer by reducing your contact with the blade.
We constantly have throwers try to tell us that you have to throw a knife from the blade to get it to stick. ...Hate to burst yer bubble but knives don't know how you're holding them, nor are they magic.
You can stick a knife by holding the handle or blade (of ANY knife). The key to gettin it to stick is the Distance/Rotation Ratio (ie. how many times a knife spins in how many feet when you throw it). This ratio is slightly different for everyone and every knife.
Why are there locks on 24 hour stores?
Your guess is as good as ours!