has developed a continuing relationship with the group called 'Impalement Arts' at the
Diablo Rod & Gun Club in Concord, California to learn the fine of art of throwing
knives, axes and spears - and sticking them in a target. Their web
site is here. Our tutors
were John Labash in 2011 and Andre Lepage in 2014. They taught us the fundamentals and then
had us happily throwing knives and axes
and every weapon we had brought. We were all able to start sticking
the target pretty consistently within a half-hour. We'll be back...
These photos are from 2014.
Andre Lepage (at left) joins the Bjornstad shield wall.
All ages can play.
Douglas, Ed and Andre concentrate on the task at hand.
Ready for the next round.
In the background, Jaime launches her axe.
Ed aims with his knife.
Jack considers this serious business.
With knives or axes.
Another knife away.
The one-rotation throw.
Jaime and Jack discuss the situation.
Jaime gets into it.
Will sticks three of the not-well-known Viking throwing stars.
Cheryl prepares to throw.
And it's on its way.
It's a nice warm day at the
The photos and video below are from 2011.
Kay, Henrik and Jack wait for the signal to attack.
Henrik launches his axe.
John Labash's mission was to gain
converts to competitive throwing. Here he tries on some Bjornstad
gear. We lost him in 2013.
Jack launches his third axe in this set.
The trick is consistency of release, establishing a set distance from
the target and controlling the number of rotations.
Kay retrieves her knives while Henrik concentrates on the next shot.
I can do this...
Bjornstad gets the axe ...
Some weapons made for better results than others. Heavier axes
took much more effort.
Kay practices knife throwing.
That's half a rotation.
It looks good...
Ray launches an axe...
... and sticks it.
The axe throwing is going well...
It's one of Henrik's old plywood shields, a test subject for the day.
Henrik uses the shield to test the penetration of thrown weapons.
No, he wasn't holding it when they were thrown.
The shield provides unnerving, but effective, defense against missile
weapons. The shield boss is clearly more than decoration.
Jack's having fun...
... and briefly considers throwing his sword. But doesn't.
Since it's a perfect opportunity, Henrik brought an atlatl to try out.
Doesn't everyone have one?
The atlatl proves its effectiveness quickly. It definitely
improves throwing accuracy and distance.
Ray decides to try out Henrik's atlatl.
The atlatl is
not a Viking weapon as far as we know, but using it was an
interesting experience. It gave us an oddly compelling connection to our
ancestors from a far distant past. We kept imagining mammoths
The spear/arrow is on its way.
Jack demonstrates the flexing of the atlatl arrow - or perhaps just poor