The throwing star or shuriken is the quintessential ninja weapon. Other than the katana or sword and the nun-chaku, the throwing star has become a part of popular culture, appearing in many illustrations and films featuring ninjas. In the hands of a trained and experienced user, the throwing star can be a very effective weapon of self-defense. But to many who are not familiar with this small yet efficient tool, misuse can lead to unnecessary physical harm. Can't wait to try your own set of shuriken? Avoid common newbie mistakes and learn how NOT to use a throwing star:
Do NOT grip the throwing star in the palm of your hand
The throwing star is so named because it is shaped like a star. Depending on the model, a star could have a minimum of 3 points to as many as 10 points. Although a retailer will probably sell you a set with blunt blades, you are meant to sharpen them. Only a sharp throwing star can stick in its target. Otherwise, it's just as effective as throwing plastic saucers at an attacker.
Once the points have been sharpened, do not hold the throwing star in your hand. If you grip it too tightly, the points could cut your palms. The throwing star is meant to be held between two fingers -- usually the index and middle fingers -- and then thrown in the air at a target.
Do NOT use without knowing how
Just because you've seen how a throwing star is used on TV does not mean you can readily use it straight out of the box. In most cases, you can't. To safely and effectively utilize a throwing star during an attack, it's important that you practice the basic moves first. Learn how to grip them correctly, twist or move your wrist so the angle of the throw changes. Use the right amount of force depending on the distance.
Remember that throwing stars are meant to be nuisance weapons and can only stop an attacker momentarily. If you can't use them correctly, you will not be able to take advantage of their benefits.
Do NOT try advance moves without practicing the basics first
Be patient when learning to use the throwing star. Learn the basic moves first and practice faithfully. Once you're comfortable with the throws and are hitting targets at least 80% of the time, only then should you attempt to use more advanced styles of using the shuriken.
Do NOT be careless when practicing with the throwing star
The steel throwing star is still a weapon. Do NOT attempt to use it against an innocent person or animal for target practice. It's not only irresponsible, it's also dangerous. Furthermore, you will be breaking the law.