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Throwing Stars

Perhaps the most well-known weapon in the historical ninja's fighting arsenal is the shuriken throwing blade. At least as far as contemporary popular novels, movies, and television programs are concerned, nothing triggers thoughts of the ninja as readily as these flying blades of thin hammered steel. Though throwing stars can now be purchased conveniently from any of countless martial arts supply shops, it is ironic that the shuriken was once one of the most closely guarded secrets of certain ninja families of feudal Japan.

Essentially, the art of shuriken-jutsu, was divided into two distinct categories. One was based on the star-shaped designs and the other on the spike-shaped designs. Both could be devastatingly lethal when wielded by a skilled practitioner of the art.

Until recently, there were only 10 distinct star-shaped styles of shuriken favored by the ninja. The early designs included cross-shaped, four-pointed, six-pointed, eight-pointed, and ten-pointed configurations. Variations also included triangular, swastika-shaped, hexagonal, pentagonal, and three-pointed weapons.

The spike-shaped shuriken also were constructed in a variety of designs, depending upon the needs and skill of the shadow warrior. They could be pointed on one or both ends and range in lengths and shaft configurations from completely round to hexagonal, triangular, or rectangular.

The star-shaped shuriken were more versatile and required less overall skill in mastering the art of throwing them. Since the multifaceted points could be made to stick every time the weapon was thrown, the star-shaped designs were usually more abundant in the ninja’s arsenal than the spike-shaped. The spike-shaped shuriken, if accuracy was expected, required a keen judgment of distance, velocity-to-spin ratio, rotation, and aerodynamic characteristics before it could be used successfully in actual combat.

History of the Shuriken | How to Throw Shuriken


 

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  Beginner Throwing Stars:  (not sharp, standard quality)
         
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Pakua Star, silver,
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3-1/2"
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Dragon Lord Star, silver, 4"

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Tai Chi Eagle Star, silver, 2.25"

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Wave Star, silver

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Wave Star, black

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Dragon Claw Star, silver

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  Semi-Pro Throwing Stars:  (sharp, good quality)
         
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Sanko Shuriken, 4"
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Pentagonal Shuriken,
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Hexagonal Shuriken, 6 Pointed, Semi-Pro

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Septennial Shuriken, 7 Pointed, Semi-Pro

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Solid Hexagonal Shuriken, Semi-Pro
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Solid Hexagonal Shuriken Black Semi-
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Hexagonal Shuriken, 6 pt. Rainbow Semi-
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Typhoon Star, 4",
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  Throwing Stars Packs:
         
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  Go To Page:   - | 2   [Next >>]

On the other hand, the star-shaped designs minimized the chances of missing simply because there were points on all sides of the weapon. This is not to say that the star-shaped shuriken was fail-safe. In fact, this weapon of stealth required a tremendous understanding on the part of the thrower if it was to be used as a lethal weapon rather than a simple nuisance or diversionary tactic.

The art of throwing star-shaped shurikens was an exacting science that required countless hours of training before the necessary skills were acquired. Details like shuriken composition, gripping methods, throwing positions, drawing, trajectory, penetration characteristics, sighting methods, accuracy, fighting tactics, knowledge of lethal target areas, rapid fire in the event that one missed its mark, moving targets, and multiple shuriken throwing techniques were all necessary if the shinobi was to use his weapon in the most effective manner. In turn, each of those considerations was essentially an exacting science itself. If there was a lack of proficiency, either on the part of the executioner or the weapon, dismal failure could ultimately be expected from the warrior.

Equally important as the physical skills and a familiarity with shuriken characteristics were the positive emotional characteristics of the thrower. These included calmness, confidence, concentration, consistency, objectivity, patience under duress, deliberateness, perseverance. temperance to combative crisis, persistence, moderations in anxiety, and field experience.

The
ninjutsu warrior was also keenly aware of the physical factors that had to be mastered in conjunction with these emotional elements. These factors included proper power for the shape or design of his shuriken; familiarity with the weapon; good hand-eye coordination; consistency in technique; proper methodology; good posture to ensure accuracy; proper gripping, body positioning, power-to-distance ratios, and release judgment; the right weapon for the specific task; and a full comprehension of the particular shuriken’s capability. it is no wonder that the ninja was a master of his craft.

The years of training prepared him for that single moment when he may be called upon to offer his skills and services to one in power. In the event of capture, these dedicated espionage agents would use concealed explosives to take their own lives and destroy their facial features so their personal and their clan’s identities would not be divulged to the enemy. The
ninjutsu warrior had to dedicate his life to his profession and be willing to die for the sake of completing a mission.

 

 

 

 
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