Why Did Ninjas Use Throwing Stars?
Throwing stars are small projectiles with sharp points and curved edges designed to puncture holes in paper targets. While most often associated with martial arts, these stars have also found use in popular culture. They are used, for example, to pick the locks of rifles and safes that must be broken into without damaging them. The history of these ninja stars dates back to ancient China where they were primarily used as both weapons and tools related to writing. 

Originally made from iron or steel, by the 17th century they were also known as "fiend's nails" due to their regular use by robbers who would sling them at their victims in order to steal their belongings. In the 19th century, many ninja stars were made of stainless steel. Later, due to their use in movies and television, manufacturers began to create a variety of "fantasy" throwing stars.

Earliest Known Use of Throwing Stars

The earliest known use of curved throwing stars dates back to the 3rd century BC when they were used in China as an ornament or weapon. Because they are small and light enough to be thrown by hand, these early stars did not require any device in order to hit a person's arm or leg. 

In the 18th century, they developed into weapons that could be used by multiple people acting together when thrown over a wall or barricade. This is still a widespread use of ninja stars in 21st-century martial arts. In the past, ninja stars were primarily used by children for games. However, in modern times, the popularity of martial arts has increased its use among adults. The most common martial arts that use ninja stars are Karate and Ninjutsu. 

7 Reasons Ninjas Used Throwing Stars

Want to know how ninjas skillfully throw their throwing stars? Learn about the 7 reasons why ninjas use ninja stars. They include: these sharp and edged weapons can bypass obstacles, they are lightweight, a thrower's speed is increased with this style of weapon, by putting weight on your forearm, the blades can give you an extra reach for your attacks, it increases a thrower's accuracy because throws don't bounce off objects like baseball bats do. 

1) Throwing Stars Can Avoid Obstacles with Ease

This first reason is one of the significant advantages of ninjas over their opponents. In the real world, obstacles like walls and trees aren't going to be sliced in two by your weapons like they are in the movies unless you're a bad-ass ninja. So what's a ninja star? It's a cheap projectile that can be thrown over or around any obstacle without losing too much momentum.

2) Ninja Stars are Lightweight

Lightweight weapons allow ninja stars to be thrown farther than baseball bats and they don't create nearly as much momentum which allows you to control where it goes better than something too heavy.

3) Create Momentum in A Shorter Space of Time

This third point is probably the most important when it comes to the distance thrown. Baseball bats and long-handled weapons need a lot of space before they can put their whole body weight behind the swing, which means that only one side of the weapon would create momentum. With ninja stars, you don't have to worry about this because you can use your entire forearm to add weight behind your throw making an extra-long weapon unnecessary.

4) Give You an Extra Reach for Your Attacks

Throwing stars are more than cool knives on a stick, there's a reason why martial artists like ninjas use them over other weapons too. The fact is that a ninja star is longer than the distance from your fingertips to your shoulder. By using this extra length when throwing, you'll gain an extra reach for attacking and avoiding.

5) Increase the Accuracy of Your Attacks

Because baseball bats and long-handled weapons bounce off trees or walls, they don't give you very accurate projectiles to use in combat. So what do ninjas use? Exactly! These throwing stars are razor sharp so they will always find their mark on a target at least twice as accurate as any other projectile weapon would be able to.

6) Not Affected by Gravity

This final reason is more than just a bonus. The fact is that if you can master the art of ninja stars, you'll be able to throw them into the trees or walls and use that momentum to launch your blade into the target. This trick allows ninjas to throw two of their throwing stars at once with different angles and makes it harder for their opponents to counterattack because they have limited options.

7) Give your Fingers Something to Hold!

I'm not talking about holding onto an actual ninja star (although we can't wait until you master this trick). The real reason why ninjas use these weapons is because of their weight. Pulling and throwing a ninja star adds weight to your forearm meaning that you'll have better control over your weapon. This increased control will allow you to throw them with more speed, accuracy, and power than if you were just using a knife, bat, or even a ninja sword.

These 7 Reasons provide you with everything that you need to get started on learning how to throw ninja-style throwing stars. It's fun and easy to follow for anyone of all ages and has step-by-step instructions on how to make your own throwing stars too.

Pros and Cons of Ninja Stars

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission considers throwing stars to be “dangerous toys,” and they are illegal in some states. These ninja stars should never be used as a toy, as they can cause injury or death to the person holding them. That said, here are the advantages and disadvantages of using ninja stars:


  • Fun for people who like ninja-style sports 
  • Easy way to practice the art of throwing things 
  • Builds good hand-eye coordination


  • Illegal in some areas
  • Can cause injury or death if not thrown correctly
  • Not a toy for children under 12 years old.

Practice to Improve Throwing Ability with Throwing Stars 

  • Hold the star by its tip, and rotate it in a circle around your hand so a single point of the star is always facing away from your body. This will help you feel comfortable when the ninja is an actual star. Throwing in this fashion also makes it look like a spinning top and is more attractive than just having the point always pointing up all the time. 
  • Stand up and outstretch your arm like normal. Now, release the star in a forward throw (away from you). There are several angles at which you can release throwing stars, to get more accuracy. Experiment with different angles and see what works for you. As a general rule, it is best to release the star at a sharp downward angle (lower than 45 degrees), so that it will get maximum distance. 
  • Make a throwing stand out of cardboard or foam core board. Hold the cardboard or foam core in front of you, with your dominant arm pointing down. Hold the star in your non-dominant hand and throw it at the cardboard/foam core. Try to create a spin on the star as it leaves your hand so that it looks more like a flat object traveling through the air 
  • Put a piece of Velcro or tape on one end of an empty plastic water bottle (or similar container). Stand about 4 feet away from the wall, with one end of the bottle touching the wall and its other end pointed toward you. Throw the star at the wall and try to get it to stick against the wall or a similar surface. Again, try to make the star spin as it leaves your hand. 
  • Hold the end of a sponge or cotton ball in one hand and throw it at a target from about 10 feet away. Try to make the star land in the center of your target, rather than on any part of it. The goal is to make this practice more like real throwing so that you will be able to hit an actual object when you need to use a thrown weapon.