David Adamovich throws knives for a living. Really big knives. With 25 world records under his belt, Adamovich is the world's fastest and most accurate knife thrower. He also holds a Guiness world eecord in the coveted category of "Most Knives Thrown Around a Human Target in 1 Minute" at 102 knives.
In his Big Think interview, Adamovich, better known as The Great Throwdini, tells us how we went from being a professor of exercise physiology to, at the age of 50, picking up his first throwing knife and discovering his natural talent: "As soon as it left my hand, I knew it was going to stick, and I understood the physics and the mechanics of how to throw a knife," he says.
For his interview Throwdini brought along some of his favorite projectiles, including tomahawks, axes, and Bowie knives. And he demonstrates for us the proper technique and the physics of knife throwing—but don't try this at home kids! He says he knows exactly how many times a knife will spin before hitting its target, and he practiced for five years before ever using a human target. He admits, though, that even an expert like himself has had a few "incidents" and "scrapes." But he swears, "I've never impaled the girl."
Throw also tells us about the most dangerous stunt he ever performed: the Triple Crown, which involved catching a bullet, an arrow, and a knife. When trying to break his own world record for catching 25 knives in one minute, Throwdini accidentally grabbed one knife not by the handle but by the blade, and it went straight through his hand. "I just grabbed the knife, pulled it out of my hand, and saw the blood coming out. I put my hand over it and looked up to the audience and said, “Show is over.” Luckily no tendons or ligaments were damaged, and he was able to go resume performing before long.
Throw also walked us through one of his performances, giving commentary on his most popular tricks including speed throwing and an act where he is blindfolded.