Impractically Practical

I’ve recently developed a strong interest in survivalism, primitivism, orienteering, rewilding, and all other buzzwords connected to the “natural” or “wild” state of humans. I’ve been scouring through YouTube videos of world champion knife throwers, makers of primitive weapons, and other promoters of primitive skills and knowledge. For the past couple of months, I’ve been eating (to the credit of my amazing wife) exclusively plants, nuts, and meat. I feel physically and mentally significantly better than I’ve ever felt.

I’m not about to abandon all recent progress of man (automation/industrialization), as is evident in my previous post. However, I do believe there is value (bordering on necessity) in reacquainting ourselves with the natural skills we’d have developed if left to ourselves in “the wild.”

Yesterday, I began to practice one of the most useless of “primitive” skills I’d been exposed to in my quest for such knowledge: knife-throwing.

Any reputable source will tell you that knife-throwing has almost no utility outside of sport (throwing knives at targets a la darts). In fact, it is strongly advised to NOT throw your knife at a potential attacker (or potential prey) as you are essentially throwing away your weapon. If you happen (in the highly unlikely event) to kill or critically harm your opponent, then you’ve become the exception to the rule.

Still, it looks damn cool.

So, I went on a walk down a trail near my apartment and found a clearing with some dead-ish tree stumps laying around. I’d seen in videos that tree stumps make particularly good targets for practice.

Out of maybe 50 throws (actually, probably more), I “stuck” maybe 5 times (actually, probably less). To “stick” is to successfully embed your knife into the target. So far, my stick ratio is probably a little less than 1:10.

Whatever. It was fun.

For those of you who are curious, I was practicing the “no-spin” technique with an old pocket knife. Not sure of the weight or material of the knife.

For a great video demonstration by a world-champion knife-thrower, check this out:

How does this relate to the rest of my blog?

I think it’s possibly demonstrating that my external behaviors are beginning to reflect my internal inclinations.

When I think through things, I try to discover the most simple elements of whatever concepts happen to be floating around in my mind. I often come to conclusions that have practically no use in the real world. But it’s the process and climax (conclusion) that matter to me, not the practical implications.

I’ve always been plagued by an inclination toward the impractical. Maybe this is a sign that I’m somehow finding a way to complement my impractical leanings with more practical expressions.

Though knife-throwing is still largely impractical, maybe it’s a stepping stone toward practicality.

Part of this exploration of rewilding includes discovering a fairly local individual who offers survival classes. The idea attracts me with great force. There is also a local dojo offering various martial arts classes. Both martial arts and survival classes are extremely attractive to me with their inherent simplicity AND practicality.

Thankfully, until I’m able/willing to actually begin such classes, I’m able to put my impractical skills to somewhat practical use via teaching. Indeed, I don’t think I’d ever forsake my impractical nature altogether no matter what practical skills I learn. It’s who I am, and it’s different. I like that.

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