Ancient to Early Modern
Axes have existed since the beginnings of humanity. From held rocks to the axes we know today, they were initially used for hunting. Throwing axes in hunting dates back to prehistoric times and continued into the medieval period. While axes were used in battle, the concept of throwing axes on the battlefield is misleading. One exception is the Francisca, a hand axe designed to be thrown over a shield wall. Throwing axes for combat remains minimal in the European archaeological record, but other cultures, like indigenous people of the Americas, used throwing axes in warfare.
From Skill to Sport
In the 19th century, axe throwing started to emerge as a sport in North America. Logging camps in Canada and the US, with their abundance of axes, transformed casual games into proper competitions. These competitions, known as Loggersports, included axe throwing and became popular in the 1940s. This marked the beginning of axe throwing as a sport in a meaningful way.
Modern Axe Throwing
As we move closer to the present, administrative bodies for the sport began to form. The International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF) and the World Axe Throwing League (WATL) are two international organisations that regulate and promote urban axe throwing. Axe throwing arrived in the UK in the early 2000s and has since grown in popularity across the country. The sport is expected to continue growing and potentially even make its way to the Olympics in the future.
Governing Bodies of Axe Throwing
The IATF is the largest governing body of urban axe throwing globally. They oversee over 20,000 registered axe throwers in 150 member venues across eight countries. Each year, the IATF hosts the world’s largest Axe Throwing championships, known as the IATC – Wilson Cup.
Founded in 2017, the WATL is the global governing body of urban axe throwing. They aim to promote axe throwing as a professional sport by bringing together axe throwing clubs. With over 175 member companies, the WATL standardises the sport, implements safety protocols, and facilitates the World Axe Throwing Championships.
In Europe, the European Throwing Club Flying Blades (EuroThrowers) acts as an umbrella association for non-commercial axe throwing sports clubs. With more than 250 direct members from 15 nations, EuroThrowers standardises competition rules for Europe and organises the annual World Knife Throwing and Axe Throwing Championship held in different countries each year.
Katta UK: The British Axe Throwing Scene
In the early 2000s, axe throwing made its way to the United Kingdom, giving rise to Katta UK. With multiple locations across the country, Katta UK has become a prominent player in the growing urban axe throwing community. Offering a unique blend of skill, competition, and entertainment, Katta UK has captured the attention of axe enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
So whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adrenaline junkie, or simply looking for a unique and exhilarating experience, explore the world of axe throwing at Urban Xtreme. Immerse yourself in the rich history and thrill of this ancient art form, and who knows, you might just discover your hidden talent as an axe throwing champion.