Total Axe and the Sport of Axe Throwing

Our Start in the Sport of Axe Throwing

In terms of axe throwing, we haven’t been around very long. Axe throwing began thousands and thousands of years ago, most likely in a cave or wooded area with a lot of bears or stegosauruses or rabbits or whatever vicious animals were around during cavemen times. But, in the recent years, axe throwing has become quite a popular activity. There are hundreds of thousands of throwers worldwide, either throwing in their backyard, in formal leagues, or in cash prize tournaments. And we wanted in on that action. So, when we opened in 2018, we were excited to enter such a strong community and were even more excited to help the community grow.

So, we created our own style of target, our own game rules, and our own league format, all to give something new to the axe throwing community. We created this Michigan Style axe throwing format to introduce our portion of Michigan to the sport of axe throwing. Luckily for our portion of Michigan, we didn’t subject them to bears or stegosauruses or rabbits or whatever vicious animals were around during cavemen times like the original axe throwers had to deal with. Our own style of throwing was and is still good. We love what we created. But we wanted more.

Our Current Mission in the Sport of Axe Throwing

We didn’t know what the next step was to continue to help the sport, and our local community grow. We needed a way to push everything further, without losing who and what we are. So, decided to try to get Total Axe Throwing deeper into the community, so we can help push it forward. In October of 2019, Total Axe Throwing formally joined the International Axe Throwing Federation (IATF)—an organization with venues and throwers from across the world, all competing against each other in an international ranking system. This put us on the world’s stage. Which has been exemplified by having some of the world’s best throwers travel here just to compete in our venue. This allows our throwers to compete at a higher level, compete for cash prizes, and compete for international titles. If our throwers grow, they’ll put it right back into the sport.

But… that still doesn’t feel like enough. What’s next for us? For the sport?

Our Future in the Sport of Axe Throwing

Honestly, we don’t know. But we know that we’ll have a hand in it. Day-by-day, we’re trying to find something new to bring to the sport of axe throwing. Our Marathon Man Leagues, for example. A standard IATF league takes seven weeks to complete regular season play, and an eighth week for playoffs. But we decided to do it all in one night. 28 matches a person, plus a double elimination championship bracket to decide the winner. It’s a lot. It’s not nearly as insane as trying to fight off bears or stegosauruses or rabbits or whatever vicious animals were around during cavemen times with a throwing axe, but it is insane, nonetheless. Something like that is new. It hasn’t been done before. So, we’re happy to make it an option. We don’t know what’s next for us, or the sport. But we’ll let you know when we do.

The Sport of Axe Throwing

A Few Family Friendly Reasons to Go Axe Throwing

New Memories

The family can only go bowling so many times. You’ve been to the same few amusement parks over and over again. There’s nothing interesting on TV. So how do you create some new, vibrant memories with the family? You go to a family friendly axe throwing venue of course! At Total Axe, you’ll get a coach to give you a quick safety speech, and explain how to throw, and then the fun starts. Everyone in the family will get individual attention, an explanation on how to play the game, and an exciting new hobby. As each throw goes by, everyone will be laughing, and enjoying this new thing you’re all doing together. From experience, the look on mom’s face when she hits her first bullseye is like nothing else.

Ages 13 and Up!

Most axe throwing venues have an alcohol element to the event. Be it BYO, or a full bar. But here, we’ve decided to leave the alcohol out. Because of this, we’re incredibly proud to boast that Total Axe Throwing can have guests as young as thirteen! This helps make sure that the entire family, young and old, can have a nice event together. Now, you don’t have to worry about leaving lil’ Jimmy at home, and creating all those fun memories without him. Jimmy can be right there with you the whole time, throwing, competing, and maybe even winning your family friendly event.

A Family Friendly Way to Compete

Sibling rivalries never end. Whether its grades in school, performance in sports, or salaries as adults—siblings are always competing. So, why not give them something brand new to compete in? There won’t be a shortage of intense moments as brother and sister go throw for throw into the championship. Not to mention all of the side bets, such as “whoever gets the next bullseye is dad’s favorite,” and “winner gets the entire estate when the time comes.” There will be plenty of laughs, trash talk, and negotiating over dad’s golf clubs during your group event!

A Great Photo Op

It’s undeniable that throwing an axe is cool. So of course you’ll be taking pictures and videos of this great event. Not only will you be showing off your axe throwing skills during the event, you’ll be able to randomly text the rest of the family the pictures you took, just to remind them how good you were. Plus, the video of mom beating dad during playoffs will be the talk of the town (on Facebook). All the comments from Aunt Ethel, your ex-girlfriend’s mom who you’re still friends with, and Mike (who isn’t really your cousin but you call him your cousin anyway) will be great to read as you reminisce on such a fun time.

It’s pure, family friendly, fun.

What this all boils down to, is spending time with the family. It’s nice to get out and do something every once in a while. But, we know how tough it is to get everyone’s schedules aligned. That’s why when you do have the time together, you definitely don’t want to waste it. So, pick a day, come on in, and bond with us.

An Axe Throwing League at Total Axe

Logistically, what is an axe throwing league?

At Total Axe, we offer two different types of league. Our Michigan Style league, that originated here at Total Axe, and our International Axe Throwing Federation sanctioned league, which has competitors across the world. Regardless of the style of league (which you can find more information on here), they both boil down to the same concept. Once a week for seven to eight weeks, you’ll throw several matches against the rest of the competitors in the league. On the last week, the top competitors will compete for the league championship, which comes with a trophy and gift card.

But, actually, what is an axe throwing league?

A community. A group of people spending a night of their week together for two months tends to breed friendship. So imagine what happens when people keep signing up, league after league? They become a little family. Total Axe Throwing really prides itself in the community we have, and how tight-knit our leagues have become. Axe throwing is great—we all agree on that. But it isn’t really the selling point. Axe throwing is really just something to do, while making and hanging out with friends.

But… What if I’ve never thrown in an axe throwing league?

That’s perfect! We’ll make sure you get taken care of at the start—we won’t throw you directly into the fire. We’ll give you a throwing lesson, and teach you the rules of the game. Not to mention that our more veteran throwers will be eager to help you out, show you the ropes, and make you feel at home. Plus, there’s a half hour of practice before every league night, so you’ll have time to get some reps in before wins and losses are on the line. In addition to this, if you’re in a league, you get discounted rates on walk-ins and group events. So there will be plenty of opportunities to practice.

So… I’m gonna join an axe throwing league?

Yes. At this point, this far into the blog post, you’re too deep in to just back out all willy-nilly. We understand how nervous that might make you, however. So, we have good news. If you don’t like the axe throwing league after the first week, we’ll be happy to give you your money back. No harm, no foul. We don’t want anyone to feel obligated to be here because they spent money on it. Above all else, we just want you to have fun with friends.

Am I going to have fun in the axe throwing league?

Yes. We’ll see you soon.

Total Axe Throwing League

Have Your Holiday Party at Total Axe

‘Tis the season.

With the approach of the holiday season, there’s a few things on everyone’s minds. How many times am I going to hear Mariah Carey hit that note in All I Want for Christmas? Am I going to get into a political debate with Uncle Ronnie? Is my company’s holiday party going to be my last straw, when I finally give up and follow my dreams of being a backup dancer for, ironically, Mariah Carey? All good questions. Fortunately, we can help with one and only one of those. No, your company’s holiday party won’t be the last straw—not if you let Total Axe host it.

How the Holiday Party Will Work:

Total Axe Throwing can accommodate holiday parties up to 55 people. Bring your six favorite coworkers, your entire department, or your entire company. The basics are simple: you book a group, show up with some food and drinks, and we take care of the rest. In the span of your two hour event, everyone will get a brief safety overview, an introduction to axe throwing, individual attention, and the opportunity to compete in a tournament amongst your coworkers, where one of you will be named champion. Plus, if you book at the right times, you’ll even get to throw things like throwing stars, tactical shovels, steel cards, and knives. I bet if she had time in her infinitely busy schedule, even Mariah Carey would have a holiday party here.*

But, why choose axe throwing for your holiday party?

We’ll be the first to admit that there’s an infinite amount of things you could do for your holiday party. But booking at Total Axe is just different. Here, you get to do a unique thing, which most of your coworkers likely haven’t done yet. During competition, you’ll get to bond with your friends, learn something new, get out of the office, and most importantly, relish in the fact that your boss is going to lose to the intern. We have coaches dedicated to ensuring that your event safely goes off without a hitch, everyone has a blast, and it will be a holiday party to remember.

Next Steps:

Find out who is going to be the person to organize this year’s holiday party. Get into a completely normal conversation with them. Then, when there’s a lull in the chatter, casually say something like, “That axe throwing thing seems pretty cool, right?” After that, you’re going to want to sprint back to your office, email them the link to this blog post, and make the subject line “Haha, we should do this!” They’ll click right here, and viola, holiday party planned.

Happy holidays, everyone. We can’t wait to host you here at Total Axe. It’s gonna be a great time, we promise.

*Mariah Carey has no affiliation to Total Axe Throwing.

holiday party at Total Axe

We’re joining the International Axe Throwing Federation!


The International Axe Throwing Federation (or IATF) is a massive network of axe throwers and venues constantly pushing each other, and the sport further. The IATF is present in a recorded 85 cities across 6 countries. Across all the different IATF supported venues, there’s 161 different competitive leagues with over 10,000 league members. Through the IATF, immense axe throwing tournaments with immense prizes have become a fairly regular thing within the sport. All the way from Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, to Cherry Hill in New Jersey, in the States, major prize pools are becoming the norm. So, naturally, we wanted to get our throwers into the mix, and make this option available to them.

How do IATF Leagues work?

The rules are different than what Total Axe leagues have offered in the past. With that being said, here’s a brief description of how an IATF match works.

  • Three rounds
  • Five throws per round
  • Highest points per round wins
  • Must win two out of three rounds to win the match
  • A win, a loss, and a tie will send the match to sudden death.
  • Sudden death is a big axe tiebreaker, and it’s intense.

For a full description of the rules, click here. You’ll want to be familiar with them before the first night of league!

What about the old leagues?

They’ll still be around! The Total Axe style league format isn’t going anywhere. We’ve built a community around our style of league, and we aren’t just going to up and abandon them. We love what we do here. Joining the IATF isn’t so much about the “out with the old,” and has everything to do with the “in with the new.” As always, the community comes first. So, we wanted to give an opportunity to the community to try something new. And this is it!

What league should I join?

Whichever your heart desires! Aside from the actual format of the matches, the only difference between league styles is who you’re competing with. In the Total Axe league format you’ll only be competing with other people in your league. In the IATF format, you’ll effectively be competing with the aforementioned 10,000+ throwers. The IATF comes with an international ranking system, qualifiers, and eventually, the National Axe Throwing Championship (or NATC), where the champion will be crowned. Last year someone from Scottsdale, Arizona won. Next year, it might be someone from Clinton Township, Michigan. We’ll see you at the beginning of each season!

In summary…

We’re very excited to be a part of the International Axe Throwing Federation, among some of the top venues across the world. We can’t wait to be involved in pushing the sport, the talent, and hopefully the prize-pools even further. The day we see our throwers competing for the giant checks at tournaments like the Urban Open, The Choptober Challenge, and the NATC will be a good day for us. Maybe we’ll even host a tournament of our own.