is a true western martial art requiring discipline,
skill and responsibility to master. As a slinging practitioner
you are practicing an ancient but very effective skill.
Slinging is almost a lost art. As one of the few practitioners
you have a responsibility to all who love slinging to
be responsible, to represent the art in a way that will
preserve it for future generations and to pass on what
As a martial art, slinging has a deeper meaning than
mere technique. The ability to throw a rock represents
mankind's first and last recourse in defending his rights.
For primitive humans this began with the right to eat
and not be eaten. The David and Goliath story teaches
us that a simple shepherd boy armed with faith in God,
right principles and a sling could stand against an
overwhelming enemy. This enemy embodied both superior
strength and technology since it was the tail end of
the Bronze Age and the Philistines possessed iron weapons
while the Israelites did not. The pattern continues
down through the Middle Ages when a poor peasant could
challenge a mounted and armored knight. Today, slings
are used to harass heavily armed soldiers. The sling
reminds us that each of us has the moral right and responsibility
to defend our principles and freedoms. We can never
completely abdicate this responsibility to others nor
can we use the excuse that we lack the tools to fight.
Beyond this, Slinging is fun. There is a primitive joy
and freedom involved with releasing a stone and watching
it vanish out of sight. There is a thrill and deep sense
of accomplishment in hurling a projectile against a
target and seeing that target disintegrate into dust.
But slinging also has a cost in terms of the discipline
required to become skilled. The cost also includes the
responsibility that accompanies the use of a potentially
1) Never sling a stone at anything you wouldn't shoot
with a gun. Many people can throw a stone with lethal
force on their first attempt even if they can't control
the direction. (Note - many beginning slingers suspect
that there is a yet undiscovered and mysterious force
that attracts sling-stones to other people's property.
This force is proportional to the value and breakability
of the property. Those who have mastered the art realize
that the controlling factor for the mysterious force
is the desirability of hitting the target in question.
The more desirable the target -- the more difficult
it becomes to hit. Yes, I am pulling your leg, but only
2) Experiments should be done far away from people and
property. An experiment is any slinging operation that
has not been proven to be 100% predictable. Experiments
include ALL SLINGING that occurs for the first forty
or so hours of practice. Experiments include new sling
types, new ammo, and new techniques.
Rogue stones happen even to experts. A rogue is any
stone that leaves the sling in an unexpected way. There
are two basic types of rogues.
One, the stone leaves the sling prematurely. This happens
more often with non-solid types of cradles such as the
split-braided style. This type of rogue stone may occur
when the ammo is not correctly positioned in the cradle
or the acceleration of the sling is uneven. Premature
rogues may also occur because of an error in timing
the release. This type of rogue may happen early in
the slingers career due to an error in release timing
but is usually eliminated with a bit of practice.
Two, the stone hangs in the cradle and is released past
the intended point. This is the most dangerous type
of rogue since the stone has undergone the full acceleration
of the final release. The causes usually are human error
(timing), tangled sling chords (may have been twisted),
and ammunition that is irregular and catches on some
part of the sling.
3) Never allow spectators to stand in the sector of
space that begins with the intended release vector and
ends with a vector 90 degrees downswing of the release.
This is the area that is most likely for the hang-up
type of rogue. For an over-head windup with an over-hand
release where the sling moves from right to left in
front of the slinger (i.e. right handed) the danger
zone is in front and to the left. Never stand behind
a slinger who is casting in the overhand or underhand
style. A premature or accidental release could cause
the projectile to be released behind. The safest place
is to the sides of the person.
4) Arrange a signal with partners such as "heads-up"
or "rogue" to shout when a rogue is in the
5) Always follow a stone to its termination. This is
especially important on an under-hand cast since the
vertical direction is within the danger zone for a hang-up
type rogue. The fact that "what goes up must come
down" is pretty well established by this point.
6) Slinging is a great sport for kids. But use common
sense in making sure that they understand the safety
issues, are properly trained and responsible to follow
7) If you do slinging demonstrations you have an obligation
to make sure that the spectators understand that that
a sling is a weapon and not a toy.
8) Retire worn or damaged slings.
9) Slinging any type of incendiary or explosive device
should be avoided since it multiplies the danger to
people and property many-fold.
10) Take responsibility for your actions. If you do
throw a rock through the windshield of the neighbor's
new sports car, you are responsible for replacing it.
(Best to make sure this doesn't happen in the first