Japanese Throwing Stars have been associated with martial arts for centuries. These weapons come in the form of a star with projecting blades or points. They can become very effective as a non lethal self defense weapon. Practicing with a throwing star increases accuracy and effectiveness.
Also known as a shuriken, Japanese for "hidden hand blade". Shuriken are commonly known in the West as Chinese stars, (in spite of their Japanese origins). They are also known as throwing stars or ninja stars.
These weapons date back to the samurai of the seventh century A.D. Interestingly enough, the weapons were not always fashioned as stars. They could be made in any shape the user was comfortable throwing. The weapon only had to be small enough to hold comfortably in the hand and aerodynamic enough to find its target.
Key to the effectiveness of the throwing star is the sharpness of its blade. Throwing stars are intended to be aimed at exposed parts of the body like the face and neck. A sharp blade can inflict quite a severe laceration even without embedding itself in the flesh of an attacker. As such, the user doesn't have to be perfect with his or her throw. Close enough is often good enough to wound an attacker and send him fleeing.