Saturday, May 15, 2010


The other night, we went to the 18th Annual World Fire Knife Championships in Laie, up near Oahu’s North Shore, at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
What a treat it was!!!
We got to see the world’s BEST fire knife dancers show off their amazing skills.

The fire knife was originally used as a weapon in the islands of Samoa. It is now considered a marshal art, and is demonstrated in many shows and island gatherings across the Pacific. If you ever have the chance to attend this competition, you must! It is unbelievable and totally amazing -- and so exciting!!

This is what a fire knife looks like.

As the name states, there is a blade and a sharp hook at one end. There are two wicks, one at each end, for a double flame on each knife. The competitors use two knives (4 flames) at the same time and can actually attach the two knives together using the hooks.

They make it look so easy, and you have to keep reminding yourself that this is FIRE – real fire – that can burn you in an instant. Not to mention the sharp blades and hooks that could take a mean chunk out of you if you happen to twirl them just a little bit off, or fail to catch them correctly, as you fling them 20 feet in the air above you!!

Here are a few pics of the competition. It is very difficult to get decent fire knife photos, as they are twirling the knives so fast, and it is so dark, but here are a few of my better ones.

Some of the competitors getting ready to show off their amazing skills.

I think the poor drummers almost had a harder job than the fire knife competitors. They played their hearts out and must have lost 10 gallons of sweat each!! You gotta remember, those flames are HOT! But the ground shaking beat was essential for making a perfect fire knife dance complete. You could feel it in your bones and it sure did intensify the amazing show before you! These guys were awesome (and yes, they did look like they were having a blast most of the time!)

There were 24 competitors this night alone (with more the next night), but unfortunately, we could not stay for the entire show. It went well past midnight, and we had a long (well, long for Hawaii standards) hour and a half drive back home and work the next day. So, sadly, we left the show early, with the drums still beating in our brains, we made the long, dark drive back home.

It was a wonderful evening, and something I will never forget!!

Below is some video of the fire knife competition.


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Sew it my way! said...

Indeed what a treat! Not only can I imagine but I can almost feel the intense beat of those drums leaving your heart pounding for hours! How exicited you must have been! Too bad you had to leave early.We have been there twice for the regular shows and I know the roads can be tricky at night. Glad you enjoyed it, I still remember every detail of our adventures. Thank you for sharing, Aloha!

Jordanka Yaretz said...

You are so lucky to be able to see this show. I have seen it a long time ago . I wish I was in HAWAII right now.

Kyle B. Sasaoka said...

wow, I need to make another visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center! Thank you so much for an excellent blog. Your art is beautiful! I thoroughly enjoy the beauty of Hawai'i as I know you do too. Please keep posting good and interesting things. :)

Valerie Boersma said...

What an awesome show this must have been to see-thanks for the video clip-I really enjoyed watching it!
We have never been to the Polynesian Cultural Center-something to plan on doing on our next visit!

By the way, is fire and knife dancing something else you guys are going to learn to do together? (Hee, hee!)

Willow is still mad at us and has been on the prowl for more things to chew up-but she says to tell Bry hello:)