Home > Hobbies > Fire Knife Dance

"That's where we dance with the fire and the the same time."  -Kap Teotafiti

Originally from the islands of Samoa, the fire knife was used historically as a weapon. Now a martial art, people come from all around the world to the annual fire knife world championship held at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. Chief Sielu Avea was the first ever fire knife world champion. I saw Chief Sielu perform the fire knife dance only once by before taking it up.

fire knife

The dimensions of the fire knife are regulated for competitions. Doubles are 34 inches in length, and the single knife is 37 inches long. There actually is a blade on the fire knife, thus its name, as well as a hook. fire knives
Chief Sielu, appearing in a promotional photo for the Polynesian Cultural Center. Notice the tattoos that run up from his knees. This is the sign of a Samoan chief. Shashin dozo!
Gavin from Australia, who taught me most of my fire knife along with Jai Saunders, pictured here performing at a wedding reception. Gavin competed once in the world championship competition. Even better than "Wedding Singer," wedding fire knife dancer
Gavin "eating fire." He is attempting to light the butt end of the knife by transferring flame with his tongue. Slimy yet satisfying

My first fire knife dance in Laie, Hawaii.

Spin it!
Spinning on Hukilau Beach. This move is called the "helicopter"
This is me about to catch a throw. Doesn't it just make you wanna go out and try it yourself?! Disclaimer: Kids, don't try this at home. Shashin dozo!
Hukilau Beach again.
I also hold the record for the world's best fire knife burn.
This photo was taken a month after I managed to burn off some of my favorite skin.
I'm doing a one-handed spin in this pic.
This is me spinning the knife behind my back at the beginning of a dance before lighting the roll end.
You can tell this is near the beginning of the dance because the grass at my feet is lit on fire. This happens when you have too much fuel on the knife, and enough of the gas flies off while spinning the knife to ignite on the ground.

Discover Polynesia
The Polynesian Cultural Center is where the fire knife world championship is held each year in the spring, a must see.

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