Fire Knife Championships – May 2009

The 2009 Fire Knife Championships were recently held at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The winner of the this years World Samoan Fire Knife Championships is Mikaele Oloa from Oahu. Congrats to Mikaele, check out his winning performance:History of Fire Knife dancing Knife dancing in Samoan culture goes back several generations. Traditionally, knife dancing was performed by warriors to showcase their knife skills prior to battle to intimidate the enemy and amp up the warrior, and then after the battle to celebrate victory. Fire was added to the performance in 1946 by a Samoan knife dancer named Freddie Letuli. The modern Fire Knife Championships began at the Polynesian Cultural Center in 1992 and is held during the third week of May. Here is a list of previous champs: 2009 Mikaele Oloa – Waialua, Oahu 2008 Viavia Tiumalu, Jr. – Orlando, Florida 2007 Andrew “Umi” Sexton – Orlando, Florida 2006 Mikaele Oloa – Orlando, Florida 2005 Mikaele Oloa – Orlando, Florida 2004 Alex Galeai – Laie, Hawaii 2003 David Galeai – Cook Islands 2002 Pati Levasa – Samoa 2001 Pati Levasa – Samoa 2000 David Galeai – Cook Islands 1999 David Galeai – Cook Islands 1998 Pati Levasa – Samoa 1997 Pati Levasa – Samoa 1996 Ifi Soo – Maui, Hawaii 1995 Ifi Soo – Maui, Hawaii 1994 Ifi Soo – Maui, Hawaii 1993 Tauasa Sielu Avea – Laie, Hawaii How are Fire Knife performances judged? According to the Polynesian Cultural Center blog, here are the guidelines for judging Fire Knife performances: 1. Knives length – Points are deducted if they do not meet regulation size 2. Speed – The faster contestants spin the knife, while maintaining control, the better 3. Height of throws – Judges like throws at least twice the competitors height 4. Degree of difficulty – The more complex the more points competitors score 5. Presentation – Dancers are also judged on their costume and “warrior-like” demeanor Here are some more Fire Knife performances: Mikaele Oloa Final Performance  Joseph Final Performance  Visit the Polynesian Cutlural Center with Discover Hawaii Toursto learn more about Polynesian culture.

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