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2005 Blade Show/World Knife Throwers Guild Championship
from Eryk Smith

Well, another BLADE Show WKTG Championship is in the record books, and what a tournament it was! Sunday rolled in and so did the clouds. Fast moving formations made it even money as to whether we would be able to get this event off the ground.

(Hold your mouse over the pictures and information will pop up)

Monika and John Bailey, Joe Darrah, Linda Brown and Mike Bainton
The tournament consisted of two different events. The first was walking the knives up two 4 x 4 posts. There were 3 targets on each 4 foot post and each thrower had to engage 5 of them in 15 seconds or less. (See pic below on left)

knife throwing targets
The second event was a combination of IKTHOF and Mountain Man throwing. Four of the targets in the "W" were bulleyes. The twist was the the scoring circle was only 4 inches wide! The middle target also held a playing card. (See pic above on right)

The showers ended around 12:50pm and the throwers were able to continue with their warm-up. The knives were getting slippery and we had to make liberal use of paper towels and t-shirts. The event started off with a demo by John Bailey.

John thrilled the crowd with a display of "whipmanship" (is that a word?) that brought constant ovations. I'm not sure if the applause was for John's skill or Monica's nerve. John demonstrated most of the whips in his collection, sometimes working two at one time. Between John and Joe, the crowd got an education on the use of the whip.

John moved on to his throwing demo. Again Monica's nerve showed as John threw around her. John showed his amazing skill and accuracy as he threw blade after blade. Monica recieved her own ovation as John threw a dagger that burst a balloon under her chin. John and Monica tour the country, demonstrating Lash and Steel. Monica is his constant assistant and has the utmost faith in his skill. Joe Darrah on the otherhand looks a tad nervous :-)

Notice how calm the assistant is. This is the sign of a true professional with nerves of steel! Way to go Joe! :-)
The audience , not knowing John, did not have the same faith and several had to rock from side to side to break the suction their butts had on the benches.

The weather continued to hold as we started the contest. Linda was first, followed by Joe and Mike. The Walk the Post event was first. As a time event, the pressure was on the throwers to hit a four inch wide target that starts off one foot from the ground.

The contestants threw from the 12 foot line and the number of bullseyes increased as people grew more confident. Although the sides were reinforced, Mike Bainton's monster bowies threatened to rip apart even pressure treated lumber. (We may have to utilize fence posts next year.) You could see the people in the audience wondering how a person could get a peice of steel to turn end over end and stick in a four inch post. I wondered the same and I built the damn things. I just hoped that they would look back upon this event and remember me kindly.

Mike Bainton throwing
Joe Darrah throwing knives
After 4 rounds, the event ended with Joe leading Mike by one point.

The throwers moved on to the 2nd event, The combination IKTHOF and Mountain Man contest. I reminded the contestants of how much playing cards cost, but they seemed to take great delight impaling the playing cards with disturbing regularity. Seeing that this event was contested at 18 feet, I thought that my cards were safe. This made little difference as the throwers continued to impale my poor playing cards as well as the bullseyes from the other targets as well.

Linda Brown tearing up the boards at her first WKTG Championship
Linda quickly became a crowd favorite as she stepped to the line time after time and showed the form of the champion that she is. She has shown people that that this sport is for everyone and I could see many of the people in the crowd cheering her on as she engaged each target.

Joe and Mike had an easygoing way about them that brought the crown into the contest and made them feel a part of what was going on. As the 2nd event would down, Joe emerged in first place again.

The final scores were:

Linda - 22 points
Mike - 47 points
Joe - 53 points

A happy Joe Darrah and friends
This is Joe's third WKTG Championship. The man seems to thrive on pressure. He also thrives on promoting the sport. He spends countless hours teaching newcomers and veterans alike and giving away many of his custom made throwers. Mike Bainton has organized so so much in such a short time and has emerged as one of the giants in this sport. Joe, Mike, John, Ed and Bobby have given so much to this sport that it is almost unbelievable that we get to have all of these individuals in one place at one time.

The Atlanta BLADE Show is truly becoming one of the places to be in the world of knifethrowing.

Article Contributed By:

Eryk Smith
Atlanta, GA




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