Thanks to shows like America's Got Talent and films like The Expendables and The Hunger Games, knife throwing has been gaining more and more momentum recently. As the holidays and birthdays approach, we've even been talking to parents who are looking for introductory knife throwing sets for their children and teens. Let's face it: Knife Throwing is hot!
Though knife-wielding fictional characters like Lee Christmas or Naruto are fun to watch, we shouldn't forget about the real-life heroes who perform the same incredible stunts on stages and at tournaments across the United States. To that end, we've put together a short list of some of the more exciting knife throwing personalities out there. They're sure to inspire and educate beginners to the craft, and range from tournament regulars to spectacular performers.
Rudd Iceman Pickett
From the time he was 11 years old, Rudd Iceman Pickett has competed at knife throwing tournaments alongside full-grown adults. At 16, the dark horse from Warrensburg, Missouri, snagged the 1st Expert-rank Cup as well as the World Cup at the 2010 Annual World Championship, beating out the old guard of the knife throwing world in a thrilling performance.
His distinctive nickname is a credit to the calm and collected demeanor that he has displayed during competitions, even as a young boy. For achieving the once-impossible dream of outperforming seasoned veterans, Iceman has earned the undying admiration of countless junior knife throwers.
Melody Joy and TJ Cuenca
This brilliant married couple, who perform as The Quicksilvers, are each champions in their own right. Melody Joy Montana Hale Cuenca is a veteran of Wild West shows and gained fame as one half of the Rhinestone Ropers. Along with famed thrower Dan Mink, she performed all across the United States; they even made it to the quarter finals of the America's Got Talent competition in 2011. She's consistently among the top-ranked competitors in expert-level knife throwing and has been inducted into the International Knife Throwers Hall of Fame a whopping three times. Currently, she is the #1 adult female knife thrower in the world.
TJ Cuenca is a living master of the Filipino Martial Arts and a professional stuntman. His speciality, Ocho Kantos Kali, is a weapon-based martial art that emphasizes bladed weaponry, sticks and improvised weapons. By combining their individual modes of expertise, the Cuencas have taught many hobbyists, law enforcement professionals, and everyday people the finer points of the blade arts. They operate the Blade Aces group as well as Tribal Advantage Martial Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Though he came to knife throwing late in the game, Dr. David Adamovich (a.k.a. The Great Throwdini) has catapulted to fame by decimating world records for speed and accuracy in knife throwing.
His ability to articulate the physics of knife-throwing has made him a favorite representative of the impalement arts for beginners and science-minded hobbyists. This is more than likely due to the fact that, in his past life as an academic and physician, he specialized in exercise physiology, or the study of how the body reacts to sports and exercise. He has performed his stunning show all around the world and earned accolades such as the Merlin Award for Outstanding Performance in the Impalement Arts.
Born as Todd Abrams, Jack Dagger is one of the most compelling and interesting knife throwers out there. He started throwing at a young age and quickly picked up the skill needed to help him appear in thousands of shows. Aside from being a skilled performer, he's also won several World Championships and competitions.
Perhaps his most harrowing and well-known knife-throwing trick is called the Cucumber Slice in which a brave and fearless volunteer rests a cucumber on her wrist and Dagger cuts it with a throwing knife. (You can see it at the end of the clip above.)
You can read more about the man behind the knife in our profile of Jack Dagger on the Knife Depot blog.