By Jessica Elias
You hear your name being announced and you step up to the table to grab your knife. Your palms get a little sweaty. You look around and see the hundreds of people in the stands. Everyone is cheering you on while you go to unsheathe your knife making sure it is clear to cut. Your heart starts beating faster as you take a step closer to the 2×4. All of a sudden you’re off, chopping away! Slicing through straws, ripping through rope, and hammering away at the 2x4s. You feel as if hours have passed, yet when you finish the obstacle a little out of breath you realize it has only been a couple of minutes.
That’s how it felt for me when I attended the 2015 National BladeSports Cutting Competition. It was a beautiful day at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. There were 7 competitors in this competition. It was a two round cut, so they averaged the points of each cut to figure the totals. There were 2×4 chips flying, rope swinging, water bottles breaking, and hockey pucks splitting! This was definitely an eventful day and amazing time. Donavon Phillips was announcing each contestant and talking to the crowd with questions and answers. Lots of spectators won prizes from the sponsors and were filled in with some interesting trivia.
This cut was a little different from the rest. There were world champions, record breakers and long time skilled cutters. One thing that was different this time around was they introduced something other than just a surprise cut. They introduced me, the first female to ever compete at a National level. Yes, that’s right as I walked up in my bright pink shirt with my LTWK sponsored logo on it. I was very excited and nervous all at the same time. It definitely could have been intimidating for me but I overcome that right at the start after I met the other contestants and saw how awesome they all were. They took me in like I was no different. I got a really good view of what BladeSports really is about. It is about helping one another enjoy what they are passionate about. Whether they are knife makers, love to cut, or just know how to make things look pretty like what I do. I found out it wasn’t hard to fit in with a dedicated crew that BladeSports represents.
So back to me, I ended up finishing and qualifying for the World Championship in Atlanta, GA during the 2015 Blade Show. I will be the first woman to compete at the Worlds level and I am so looking forward to it. I have been practicing and getting advice from fellow cutters. I really hope to make a stand and show that women can do this too. I would love to get more men and women involved in this awesome sport!
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about BladeSports please go to www.bladesports.org to find out more information on how to get involved.