Maui Arts & Entertainment

Third Annual Maui Fireknife Competition Planned

April 11, 2013, 10:10 AM HST
* Updated April 12, 8:55 AM
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By Vanessa Wolf

Photo courtesy Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

Photo courtesy Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

If you don’t enjoy watching men dance with blazing swords there may be something wrong with you.

Let us illuminate: not only are there likely to be a plethora of amazing tribal tattoos, but there’s fire! And sharp blades! These feats require incredible courage and skill…and it’s kind of crazy.

What’s not to love?

Presuming you are now seeing things clearly, on Friday, April 26, or Saturday, April 27, you can catch the third annual Maui Fireknife competition at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.


Si’a Le Afi – “Ignite The Fire!” – starts at 4:30 p.m. with a cash bar, live music, and on-site crafters.


At 5 p.m., interactive stations including flower lei crafting, coconut husking, kapa (bark cloth found throughout Polynesia) printing, and hula dancing begin.

At 5:30 p.m., there will be a traditional luau buffet offering such favorites as imu baked kalua pig, grilled teriyaki steaks, shoyu chicken, lomi lomi salad and poi.

At 6:10 p.m. on Friday, several signature numbers from the Marriot’s “Te Au Moana” show will be presented, followed by the fireknife competition. That evening, all of the competitors will perform in the preliminary round. Only the top three highest-scored competitors will advance to the finals.


Guests who attend on Saturday will see the full production of Te Au Moana beginning at 7 p.m., followed by the finals of the Fireknife Competition, the results and award ceremony.

These men aren’t taking their limbs and life in their own hands for nothing.

Photo courtesy Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

Photo courtesy Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

The grand prize winner will receive $3,000 cash and a round-trip ticket, ground transportation and lodging sponsorship to compete in the 2013 World Fireknife Competition on May 8-11 at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, on the north shore of Oahu.

The second-place winner will receive $1,500 cash and additional prizes, and the third place winner will receive $500.

The expert panel of judges includes Pulefano Galea’i, a renowned fireknife dancer & Samoan cultural expert. Galea’i is the founder of the “We Are Samoa Festival” and the World Fireknife Competition.

Other judges include Malo Seleni, one of the original pioneers of fireknife dancing in Hawaii; Ifi So`o, Maui’s own three-time World Fireknife Champion, and Chief Sielu Avea, who was the winner of the first ever World Fireknife Competition in 1993.

Ticket pricing per night is:

  • $52 for kama’aina adults (13 and up)
  • $42 kama’aina keiki (6 to 12)
  • Entrance is free for kama`aina children age five and under
  • $104 ($114 for premium seating) for adults (non-kama’aina)
  • $57 ($67 for premium seating) for children 6-12 (non-kama’aina)
  • $10 for non-kama’aina children five and under are $10.

Valet parking is available at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa for $5 and there is free self-parking with validation.

Call 877-827-2740 for reservations.

Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (

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