of the Year
Salyers was born in 1946 and got his first pocket
knife five years later. He started playing mumbly-peg
with his older brother that afternoon. Mr. Salyers
has been throwing ever since. After meeting Bob
Karp in the 1990's, Don began to help with his seminars
and according to Bob Karp, has taught at least 1000
people to throw knives. In contests, he usually
comes in 2nd or 3rd, but that is not his real area of
interest. Mr. Salyers enjoys working with beginners
best. He hopes to continue doing so for a long
Life Achievement Award
D. Karp-"Throwing for me began as a very
young lad. I watched my father, "Big Bob"
Karp, pitch every conceivable throwing implement one
might think of. Naturally, I wanted to emulate
Dad, and after over thirty years, his lessons on knife
throwing, firearms safety and love of the great outdoors
are ideas I am imparting to my son, who listens intently
when his grandpa speaks. It has been my great
pleasure to help instruct students at IKTA seminars
where we taught police personnel, military men, martial
arts students and a variety of people with an interest
in this sport. The IKTA was formed in anticipation
of competition. I was pleased to participate in
1998 at Stateline, NV., throwing with people who shared
our family's passion for the sport. The participants
were accomplished throwers, and the competition gets
keener every year. Some time soon I hope to throw
with these gentlemen again, as I still love to throw.
Gentlemen, I very much appreciate your recognition for
this honor, and rest assured, the admiration is mutual."
Throwing Pioneer Award
Werner was born in 1921 in Salt Lake City,
Utah. He says that he has always had a fascination
for knives. Mr. Werner has been making knives
since the 30's. He first began with old files
and butcher knives, but also carved knives out of
wood and took them to a blacksmith for production.
Mr. Werner has made patch, Bowie, hunting and folding
knives, all of his own design, sharpened and polished
to perfection with handles made of water buffalo horn
or quality wood. He makes each knife from scratch,
cutting his own designs from spring steel then tempering
the metal to his own specifications. In 1971,
Mr. Werner was exposed to Mountain Man Rendezvous.
He began making throwing knives and learning to throw.
His first throwing knife had handles made of synthetic
durable material tough enough to handle the wear and
tear of throwing. Later, he used thick shoe
leather for handles to comply with authenticity of
the Mountain Man historic period. He worked
to find the best shape, weight, and balance for throwing.
He took advantage of the natural beauty of rust that
pitted the metal rather than sharpening and polishing
the knife. He began to experiment with the shape
and weight creating an unusual but functional and
balanced throwing knife. Mr. Werner says, "I
have enjoyed making and throwing knives for many years.
It is people like Bob Karp who make throwing and making
knives a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor.
Thank you for considering me for the IKTHOF.
It is truly an honor."
Champion of the Year Award
Poole-"With the purchase of an old log
cabin high in the Rocky Mountains, I had the good fortune
to cross the path of Mike "Ironpost" Kolisch
in 1994. With my own respect for the Mountain Man era,
it wasn't long before he had me throwing knives and
tomahawks. From his helpful hints, I've been able
to be in the money in every throw since 1999, topping
off with 2nd place Overall Rocky Mountain Challenge
2000, 2nd Overall Texas State Champion 2004, and 1st
place Overall Rocky Mountain Challenge 2002 & 2004."
Knife Thrower of the Year
"Alamo" Bainton, Ph.D.-In 2003,
2004, and 2005, Dr. Bainton was the uncontested Overall
Knife Throwing World Champion and missed the 2006
World Championship by one point (won by Bob "Old
Dog" Pyle). In addition to the three World
Championships, as of March 10, 2007, he has 35 first
place wins and numerous second place wins, making
him the most prolific thrower in the history of knife
throwing. He is the only thrower to make a PERFECT
score in impalement while at the World Championships
in Claremore, OK. He is listed in the 2008 Guiness
Book of World Records as the Most Knife Throwing World
Titles Won. However, Dr. Bainton's greatest
pride comes from the 130+ children that attend his
award winning after-school martial arts program.
Now in its 15th year of successful operation, South
Austin Karate has become a touchstone by which other
martial art schools and after-school programs are
judged. By teaching the students life long values
like respect for family and responsibility for education,
he is creating a reward for himself and the community
that will outlive any other honor he has or may achieve
in his life.
Female Competitor Award
Weems was introduced into knife and tomahawk
throwing when she was 15. She started throwing
in the backyard with her father for fun and with his
encouragement, she decided to enter into professional
competition along with him. Starting in 2000,
she entered the Rocky Mountain Challenge in the professional
women's division and won second place. At her
next competition, she won first in the knife and second
in the hawk and was overall winner as the Women's
Texas State Champion in 2001. Since that time,
she has become a three-time Texas State Champion winning
again in 2003 and 2004. She is also two-time
champion at Fort Martin Scott in Fredericksburg, TX.,
in 2002 and 2003. She's been runner-up at the
Rocky Mountain Challenge for four years. Erica
primarily throws in Mountain Man style competitions
and enjoys traveling the different parts of the country
to compete along with her family and friends.
She is a member of the Cedar Creek Knife and Hawk
Club of Malakoff, TX., which hosts the Texas State
Championships each year. Erica is a sophomore
at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, TX.,
where she is a member of the Seven-time National Champion
Cheerleading Squad. She also enjoys spending
time with her fiance', Cody Molock.
Maker of the Year Award
Koch-"I began my serious interest in
knife throwing in 1976 at the age of 24 when I attended
a black powder shoot and observed some buckskinners
throwing axes. I obtained one and after learning
to stick it, I wanted to throw a knife. My first
experience with a high quality throwing knife came
the following year when I ordered some Tru-Bal throwing
knives from Harry McEvoy along with his book and instructions.
This set the stage for many years of throwing satisfaction.
In 1981, I saw Paul LaCross throw at our local Cattle
Congress Fair. In 1991, I saw Dan Dennehy and
Harry McEvoy throw at the Blade Show in Knoxville,
TN. In 1995, I got some equipment and made some
designs of my own. In 1996, I attended an AKTA
contest organized by Bobby Branton. There I
met many dedicated throwers and witnessed an awesome
knife throwing performance by Che Che Whitecloud.
In 1999, I retired from John Deere in Waterloo, IA.
after many years of chipping, grinding, hammering,
and machining tractor parts. In 2000 and for
a period of time I sold knives on Scott Gracia's "The
Great Throwzini" website and my hobby blossomed."
Lifetime Achievement Award
Haines began to have an interest in throwing
about the same time that his mother noticed her butcher
knife handles weren't made the way they used to be.
His dad figured it out when he noticed his favorite
cherry tree was leaking. Dick had seen Sylvester
and Barbara Braun on tour with a very impressive act.
Dick's show experience includes producing many coliseum
shows as The Haines Family Circus. Their show
included The Sky Merchants High Wire with Mr. Haines
in the back of the pyramid, his magic act, fire eating,
whips, and of
course, knife throwing. Mr. Haines' show was
the very first circus show in the convention complex
in Columbus, OH., with his talents as well his sons'
unique show, jugglers, and animal acts, etc.
Having studied and practiced several different professional
throwing styles he is able to coach whichever technique
seems to be best suited to each student; whether it
is McEvoy's thumb on top, Bob Karp's blade shift,
Joe "Brokenfeather" Darrah's low crouching
throw and his "dart" throw, as well as other
great throwers. Years ago, Dick was sending
some of his better throwers to the late, great, Harry
McEvoy for throwing knives and some free lessons.
In the previous year Dick has given lessons to over
130 different people, most of who were Boy Scouts.
Dick uses the Wheel of Death, throws from a rola-bola,
and throws through his own lariat loop, and sometimes
all three at the same time. He has also thrown
for "The Great Throwdini" to practice his
blade catch. Dick says that his visit with Pat
Minter may have made him the most stubborn thrower
that Adamovich has ever seen. McEvoy and Burl
Carl have had a great influence on his designing knives,
and Che Che Whitecloud has him convinced that there
is no time to ever give up. Dick would like
to thank "Brokenfeather" for the nomination,
and the IKTHOF for this great honor."
Throwing Pioneer Award
"Chief Whitecloud" Pierce was born
on the Seneca Alleghany Indian Reservation at Salamanca,
N.Y.. The Pierce homestead was comprised of family
Native American entertainers. It was there Lawrence
learned the skills he would use throughout his life.
He later became better known as Chief Whitecloud and
performed feats of sharp shooting: battle axe,
knife and tomahawk throwing at human targets.
He was also well known for his skill with whips, rope
spinning and trick riding. He was the teacher
of Che Che Whitecloud and his sister Diane, who have
continued the traditions of making their living performing
these dangerous arts started 225 years ago.
Knife Thrower of the 20th Century
"Che Che Whitecloud" Pierce is known
nationwide as a true pioneer of knife throwing.
With over 68 years of professional performances including
throwing in early film, stage performances, the "birth"
of Las Vegas, and before thousands of audiences.
"Che Che Whitecloud" is a third generation
professional impalement artist who began throwing
before the age of 10. A guiding force in the
world of knife throwing, Mr. Pierce has donated his
time, money and energies into his commitment that
the art of knife throwing should be preserved and
taught in the USA. He tours the nationa ll year
promoting the arrt and the sport-at his expense-for
the preservation of the art. Kenneth Pierce
is also a distinguished citizen in the state of New
York, receiving the special "KNIFE1" license
plate from the governor of New York. Even at
the age of 77, "Che Che Whitecloud" is still
a professional impalement artist. "Che
Che Whitecloud" is also receiving the 2004 Knife
Throwing Pioneer Award.
Recognition as a Thrower and Performer Award
"Thomi Hawk" Hickey was born October
6, 1962 in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. As a child, Thomi
played army and cowboys and Indians with his buddies,
mimicking the knife throwers they saw in movies.
This would all be nothing but play until Thomi turned
13, when he joined a reenactment group where he learned
to throw real knives and tomahawks. Thomi spent
many years honing his tomahawk throwing skills.
He constantly entertained his friends, family, and
spectators who attended the many reenactments.
After winning most every contest he entered, Thomi
decided to take a break from competitions. Thomi
spent ten years expanding his interests in raising
wolves, riding Harley's and trying his hand at cowboy
action shooting. One day the phone rang with
yet another opportunity to showcase his many talents.
Thomi then found himself performing with a Wild West
Production Company, the Frontier Riders. It
proved to be a very busy year in 1996 with his new
career and the birth of his first daughter.
In the last nine years, Thomi has performed all over
the US and upon the high seas. During this time
he has had the opportunity to meet and befriend some
of the best performers in the Wild West and Knife
Throwing World. Constantly traveling and doing
shows, Thomi cherishes his time at home with his wife
Geryl and their two daughters, Jessie and Lacey.
It seems grass does not grow under Thomi's feet; he
is always practicing and adding new skills to his
already perfected stage performance. As well
as knives and tomahawks, Thomi also throws stars,
throwing rings, spikes, hatchets, axes, and steel
cards and is skilled in trick and fancy gun spinning,
bull whipping, fast and fancy Hollywood draws and
trick shooting. As if that is not enough to
take up his time, his girls want to learn all of these
skills. Thomi is very proud to teach them and
strongly feels that these skills must be passed on
to the next generation so none of the old Western
skills become a dying art. Che Che Whitecloud
has been quoted as saying, "Thomi Hawk is the
best tomahawk thrower I have ever seen."
Thrower of the Year
Branton-As a young man growing up in rural
South Carolina, Mr. Branton developed a passion for
knives that has stayed with him throughout his adult
life. In his younger years, knives were tools
for skinning game, filleting fish, and for throwing
as a means of entertainment. In 1983, he discovered
some custom knives in a local shop and was amazed
by the beauty and craftsmanship of those handcrafted
blades and started his own collection. After
constant reading, research, and collecting knives,
he reconstructed his shop in order to create these
treasured handcrafted knives. Bobby met legendary
blademaker Harry McEvoy in 1987. Mr. McEvoy
taught him the fine art of handcrafting throwing knives
and he also helped design Bobby's first series of
throwing knives. Mr. Branton has since designed
several models of throwing knives that have been used
to win major knife throwing competitions across the
country. In 1996, with the help of Stephen McEvoy,
Kenneth Pierce, his wife Nancy, and a few close friends,
Bobby reorganized the American Knife Throwers Alliance
and held what has been arguably the first knife and
tomahawk "only" contest in over 20 years.
Mr. Branton has been promoting the art of knife throwing
by giving seminars on the subject since 1996.
Also in 1996, Mr. Branton was awarded the South Carolina
State Folk Heritage Award for work in bladesmithing
and for preserving the traditions of South Carolina.
Mr. Branton has handcrafted knives for such greats
as Paul LaCross, Che Che Whitecloud, Larry Cisewski,
former South Carolina Carroll Campbell, and former
Texas Governor and current President of the United
States, George W. Bush.
Life Achievement Award
"Chief Thundercloud" Waldorff was
a charismatic leader who influenced tens of thousands
of admirers in several different fields. Whether
lecturing to an audience of university professors
about Indians, performing on stage, or telling a story
to a group of kids around a campfire, Waldorff took
center stage with enthusiasm, authority and dignity.
As he spoke, he put the listeners into the midst of
the action with a voice that was deep, strong, and
clear as a bell. His attention to detail was
amazing, his accuracy of facts was impeccable, and
his concern for Indians and environmental issues ran
very deep. Here was a man who knew where he
was coming from and where he was going. If you
didn't hold onto your seat, you'd get swept along,
too. Mr. Waldorff rose to national prominence
in the 1960's as "Chief Thundercloud," one
of the nation's top Wild West Show Performers, right
up there with Lash La Rue, Chief A.J., and Che Che
Whitecloud. He stunned audiences with his knife
throwing, bull whip tricks, trick shooting with both
bow and arrow and guns, and other feats. Waldorff
was also a superior knife thrower, performing all
the standard tricks, including outlining his cute
Indian assistant while she stood with arms outstretched
against a circle of wood. After the throwing,
she would step away completely unhurt and the audiences
would go wild. He never had a mishap.
Doug also threw multiple blades. He'd start
with one, showing his accuracy, then 2, then 3, 4,
and finally 5 at once, all sticking. Few throwers
today can do that. In addition to his work as
"Chief Thundercloud," Doug Waldorff also
wore various hats of firefighter, conductor of a concert
orchestra, a rodeo trick rider, a radio and TV announcer,
a minister, a High Priest, a scoutmaster, an archeologist,
an actor, the director of two living Indian Village/Museums,
an author, and a multi-media technician and programmer.
Champion of the Year Award
"Sourdough" Pyle started throwing
in 1995. First competed in the Rocky Mountain
National Championship held in Alpine, WY., placing second.
1997 Rocky Mountain Overall Champion
2001 Texas Champion-Hawk
Rocky Mountain Champion-Knife
2002 Texas Champion-Hawk
Rocky Mountain Champion-Knife
2003 Fort Scott, Texas Champion-Overall
Rocky Mountain Champion
2004 Rocky Mountain Champion-Knife
is a pioneer knife thrower, throwing and competing for
well over 20 years. He has won more competitions
than can be listed, an indication of his finely honed
ability. Mr. Tate is a driving force behind knife
throwing and is responsible for keeping the Rocky Mountain
Championship throw alive. He is also a knife and
hawk maker in his own right. He truly has kept
the spirit of throwing alive for many a mountain man
reenactor and rendezvouers.