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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 15, 2010

YouTube-trained Florida boy wins fireknife competition at Laie

Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Eleven-year-old Preson Weber of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a self-taught fireknife performer, won his age-group title Thursday night at the 18th World Fireknife Championships in Laie.

AP Photo/McNeil Wilson Communications

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An 11-year-old boy who learned how to handle the Samoan fireknife from watching YouTube sites has won his age-division title at the 18th annual World Fireknife Championships in Laie.

Preston Weber of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has been a fireknife enthusiast for only about year, but he was skillful enough to win the 6-11 Junior Division Thursday night at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Rex Tiumalu of Orlando, Fla., took the 12-17 Junior Division.

The fireknife dance consists of twirling a sharp knife, with both ends on fire, at high speeds. It stems from a dance Samoan warriors performed before battle to frighten the enemy and afterward to celebrate victory.

The adult individual world champion will be crowned Saturday night.