Filipino bladesmith in reality tilt | Inquirer Entertainment

Filipino bladesmith in reality tilt

By: - Writing Editor
/ 12:45 AM November 27, 2015
LIM REALIZED the importance of taking chances.

LIM REALIZED the importance of taking chances.

For “nomadic bladesmith” Ryu Lim, creating weaponry with his own hands offers him a unique outlet for creativity. He’s been interested in the art form since he made his first sword at age 10 in the Philippines.

“Everything about creating bladed weapons fascinates me—from the forging process to the final honing of the blade,” Lim tells the Inquirer in an e-mail interview. He is a contestant in the reality tilt, “Forged in Fire,” on History channel (Thursdays, 10 p.m.), which pits four weapon makers against one another.


He will appear in the Dec. 3 episode, in which Lim and his competitors will each create a Viking battle ax from scratch.

“It amazes me how you can transform the four basic elements into a useful tool,” says Lim, 28, whose family moved to New Jersey when he was 12. He found ways “to never stop swinging,” finding inspiration from historical accounts of “bladesmithing.”


“I love learning about history and how bladed tools brought mankind out of the caves—and helped build all the magnificence we have today,” says Lim, who was contacted online by producers who saw photos of his craft. “I was skeptical. It took me months to finally answer the e-mails, because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. But I realized that if I wanted to take my craft to another level, I had to take chances!”


While he makes blades for collectors, he prefers that buyers use them in practical applications, including law enforcement, military use, construction, martial arts and survival practices. “With that in mind, I do my best to make each piece of my art as tough and functional as possible,” he says.

As for the entertainment value of the program, Ryu is confident that viewers will find the reality competition appealing: “It is incredibly entertaining to anyone who can appreciate handmade objects, whether they’re artists or not.”

The toughest challenge? “I can adapt well to any environment due to my survivalist-nomadic lifestyle, but the time element is definitely the hardest part—I always take as much time as I want when it comes to making blades! And you have to keep it fun and try not to make it feel like work!”

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TAGS: blade, bladesmith, Entertainment, Reality, Ryu Lim, weapon, weaponry
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