Knife-Life: Landis couple find niche in rare sport

Published 12:10 am Saturday, September 9, 2023

LANDIS — The town of Landis is home to many uniquities and recently added a gold medalist knife thrower to the list after a successful showing last month in Ohio.

Judah Myers won the top prize in the professional no-spin knife-throwing category at the Games of Throws knife and ax-throwing competition at the White Oak Ridge event venue in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Blade Aces, a leading organization in the world of knife throwing, hosted the event.

The field consisted of 61 competitors from the U.S. and Canada. Myers was not the only Landis resident there, either. His wife, Hannah Satterfield, was also among the competitors. The couple actually met through knife-throwing.

“We are pleased not only for the turnout but also for the caliber of talent that competed,” said Ron Thomas, Blade Aces co-CEO. “The sport continues to grow in popularity, and Blade Aces will continue to lead the best practices for knife throwing competitions.”

Myers has been honing his skills for years. Old country and Western movies piqued his interest at a young age.

“You could see them throwing the tomahawk and things like that,” Myers said.

He started looking into the competitive side of the sport through YouTube videos.

“There wasn’t much other than that on social media,” Myers said.

However, competitive knife-throwing has been around for a long time.

“The ATKA (American Knife Throwers Alliance) has been doing tournaments since the 1980s,” Myers said.

He also pointed out that circuses have long employed knife-throwing acts as entertainment.

While it is an activity the couple enjoys, they take it far more seriously than just a circus act. It’s serious competition for them, and they always aim to win. Unfortunately, with few knife-throwing competitions nearby, Myers and Satterfield sometimes drive 10 or 12 hours to events.

“There really aren’t events around here with this style of knife throwing,” Satterfield said. “It’s usually Texas, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, but the only things around here are local ax houses, and that is not the style of knife throwing we do. They are more commercialized. They are not the real-deal old school true knife-throwing venues.”

When competing, the couple participates in various events and categories, which differ from the range where the throwers stand and the object they would throw, such as an ax or a knife.

“They have amateur and pro divisions,” Myers said. “Amateur would probably be two meters to five meters. Professional would be three meters to seven meters.”

Finding fellow knife-throwing enthusiasts in the area has not been easy, but Satterfield formed her own group called the Shank Sisters of the Carolinas, an all-female knife-throwing club.

“I am the president, but it was hard to find a lot of women throwers around here, so all the other girls are in South Carolina,” Satterfield said. “We’re part of a nonprofit called the WWK, which is Women With Knives.”

Their season starts in January and runs through April.

Myers typically practices alone, but the results speak for themselves.

“I am a two-time world champion, winning twice in Austin (Texas) in 2018,” Myers said. “I won the U.S. Nationals in Vegas in 2017.”

Myers and Satterfield encourage anyone interested in the world of knife throwing to reach out to them on Facebook or Instagram.

“There are a lot of knife-throwing groups to check out, too,” Myers said.