BladeSports International World Champion – James Clifton

A recent Facebook video making the rounds enlightened me to a sport I’d never heard of before. A sport so manly, it may be second only to Finnish Wife Carrying. Enter: BladeSports.

According to their website, “BladeSports International, Inc., is a Texas non-profit corporation formed to promote knife safety, provide workshops and cutting events for its members, and to inform and educate the public with regard to the safe use of a knife as a tool.” What I have found most fascinating in watching these competition videos is the quality of knives presented and indeed I’m told many competitors actually make their own knives.

That appears to be the case with 2017 World Champion and top-standings-holder James Clifton. Mr. Clifton is the proprietor of Rooster Fish Fabrication (aka Rooster Fish Knives) in Gallatin, TN, and his own model CPMM4 is shown in the competition video above. Though most of the knives on his website appear to be of the decorative folder or everyday carry type, I find myself most interested in the end-of-the-world monster shown below:


Regarding the Bladesports competition itself, any competitor (known as a Cutter) must pass a two-day certification process, and the knives used must adhere to a rigid set of specifications including dimensions, safety features, and testing requirements. Onlookers will be encouraged to know that these competitors aren’t Bubbas swinging around flimsy hatchets all willy-nilly.

Corey R. Wardrop

Corey R. Wardrop is the Museum Curator for the Institute of Military Technology in Titusville, Florida where he manages one of the finest, if not the finest, firearms collections in the country. Corey is a former OIF infantry Marine and has worked professionally in the firearms industry for over 20 years. In 2014 he obtained an unrelated Bachelor of Science degree from one of the nation’s leading diploma mills. Through his work at IMT he is currently studying CAD design with an emphasis in reverse engineering rare firearms.
Corey asks forgiveness for his novice-level photographs and insists they are improving dramatically thanks to certified rockstar Corey can be reached at and always appreciates suggestions for future articles.
For the record, Corey felt incredibly strange writing this bio in the third person.


  • El BAnDit0

    Dang ! I thought Blade Sport was a FCS thing. Made by the honorable Tuhon Ray Dionaldo and Guro Rich Verdejo. ?? Salamat Po WTF do I know.

  • El BAnDit0

    FCS 4 Life ! Salamat po!

  • El BAnDit0

    Keep rockin chopperz! Blade sport is a FCS thing. Thank you .

  • El BAnDit0

    Lets do new! Sparks.

    • El BAnDit0

      Salamat . Just freakin saying. Salamat

  • El BAnDit0

    Guro Nate

  • El BAnDit0

    “Blade Sport”

  • 22winmag

    Back-to-back knife articles on a firearms blog?

    Declining traffic evidenced below.

    • Giolli Joker

      Yet you comment every time you’re disappointed, also making the effort of taking a screen-shot of your favourite website, modifying it in MS Paint, uploading it online and linking it here.

    • Bradley

      You need a hobby.

    • Corey R. Wardrop

      Sorry to disappoint you 22winmag.

    • Corey R. Wardrop

      BTW, two other articles by me were published today – both about guns. Please feel free to check them out.

  • Giolli Joker

    The heavy duty wakizashi is Dan Keffeler’s Super Assassin.

    • Ryan L

      Dan was the previous bladesports champ correct? Both of these guys can cut. The sheath that Namen Borras made for James chopper is a work of art in it’s own right as well.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    This is the blade silliness equivalent of the cross training games…

    • Ryan L

      It’s mostly about highlighting or showcasing the geometry and heat treat capability on a blade.

      The “sport” is on the cutting edge of blade technology milking every bit of chopping power out of a particular steel through technique, heat treat and blade and handle geometry. Then add in some beastly swinging and boom you got some massive chopping. If anything, it’s more like the axe portion of the Stihl Timbersports.

      Congrats to Roosterfish – he creates both unique looking blades and ones that can do serious work. Also huge ups to the guys at Peters Heat Treat that I believe are the major sponsors of this competition.

      • .45

        I was most impressed by the rope cutting. I can chop boards and things with any old matchete, that’s not all that exciting.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Where do they conceal their firearms?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Check the other two posts today about knives, bayonets, and wiring batteries together. I’m sure there is a firearm in there somewhere.

  • Madcap_Magician

    CPM M4 is almost certainly not the name of Mr. Clifton’s knife model, it’s probably the steel from which it’s made, Crucible Particle Metallurgy’s M4, which is a steel much popularized for use in competitive chopper knives by knifemaker and past Bladesports champion Gayle Bradley.

  • Bill

    You REALLY need to check out tank biathlon.

  • Cal.Bar

    get back to me when the substitute the cheap (soft) pine with ash or oak.

    • Edeco

      True, I despise pine “shelving-grade” type stuff. It splits, oozes sap… I doubt it gives a consistent indication of the slaying power of the blades.

  • Edeco

    In some circles the Blade Sport Championship is a far better thing than the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby and the Lower Oakland Roller Derby Finals all rolled into one. This sport attracts a very special breed.*

    *paraphrased from Fear & Loathing

  • Corey R. Wardrop

    Timbersports is amazing. I’ve been listening to Chris Duffin’s Kabuki Strength podcast and he has expressed interest in competing. I would love to see that.

  • mazkact

    Thanks for Finnish Wife Carrying reference. SOUMI SISU Y’all.

  • noob

    This is actually pretty cool. to be able to go from shaving to chopping to shaving again is a tight system of metallurgy, bladesmithing and cutting skill.