The History of Firewalking -
The Myths and The Truth.
The Seminar Money Makers - World
Firewalking Record Holders.
Current World Record Holders -
Guiness Book of World Records:
On June 15, 2005, Amanda Dennison 23 yrs old,
of Alberta, Canada,
broke the then world record for completing the
longest firewalk on earth.
At 220 feet, the coals measured between 1,600-1,800
Millions have already done it and so can you.
But why do it and with whom? Entertainers in the western world create firewalking
seminars to make money. People living in the Far East walk across
for free. Some individuals do it to make a statement, like
unstoppable Amanda Dennison shown above, who lives by 'the power
THE EAST VERSES THE WEST:
It is a natural and normal association to fear
being burnt by fire, that keeps people in false awe. If you are
a timid, fear filled person, firewalking is a significant accomplishment,
but then again, so are a lot of things. Anything can be accomplished
once you've made your mind up. How many stories have you heard about ordinary
people doing extraordinary things? These people refused to take 'NO' for
an answer and in some cases did things in the moment, without stopping
to dwell on whether what they were doing was 'possible' or not. All
it takes is belief - If you believe you can, you will. If you believe
you can't, you won't.
In ancient cultures it's not about money.
It's a deeply significant spiritual experience.
A little girl walks across fire
with her mother in Japan.
AP Photo: Itsuo Inouye
"Anyone can do it, with just a few minutes
of coaching, but they wouldn't make
money if they told you that up front."
David Willey, World Record Firewalk
World Firewalking Champion
Gary Shawkey, 2000
The 'Latest' Craze:
Fueled by 'New Age' interest in the USA and Europe,
firewalking has gone through a popularity surge in the last decade, with
hundreds of thousands of people doing it in the USA alone and worldwide
well over two million. Firewalking is supposed to be a spiritual, sacred
ritual. Westerners have turned it into a fad, using it as a vehicle to
make money, dishonoring the tribes and cultures to whom it means something
way beyond commercialism, superficial glory seeking and the pretentious,
egotistical, clumsy western concepts of ancient spiritual rites.
Countries that practice Spiritual Firewalking:
India, Spain, Bulgaria, Tibet, Sri Lanka, China,
Japan, Argentina, Sumatra, Bali and Fiji.
The Kahunas of the Hawaiian Islands are famous
for their affinity with fire.
The !Kung tribe of the Kalahari Desert, Africa.
Several North American Indian tribes.
The Balinese believe the gods to be "children
of the people" so most of the firewalk dances are performed by children.
Hawaiian Kahunas walk over semi molten lava, with deep respect and special
chants to the goddess Pele. All these unique and special cultures know
that fire is a sacred element of nature and life itself, symbolic of the
great spirit within us all. Firewalking is a deeply spiritual experience
to uplift, rejuvenate, renew and heal the inner fire.
Daisho-in Temple on the slopes of Mount Misen
on 15 April every year.
On the sacred island of Miyajima. Hiwatari Shinji,
November every year.
The practice itself is quite ancient - the oldest
references to it go back more than 3,000 years, when ascetics in India
walked on embers to test and purify themselves. Firewalking has a long
history in Japan, where tens of thousands of people gather for several
firewalking rituals around the country each year, usually in the weeks
just before the beginning of spring.
The firewalk festival in the mountainous area
on the western outskirts of Tokyo is one of the best known. Priests say
it was first held more than 1,300 years ago by "yamabushi," mystics who
mix Buddhist beliefs with the nature worship of Japan's native Shinto.
Thousands of spectators watch mystics do the walk first then jump in behind
and walk across too.
WHO IS HOT - WHO IS NOT - WHO GOT BURNT
Guide to generic firewalk seminars in Australia,
Europe and USA.
"They (instructors) want you to believe there's
something special to be learned," said David Willey,
world firewalk record holder 1998 and an unusual
physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
"Anyone can do it, with just a few minutes
of coaching, but they wouldn't make money
if they told you that up front."
LIFE IS A FIREWALK.
Regardless of experience, there is always
the risk of injury and
You have the illusion it is impossible, painful,
dangerous, difficult. The actual challenge is to see through the illusion,
perpetuated by fear mongers and charming motivational speakers.
The Business Of FEAR:
So many walk through life with fear, so no wonder,
so many are afraid of walking across a little fire. Seminar leaders fan
your inner fears and insecurities in exchange for money and an unusual
experience you will brag about to your mates. Afterall, business is business
and people are afraid of most everything these days thanks to the puppet
profiteers in the government and the media, trickling on down to the seminar
leaders who have jumped on the band wagon of fear manipulation via entertainment.
Which Firewalk Instructor?
Tony Robbins charges US$895.00 - for an unforgettable3
1/2 day weekend of passion and excitement. Michael McDermott of Redmond,
Washington, USA, has charged $1,000-plus for the experience. Others charge
even more. Newcomers (usually Anthony Robbins copycats and past participants),
host and lead firewalks requesting smaller, more affordable ticket prices,
since they are copying the Robbins seminar format but they are NOT him.
(No this is not an info commercial for Anthony Robbins. He simply happens
to be the best value if you want to put out money to walk a few
feet across fire).
potential lawsuits, especially if the instructor
is not certified.
1) July 12th 2004, New Zealand
- "An attempt to create a world record for fire walking in Dunedin
yesterday led to 28 people being treated for burns - 11 of them
at hospital. Those injured were among 341 people who fulfilled criteria
set by the Guinness Book of Records - stepping inside markers on the side
of the 3.5-metre -long pit and being aged over 14. Guinness publishers
have to evaluate the information, which will take about two months.
Feet - Another case in point October 6th 2000.
A group of about 100 people from marketing at
Burger King in Miami, Florida, hired a consultant to do some team building
including a firewalk and a dozen or so participants received first and
second degree burns.
Experience and Spirituality.
Opt for outstanding guidance from a veteran and
master such as Tony Robbins (over 20 years experience) or a Pacific
Island Shaman - for a spiritual experience - whose families
have practiced for centuries. Peggy Dylan and Tolly
Burkan (the master) began instructing firewalking based on the
Tibetan Buddhist model. These are the two people responsible for introducing
firewalking to the 'modern' world 29 years ago. Tolly is the man who trained
Tony Robbins in 1983.
BEWARE! of Uncertified Firewalk Instructors.
If you choose to firewalk, make sure the instructor
is certified, inquire for how many years, and from whom exactly
was written certification given.
Contact Tolly at the Firewalk Institute of
Research and Education.
Check if an instructor is certified or not and
whose certification has been revoked. There are over 1,200 F.I.R.E. certified
instructors available internationally. Be sure your instructor is one of
Global Outstanding Certified Firewalk Instructors
- Highly Recommended:
Robbins - Over 25 years experience. Simply the BEST for turning
fear into power!
Rolf Beckman - Certified Swedish Instructors for Europeans
-Their motto: 'Living the Dream'. They led a Firewalk for a 1,000
people in Norway - August 25th 2000. 8 fires were used with 12 assistants.
Maisel - Designated as a Peace Elder by the Wolf Clan Teaching
Lodge of the Seneca Nation. Appeared on ABC, CBS and PBS.
Holds firewalks in Holland, Italy, Germany and California. Motivational
and leadership training since 1976.
WORLD RECORD HOLDER, Amanda
Dennison - Firewalk in Canada with Amanda, 'Power Of Intention'
peak performance coach.
Anyone not on this list is questionable
check their credentials and certification. Many of them are Anthony
Robbins ex-participants/staff members and copycats, who have been
barred from further association
with him due to firewalk injuries and for using his name to promote
#1 Peak Performance Coach Worldwide,
impacting over 50 million people
in the past 25 years.
A charismatic entertainer and a superb life
teacher, Robbins offers the best value. His
work is TRULY, permanently life
changing. The firewalk is used as a
metaphor to create the belief "If I can
do this, I can do anything!"
Robbins is a master of communication and
an expert at marketing. Is his 'firewalk'
seminar worth it? ABSOLUTELY.
don't be conned into paying more money
for seats closer to the stage - that IS a
rip-off and completely pointless.
The firewalk is held outdoors, after being
'pumped up' by Robbins to face your fears,
let go and to step up to a new level. 'You
will learn precisely how to transform the
quality of your life instantly and forever'.
Robbins, has had paraplegics and gang
members firewalk, thereby changing their
focus temporarily, and allowing them to
experience that anyone can do
anything once you set your mind
WORLD FIREWALK LOCATIONS
Long Beach, CA - July 29th FIREWALK.
New York - November 4th FIREWALK.
FYI - New TV Reality Show:
Tony Robbins Breakthrough.
"Rather like 'The Biggest Loser' inspires by the
extremes of weight loss, Tony will be dealing with
people who have major problems like bankruptcy,
like losing your job... (and showing them)
how to get over it, how to restart."
- Paul Telegd, NBC.
Six World Record Holder Firewalks
- Guinness Book of Records.
Two from UK, one from Canada and three from USA.
1) Scott Bell - UK
- Twice holder of the Guinness World Record for the greatest fire
walking distance - 328 ft. He is a internationally known as one of the
worlds leading experts on firewalking. (Scott has been in The Guinness
World Record book for 2007 and 2008)
World Champion Firewalker.
2) Trevor McGhee: 2006 and twice in 2007 - 294 ft, 389 ft and 597ft.
3) Amanda Dennison: 23yrs old, of Alberta,
Canada - June 15, 2005, 220 ft.
4) Gary Shawkey from Florida, led Hawaii's International
Firewalk Team to break the world record for firewalking, in Orlando, Florida,
USA. The Guinness Book Of Records were shocked to find that the
fire used by Shawkey was hotter than their gauge could measure, heating
up to 2,000 degrees! The Hawaii team walked the hottest ever 165 ft,
March 4th, 2000.
David Willey, UK.
Glasswalker and Firewalker.
Willey was previously claimed as the world champion on July 2nd
1998, after walking the complete length over a hot bed of coals 165 feet
long at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, no less than three times. The
event was documented by the BBC, the Discovery Channel and the Associated
Press. ABC producer John Stossel joined in the actual firewalk, for
a special documentary he was making on the nature of belief.
THE FIREWALK 'MYSTERY' REVEALED
"A firewalk of short length is something any
physically fit person could do. It does not need a particular state of
mind. Rather, it is the short time of contact and the low thermal capacity
and conductivity of the coals that is important." ~ D.Willey
David not only walks across hot coals but also
sinks his hand in molten lead, strides across broken glass, and has
blocks smashed across his body while lying on a bed of nails.
daring feat is a demonstration in science that he performs at venues ranging
from college classrooms to NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
6) Jim Jarvis, San Diego, USA - hottest and longest firewalk records.
Read this and save your money $$$
'Freethought Today' 1985
'The bed of coals is composed of burning embers
spread rather thin. Although they have a temperature of around 450 to 1000
degrees the ashes covering the coals are poor transmitters of heat. This
is why a person can tolerate a brief walk across the coals without serious
Instructors usually spray the grass around
the bed of coals with water. When people step barefooted on the wet
grass their feet get a thin layer of water surrounding their soles. The
evaporating water on the feet can provide a temporary insulating layer
against the heat. After all, how do you test a hot iron? You first wet
your finger. If you placed your dry finger on the hot iron it would get
The coals cool down rapidly. It is the people
that walk across first that have the hardest time. People can get burned
or blistered if they linger on the coals too long or step on a hot spot.
Indeed, many people who have enrolled in some of these firewalking courses
have been severely burned because either the firewalk was not prepared
properly or strong winds fanned the fire and blew off the insulating layer
The Southern California Skeptics, a local affiliate
of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal,
demonstrated the physics of firewalking at their public demonstration in
April of 1985 at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.
The 1200 degree coals were spread into a ten foot long bed of hot embers.
The public was then invited to walk across. Over one hundred and twenty
people barefooted the coals, including many Caltech students. The students
did not have to shell out a lot of coin to find out that the claims of
"mind over matter" were full of hot air.' ~ Al Seckel
'Because metal is a good conductor of heat and
air isn't, you can put a hand in a hot oven briefly without getting burned.
But touch the metal walls, and a burn results immediately. The same goes
for sand - because sand is a good conductor, a walk across the beach on
a sunny day can be quite painful. Wood, however, doesn't conduct heat very
effectively, David Willey says. And since the actual amount of time the
feet are in contact with the coals is usually only a second or so, not
much heat is transferred. The buildup of ash around the embers and the
natural moisture on the bottom of a firewalker's feet are two more layers
of protection.' ~ Eric Talmadge, Associated Press, March, 2000
Dr Robin Allen, a firewalking expert
also states that there is no mystery as to why people can walk over coals
at temperatures of hundreds of degrees C without coming to any harm whatsoever.
It all comes down to the physics of heat conduction. Physicists have studied
firewalking since the 1930's and have concluded that it is easily explained
- low heat capacity. Also, the high heat conduction ability of the body
cools the feet and injuries are avoided.
"Its like opening the oven to take out a baked
cake", Dr Allen said. "Everything in the oven is at the same temperature,
the air, the metal cake tin and the cake. You have no fear of putting your
hand in the oven - that's because the air is a poor conductor of heat and
doesn't immediately burn you. But the metal cake tin will!"
The same applies to firewalking. The wood or coal
that is normally used is a poor conductor of heat and would only cause
burns if feet stayed in contact long enough for the heat energy to be transferred.
Advice from Dr Allen who has actually performed several firewalks himself
is to "take brisk light steps, with toes curled upwards and don't hang
Turn Fear Into Power.
Check your bank account and go debunk another
myth if you feel the need that bad. BUT realize that what you are doing
is sacred and has profound meaning behind it. For those of you who want
a REAL challenge that lasts longer then a 3 second seminar walk, take part
in a REAL firewalk ceremony and EMBRACE the beautiful spiritual
purpose within it.
Face your fears and step up EVERYDAY.
Intimidation and limitation is purely denial
and refusal to see the power and strength within you. Let it go and you'll
kick yourself for waiting so long to really live!
Mental and emotional challenges.
Skydiving is great for adrenaline junkies or
scuba dive with sharks and giant manta rays. The younger generations
go for bungee jumping, kite surfing, race car driving and bridge/cave/cliff
diving. There is also snow boarding, free climbing and abseiling. Age has
actually nothing to do with it. Then, you can say with pride, "Been there.
Done that. Next."
Fijian Firewalkers, Marlin Bay, Bequa.
These Fijians pictured above, walk over
white hot stones ...
an unexplainable, awesome, powerful spiritual
experience. Their method of practice is serious and not for the
Happiness is a state of mind and focus. Challenge
yourself to move forward and constantly let go of yesterday. The reason
so many people are stuck/sad/angry/depressed/afraid...is
live in the past. LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT and HOLD ON TO NOTHING.
How? Just wake up and DO IT! Focus on where you want to go ... and GO.
Life is simply about Choices and Consequences
and Letting Go.
Live without ego or fear. Embrace your identity
and change it if you don't like it by doing whatever it takes. If that
includes walking across a hyped seminar fire, then go for it. Live with
inner strength, faith, humility, determination, honor, love and tremendous
gratitude. Have fun, play fullout everyday and live life to the max
... the greatest challenge of all!
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