After spending a year in the US, Filipino bladesmith Ryu Lim returns to the Philippines hoping to conduct a free blacksmithing workshop again.
He did the same thing before he left, in Batangas and Puerto Princesa, Palawan. He introduced the basics of blacksmithing “as art, hobby or an alternative source of income” to those in need.
“As soon as I come up with the funds I’m gonna have more workshop,” he told Bulletin Entertainment in an interview, noting he’s currently saving for it as he doesn’t want to accept any donations.
“I’ve got to generate that cash myself and then put it to work.”
The native Pampangueño finds it necessary to revive blacksmithing.
“A lot of people are losing interest, they don’t want to do blacksmithing anymore. The new generation doesn’t want to continue what their fathers have been doing for a while. It would be a sad thing if we loss that part of our culture,” he maintained.
Ryu recalled the time he came back to the Philippines for the first time after moving in the States at the age of 12.
“I visited Philippines four years ago for the first time and I saw how difficult it is for a lot of people to find good jobs here. I thought blacksmithing could generate jobs from next to nothing. We can create jobs basically out of nothing as you don’t need much to get started,” he said.
Ryu divulged he is self-taught in blacksmithing.
“When I was a kid I used to hang around the blacksmith shop all the time and they would let me help out like I will move charcoal for them or work the bellows but you know they were not gonna teach you anything. They keep everything in secret but I would try to replicate what I learned or what I’ve observed from that day and try it myself at home. So basically I taught myself doing it via trial and error,” he shared.
Ryu made his mark as blacksmith by joining “Forged In Fire,” an American competition series that airs on the History channel. He ended up champion.
According to Ryu, participating in the show is probably the hardest forging experience he has ever had.
“You know, you get the impossible timeline to make something that you’re not expecting to make. Specially in season 1, we have no idea what was going on, we just gonna jump in like blindfolded,” he recalled.
But above all, Ryu is thankful to have found a new family in the show.
“Most of the guys I competed are my good friends now and it’s something I’m very thankful for, I’m very glad I did it,” he said.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity ’cause I was able to meet and work with other bladesmith. Back then I always thought I was the only bladesmith out there, I didn’t know there was so much more and ‘Forged In Fire’ gave me the opportunity to discover that door, to go through that door.”
If anything, Ryu teased audiences should look forward for this year’s season as there will be a lot of surprises.
“There’s lot of excitement in the new coming season. It will be bigger and lot of exotic blades. We’re looking at a lot more Filipino weapons that’s gonna come out in the show. Just expect a lot of stuff as it’s going in that direction,” he maintained.
The blacksmith advises viewers to use the show as inspiration to learn more and dig deeper.
“Use it to get started and encourage yourself but don’t use it as a learning medium as you gonna do your own research,” he explained.
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