Dai Andrews

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Dai Andrews
Dai Andrews - Sword Swallower, Escape artist, Fakir.jpg
Born (1977-12-22) December 22, 1977 (age 40)
OccupationFakir, Sword swallower, Martial Artist, Performer of mind-over-body demonstrations
Known forFour time Guinness World Record™ holder for sword swallowing

Dai Andrews, (born David Matthew Andrews, December 22, 1977) is an American performance and visual artist, motivational speaker, director, producer, martial artist, and multiple Guinness World Record holder. He is also the proprietor of Dream Machine Arts and Unforgettable Entertainment, both entertainment agencies based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.[1]


Dai Andrews first became interested in stage magic upon receiving a magic set for his fifth birthday.[2] In 1994, at age 17, Andrews was recruited to demonstrate and sell magic kits at a small magic shop at Tysons Corner Mall.[3] The store relocated to Disney World within days of his hiring, and Andrews declined to move with the store.[3] He accepted a box of used magic tricks as a severance package.[3] Andrews later learned performance arts such as fire eating, escape artistry and sword swallowing.[1][4][5]

In 1996 he traveled to Europe to work as a street performer.[6] He made television appearances in several countries and performed as a part of Commedia dell'arte in Italy.[4][6] While in Europe, Andrews picked up the idea of swallowing a curved blade from a performer named Wasp Boy at England’s Circus of Horrors.[3]

He later returned to America, where he began performing at night clubs, corporate events, renaissance festivals, casinos and colleges.[6] He was also a featured entertainer for Carnival Cruise Lines for six years.[1][6]

Andrews has performed on five continents in more than thirty countries. He has given numerous performances for television, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums,[7] several Las Vegas casinos including The Luxor and the New York, New York and major Rock and Roll festivals like the M3 Festival and The Outlaw Jam, where in 2010 he opened for Blue Oyster Cult on the main stage for an audience of more than 10,000.

Andrews produces and directs many of his own performances including the theatrical séance "An Experience in Spirit Theater",[8] and "Modern Fakir”.[9]


Andrews has traveled throughout the world to study martial arts.[1][6] He studied yoga and mediation with shadhus in the Himalayas and elsewhere in India.[6] He has also studied kung fu in China and Muay Thai in Thailand.[6] He learned sword swallowing as a young teenager from a mysterious American sword swallower in Pennsylvania, who was known as Dobbs.[6][8] Dobbs disappeared while sailing in the Caribbean shortly after teaching Andrews.[6][8]

Performances given by Dai Andrews include

  • Sword Swallowing- 120 degree curved sword, swallowing up to fifteen swords at once, the swallowing of a red hot sword.
  • Iron Body Chi Gung- Bending steel re-bar spears and breaking arrows with the throat, the bed of blades, the man who can't be hung.

World records[edit]

Andrews holds four world records for sword swallowing:

Official Guinness World Record Largest Curve in a sword swallowed[13][14] On September 12, 2009 at Pimlico Race course in Baltimore, MD USA, Dai Andrews swallowed a sword that was curved 120 degrees from point to hilt.[15] This record was certified as an official Guinness World Record in 2009.[16][17]

Official Guinness World Record Most Swords Swallowed Simultaneously[13][18] On Friday August 30, 2002 at the 2002 Sword Swallowers Convention in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania USA, 19 Sword Swallowers including Andrews, (who swallowed 11 at once) swallowed 50 swords simultaneously. This record was certified as an official Guinness World Record in 2004.

Official Guinness World Record Most Sword Swallowers Swallowing Swords Simultaneously[13][18] On Friday August 30, 2002 at the 2002 Sword Swallowers Convention in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania USA, 19 Sword Swallowers including Andrews, (who swallowed 11 at once) swallowed swords simultaneously. This record was certified as an official Guinness World Record in 2004.

Official Guinness World Record Single Sword Swallowed by the Most Sword Swallowers[13] Made by Thomas Blackthorne in 1994 to symbolize solidarity between an otherwise solitary and disparate sword-swallower community, the sword known as "The Sword of Swords" was first swallowed in September 2002 at the first Sword Swallowers Association International international Sword Swallower's Convention in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania USA, where Andrews along with 20 others swallowed the blade. Since then, the sword has since been swallowed by at least 24 others bringing the current total to 44. This record was certified as an official Guinness World Record in 2004.

Television and media appearances[edit]

Dai Andrews had made more than 50 television appearances worldwide including:[19]

His appearances in print media include:[19]

Medical research[edit]

In 2007 Andrews worked alongside Dr. Sharon Caplan and other physicians at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore MD USA. The study was conducted to determine whether the techniques involved in sword swallowing could be used to help patients who suffer from achalasia or those who had suffered severe throat trauma and were having trouble swallowing as a result. The Fluoroscopic video, (Video x-ray) can be seen here.[20][21]

Martial arts[edit]

Andrews teaches the Xingyiquan style of Internal Kung Fu as well as traditional meditation techniques at a small studio in Baltimore, MD.[22] He is the private student of Grandmaster Huang Chien Lang and has been studying Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, Tai Chi Chuan and Tien Shan Pai since 2000.[22] He was awarded the rank of First Tuan (Degree) by The World Kuoshu Federation in July 2008,[23] and the rank of Second Tuan (Degree) in July 2010.[24]

In addition to teaching, Andrews regularly participates in the martial arts community performing at tournaments[25] and fundraisers[26] as well as continuing to deepen his knowledge of the martial arts. In 2010-11 he spent several months living at Wat Chom Tong studying meditation under Acharn Luang Phor Tong and studying with several Muay Thai masters while traveling Thailand.[2]

Charitable work[edit]

Throughout his career, Andrews has often worked in support of charitable organizations including; St. Jude's Children's Hospital,[26] the American Dime Museum,[27] Playa Del Fuego[28] The Maryland Food Bank[29] and the Signal 13 Foundation which was established for police officers and their families that have been injured in the line of duty.[30][31]

In 2011, Andrews spent time volunteering to teach English and sleight-of-hand magic to underprivileged children at the Phare Ponleu Selpak school in Battembang, Cambodia while on an extended Motorcycle trip across Asia.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Dai Andrews – World Famous Sword Swallower and Modern Fakir". Sideshow Freaks. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c London, David; Philip Laubner (13 September 2012). "Swordswallower Dai Andrews". What Weekly. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Carrie Donovan (22 February 2001). "His Act Is Hard to Swallow; Swords Have Their Place In Performer's Routine". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ a b Walt Hudson (September 18, 2000). "WHIRLIGIG". 28 (38). Circus Report and Showbiz USA.
  5. ^ "Man's act to draw on legend". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Swordswallower Dai Andrews". What Weekly. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  7. ^ "World Sword Swallowing Day Celebrated: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Features 22 Performers Swallowing 138 Feet of Solid Steel | Ripleys Newsroom". Ripleysnewsroom.com. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  8. ^ a b c "Dai Andrews, Sword swallower". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Dai Andrews". Sword Swallower. Archived from the original on 2014-03-22. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  10. ^ Messner, Rebecca (14 November 2012). "Sideshow Schools". The Baltimore Sun. p. 31. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Dai Andrews is "Modern Fakir"". Citypeek. 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  12. ^ "Dai Andrews - Modern Fakir". The Pink Line Project. 2010-07-30. Archived from the original on 2014-03-22. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  13. ^ a b c d "Sword Swallowers Association Intl Sword Swallowing World Records". Swordswallow.com. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  14. ^ "Largest curve in a sword swallowed". Guinnessworldrecords.com. 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  15. ^ "120 Degree sword swallowing world record - Dai Andrews". YouTube. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  16. ^ "Sideshow World, Sideshow Performers from around the world". Sideshowworld.com. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  17. ^ "Renegade TV's Blue Thunder Seg. Feat. Dai Andrews Part 2". YouTube. 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  18. ^ a b "SSAI Sword Swallowing News". Swordswallow.org. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  19. ^ a b "Dai Andrews - Sword swallowing, escape artistry, mind over body". Swordswallower.com. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  20. ^ "Sword swallowing X Ray - Dai Andrews". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  21. ^ "Sword swallowing X Ray - 90 degree curve - Dai Andrews". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  22. ^ a b "Xingyiquan (Hsing I Chuan), Kung Fu in Baltimore, Maryland - Instructor". Swordswallower.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  23. ^ "The World Kuoshu Federation". Twksf.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  24. ^ "The World Kuo Shu Federation » Ranking". Twksf.org. 2011-10-30. Archived from the original on 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  25. ^ "Hall of Fame Banquet Highlights". Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  26. ^ a b "St. Judes Charity Demo". Tienshanpai.org. Retrieved 2012-08-02.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ Sloane Brown (2001-05-27). "American Dime Museum - Baltimore Sun". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  28. ^ "PDF Artgrants Fundraiser - virginia fire - tribe.net". Tribes.tribe.net. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  29. ^ "washingtonpost". Swordswallower.com. 2001-02-22. Archived from the original on 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  30. ^ "Fire Truck Suspension Straitjacket Escape - Dai Andrews". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  31. ^ "Renegade TV's Blue Thunder Segment Feat Dai Andrews Part 1". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-02.

External links[edit]