Ricardo Vilar, a lead bladesmithing instructor and technical advisor at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades, won the bladesmithing competition last night on Season 7 Episode 27 of the hit television show “Forged in Fire” on History Channel. “Forged in Fire” tests world-class bladesmiths as they attempt to re-create some of history’s most iconic edged weapons. The contestant who survives the elimination rounds and wins the episode’s contest earns $10,000 and the title of Forged in Fire champion. Vilar competed against three of the best bladesmiths in the world to recreate an Ikakalaka African sword. In the end, he earned the title of Forged in Fire Champion.  

Vilar is a founding instructor of the UAHT James Black School of Bladesmithing and Historic Trades located in Historic Washington, Arkansas. He is also a lead technical advisor ensuring the campus is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment while still honoring the history of the location as the world-famous birthplace of the iconic Bowie Knife in 1831. 

Check out goTXK.org for more celebration of our innumerable Texarkana superlatives

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