The country's most experienced martial artists, bladesmiths and knife experts stab, slice and chop their way through some of the most daunting obstacles they have ever seen. Competitors put their skills to the test as they slice through flying watermelons, hack through giant ice blocks, and slice various ropes, tubes, metals, and other objects. Blades that can be seen are America's historical Bowie knife, a Viking Seax, varying medieval swords, and traditional Japanese katanas. Each obstacle challenges the competitors to test the strength, durability and sharpness of their blades while also testing their own speed, precision and technique. The winner of each episode wins a cash prize and a coveted spot in the season finale. Once there, the winners have the chance to compete and win the title of Forged in Fire: Knife or Death Champion.