Weird Sports: Professional Arm Wrestling

Professional arm wrestling

Written and Media by Austin Brinkman [divide]

John Brzenk a champion Image from
Champion John Brzenk. Image from

You might not know there is a professional league in the world for arm wrestling. The skill you refine during your childhood to use against your classmates is indeed a professional sport. The World Armwrestling League (WAL) is a league with their own specific rulebook for professional competitions.

An arm wrestling match is one of the “manly” feats of strength every man will face at least once in his life. You never know when you’ll be challenged to display your strength, so you need to be ready to place your elbow on the table at any time. Believe it or not, you don’t have to have huge biceps and a forearm like Popeye to win at arm wrestling (though this would help when competing). With the right technique, a dash of speed, and a little strategy, you may be able to beat an opponent at arm wrestling.

A few pro tournaments, such as the Big Money series, are bringing in hundreds of strong-armed pro wrestlers and their devoted fans to Las Vegas. The competition is going to be very competitive and very serious because it is one of the biggest professional arm wrestling tournaments ever. There are four different weight classes with the heavyweight matches including all competitors over 226 pounds.  The winning man of the Vegas tournament takes home $2,000.

Sometimes, the hardest part of arm wrestling is finishing off your opponent. Men will try to use

Men arm wrestling. Image from
Men arm wrestling. Image from

every last bit of their energy before letting the other opponent slam their hand down on the table.  Oftentimes, arm wrestling matches devolve into a stalemate where one man’s hand hovers above the table while the other is mustering all the forearm strength he can in an attempt to finish the match.

A way to avoid this situation is to rotate your body so your shoulder is in line with the direction you want your arm to go when you are ready to finish your opponent. This will allow you to use your shoulder muscles and some of your body weight to defeat your opponent. Unless your opponent has superhuman strength, he’s going to have a hard time fighting off defeat. The best way to defeat someone is to be stronger and to be able to lock your opponents wrist to defeat them.

Josh Herrick a GC student said, “Professional arm wrestling is a very competitive sport for all ages of adult men. It is a men-only event for guys to have in their man caves at their homes.”

However, arm wrestling isn’t actually only for men. Women participate in competitions as well and can be just as exciting to watch as the men. Women at the Big Money series Vegas tournament have four weight classes. Since there are fewer women registered to arm wrestle, the winning payout at this Vegas tournament is smaller at only $400.

Does this sound like something you would try? If you’re interested, do some research on professional arm wrestling and see if this weird sport might be the sport for you.



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