Arm Wrestling In China: Slowly Being Embraced As A 'Legitimate Sport'
The art of arm wrestling has already gone a long way since it all started in ancient Egypt around 2,000 BC. At present, according to World Armwrestling Federation, this sport is now being embraced by over 80 nations in the world such as Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Malaysia, Norway, Poland, New Zealand, Romania, Denmark, and China.
Though arm wrestling is still not considered as one of the main sports in China, the sport is slowly gaining recognition from more than 100 cities around the nation. As a matter of fact, the country just held its first internationally recognized arm wrestling tournament, which surely has caused excitement to all arm wrestling-lovers around the world.
A lot of people have come from different cities to take part in this special event. In the competition, which was a part of the Professional Armwrestling League's International Ranking System, over one hundred people have gathered in Shanghai. Everyone determined to fight their way towards one main goal-the crown, as reported by Ink Stone News.
Ye, a 37-year-old top-ranked left-hander, is one of the people who showed their strength in the competition. "Arm wrestling is a way to shake hands and communicate face-to-face," says Ye.
Ye also added victory can't be judged based on one's physique. But with the proper combination of mental strength and techniques, nothing is impossible. Even "a skinny guy can defeat a muscular guy", he further claimed.
In 2012, when Shanghai Arm Wrestling was founded, the group only consist of about four members. Now almost seven years later, its members have already grown to 500. With age ranging from 17 to 63, members mostly consist of man. Only four women are brave enough to be a part of this sport.
To strengthen their physique and techniques, members are determined to meet each other every week for their practice. With specially designed tables, they test their strength by challenging and competing with each other.
Another competitor named Li Rongyi shared how important arm wrestling is to him. Being disabled since childhood because of polio, this sport gave him another chance to believe in himself once again. Arm wrestling gave Li the happiness he wasn't able to find in other aspects of his life.
Given this reason, alongside other members of his team, Li is working his way for the sport to gain the proper recognition it deserves from the public. He wants other people to embrace arm wrestling as a "legitimate sport, not just for entertainment". "We're trying to change the public's impression of arm wrestling", he added.