Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I got served hard today. I had just finished my workout, and walked out of the boathouse. There was a gaggle of high-school students. As I walked to my bike, one of them rushed up to me and said "arm wrestle!" "arm wrestle!"

This is odd, thinks I. But whatever, sure. I said okay, and me and this kid went and lined up opposite each other across the weight bench.

Of course, about 20 people suddenly showed up in the room from out of nowhere. I felt a very ominous vibe, similar to the time I did a 2k and blew up halfway through with a million people watching...

This kid meanwhile, is mayyyyyybe 130 pounds.

His friend placed his palm on our locked fists, raised it, and shouted "Go!"

And then this kid promptly cracked my wrist and slammed my arm down...his mechanical advantage ended when he got about 90% of the way there, so he had to throw his whole body onto his arm to finish the job, but I'll be damned if he didn't mop the floor with me.

So just to re-cap: A 14 year old 130 pound Japanese boy owned me like I was a 14 year old 130 pound Japanese boy in arm wrestling.

I even vaguely understand arm-wrestling technique, this kid was just way way better than me. To be honest, I assumed the whole wrist cranking technique only works when the two opponents are somewhat evenly matched, and that me being almost twice as big would take me "over the top."

In any event, I sure as hell did my part in helping this kid get a girlfriend on the rowing team, I'll tell you that much....!


Tom said...

I NEVER beat a Japanese in arm wrestling. Admittedly I was never much good at it but one would think that the fairly large difference in height and bulk would count for something. After being humiliated by arm wrestling, move onto leg wrestling. You won't lose.

You probably gave that kid one of the proudest moments of his life, how very kind of you.

Sam said...

I always thought being shorter was more advantageous in arm wrestling because it allows you to get better leverage. That said, the kid was only 130 lbs. You got pwned.

By the way, "In competitive arm wrestling, as sanctioned by the United States Armwrestling Federation (USAF), arm wrestling is performed with both competitors standing up with their arms placed on a tournament arm wrestling table" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arm_wrestling).
He probably cheated by planting his knee on the underside of the table so he could gain power from his core muscles. You should demand a rematch standing up.

Nate said...

Yeah, I got owned six ways from Sunday any way you slice it.

To ensure a better re-match in the future, I got my Japanese friend to show me Japanese arm wrestling style. I told him I lost to a little kid, and he was like "Yeah, obviously. Japanese arm wrestling is all about technique, and if you think it's just two arms pushing against each other, you'll lose."

So we sat down and he taught me Japanese style. Simple, but damn effective.

Basically, the second the match starts, you break the other guy's wrist and push straight down...this is hard to describe, but it essentially maximizes your mechanical advantage, and eliminates his.

The other component is speed. Basically, you have to explode and do all of these motions very quickly.

I'll keep you guys posted. I'm gonna start arm wrestling everybody I meet in bars from now until my re-match with the teenager.

Sam said...

Are you sure you're describing Japanese Arm Wrestling and not just Arm Wrestling?

Nate said...

I could be describing both, couldn't I?

Sam said...


Nate said...


Todd Johnson said...

Nothing to do with this but check this out: