One Bracebridge father may soon be facing some stiffer competition from his two sons after a promotional event for an upcoming arm wrestling school was held in town last week.
LEARNING FROM THE PROS.
Bryan Boyes (left) learns some trade secrets from professional arm wrestler Dave Knox (right), while brother Isaac Boyes looks on during a special arm wrestling event at the Bracebridge Sportsplex on May 16. The event was aimed at promoting a new school of arm wrestling that organizers hope to start in Bracebridge.
Brothers Isaac and Bryan Boyes were among a flurry of people who showed up at the Bracebridge Sportsplex on the evening of May 16 to learn trade secrets from professional arm wrestlers. The event was a special trial aimed at generating interest for a new arm wrestling school in Bracebridge, which could be up and running in the near future.
The Boyes brothers, who have one other brother, said arm wrestling is a popular competition at home. Having learned a variety of new techniques and strategies from the professionals, Bryan was eager to put his skills to use against the reigning arm wrestling champion in his own household.
“I’m going to go home and try to beat my dad for sure,” he said.
The trial event was also an eye-opener for Isaac, who was intrigued to learn that dominance in the sport involves more than just brute strength.
“It’s not just strength, it seems like it’s a lot of technique,” he said.
Dave Knox, a former North American arm wrestling champion, who has five provincial and three Canadian titles, credited the event’s large turnout with the sport’s inherent appeal.
“It’s one of those things where people aren’t sure about arm wrestling, but it seems like a fun thing to do,” he said.
Knox showed off a few professional techniques to visitors.
They range from strategic feints aimed at lulling opponents into a false belief of impending victory, to leveraging one’s own body weight by hanging below the table.
“To begin with you got to be strong, but once you’re getting into competing there’s so much technique,” he said.
Joey Costello, who helped organize the event with local arm wrestling champion Ashley Maher, says a number of visitors have already indicated they are interested in signing up for the new arm wrestling school, which they are also organizing. Provided there is enough interest, Costello says Bracebridge will have the honour of hosting the first formal school of arm wrestling in the world.
“We’re going to create champions here,” he said.
Though arm wrestling clubs exist in other areas, he says most are socially oriented. Adults that sign up for the arm wrestling school will learn about the history of the sport, rules for professional tournaments and details on refereeing, on top of techniques for winning matches. While the school will be open to children as young as six, adults will be required to take an exam prior to finishing the curriculum.
Students will learn the five pillars of professional arm wrestling: mental preparation, hand control, speed, technique and strength.
According to Costello, arm wrestlers as old as 70 have been known to compete.
He said students who are looking to sign up for the school of arm wrestling can still do so by contacting him at 705-394-5050.
“Nobody really knows they want to arm wrestle until they try it,” he said.