China launches into the arm wrestling - What Studies | Knowledge


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China launches into the arm wrestling

With his eyes immersed in the opponent's, biceps and veins already inflated by the effort, the two wrestlers are waiting hand-in-hand for the referee's whistle before crushing their rival's wrist. A tug-of-war party starts in a Shanghai club.

As elsewhere in the world, the iron rod has long been considered in China as the preserve of bar abutments that measure their level of testosterone during well-watered evenings.

But the muscular confrontation becomes a sport in itself in the Asian country, which has clubs in more than a hundred cities, says Ye Ming, founder of the Shanghai Iron-Arm Association.

More than a hundred wrestlers recently participated in the seventh championship in the Chinese metropolis, claiming the top spot in the ranking of the Professional Armwrestling League, a world federation based in the United States.

The discipline is moving towards recognition, especially in Japan and Malaysia, where it is already officially established as a sport.

If China remains behind the United States, Japan, and Europe for the number of followers, it is at home that it increases the fastest, says Ye Ming.

Li Rongyi, who attends the Shanghai club, sees the practice of arm wrestling as "a sport in its own right, not just a hobby".
It's also "a way to shake hands and communicate face-to-face," says Ye Ming. This southpaw ranks high in China. At 37, with his glasses on his nose, he has a priori nothing from champion to big arms.

During the day, he works in a library with a delicate task: to restore ancient manuscripts that are centuries old.

In his childhood, strong naturally, he often won the arm wrestling games. Reached a brain disease, he returned to practice eight years to regain strength, fascinated by a discipline that requires an effort of the whole body, channeled to the end of the arm.

With good technique and the right mind, "a gringalet can crush a muscular guy," he says.


"At first, people are drawn to the short moment of intense effort that is obvious. That's what makes them come to us. But once they dive into it, it's the complexity of the sport and its community side that holds them back, "he observes.

Since its inception in 2012, the Shanghai club has grown from four to more than 500 members, including four women, ages 17 to 63.

They meet once a week to work on their technique, on tables with pads to put the elbow and handles on each side to hold with the hand that remains free.

Among club members, Li Rongyi lost the use of a leg in childhood as a result of polio. Many sports have closed to him but not the arm wrestling, with which "there is no discrimination," says the English teacher, who has participated in competitions for seven years. "I will continue as long as I have hands. I feel equal to others. "

Since last year, this teacher is also an international referee.

Like many aficionados, he dreams of seeing his sport recognized at the Olympic Games, and more particularly at the Paralympic Games. "  We are trying to change the perception of the public. "

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