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Jesse and Rik take on the World

Still recovering from our 37 hour flight to Brazil for the World Arm Wrestling Championships on our first day we had registrations. As we made our way around the hotel checking out things we started seeing people very famous  in the arm wrestling world.

It was very surreal to see big names regularly around the hotel and talk to famous pullers such as  Andrey Pushkar, Rustam Babayev, Janis Amolins, Sarah Backman and many more.

After registrations there were  4 tables set up so Rik Kamana and myself had some table time discussing techniques and moves. This lead to me being on the table with a huge range of competitors who were keen to have a go until 11pm getting advice and learning different moves as well.

"We caught buses to the competition which was held nearby and I started chatting to Neil Pickup who said he'd love to organize an "Armwars" competition in Australia in the future. As were all of the people that i spoke to, he was a huge fan of Australia."

Australian Armwrestling Federation

Jesse Johnson gripping up with the legendary Rustam Babyev.

The competition was in a huge convention centre with 6 tables going at once on the stage at the end of it.  Rik caught a guys huge hit on the left arm holding him for a few seconds before the other guy managed to get him down.

My right arm had aches from so many matches out of comp but I was fired up for competition.

In my 2nd match right hand we both started heavily loaded and high.

On the "GO!" I started to top roll him and he dived his elbow forwards off the pad in an attempt to get high on me resulting in him getting a foul.

The second match went the same as the first one ending in me winning. My next opponent was a Turkish guy who I slowed down but couldn't beat.

Australian Armwrestling Federation

Rik Kamana in his very first match on the world state against one of the top 100kg Ukranians.

The most intense match overall was the 100kg final between Arsen  and Krasimir, they had 6 matches and it went on for 25 minutes fouls warnings slips etc. The crowd was going wild!

There was a training table set up next door to the  main stage where anyone could pull whoever. The atmosphere was amazing there I versed countless guys and girls from 17 up to 75 years old there! I spent the majority of my time there pulling, getting coached or watching the incredible technique from other competitors.

My most memorable funny  moments were the  following.

Australian Armwrestling Federation

Jesse Johnson unable to move the wall that is 110kg Georgian Genadi Kvikvinia

Using two hands against Genadi Kvikvinia a 110kg Georgian world champion while everyone was killing themselves laughing because I had been arm wrestling anyone keen to pull for 4 hours and they thought I was crazy doing that before comp!  Thinking I would surprise  zoloev by hitting him as hard as I could from a relaxed  grip, he tensed and just smashed my arm forwards with his wrist smiling. After which he continued to toy with people ripping there arms off the pad  up into the air as though he was doing a warmup calmly and not exerting any energy!

The last night there was an after party at the hotel. As i was dancing I see  Pushkar loping around the dance floor I looked again to make sure it was actually him,  indeed it was!  Beside Sarah Backman it was a serious contrast of styles!  After this Pushkar spotted two guys armwrestling on a  small table so he strolls over grabs the winners hand and hammers  his arm down smashing the table to pieces!

Australian Armwrestling Federation

Jesse Johnson and multiple Swedish world champion Sarah Backman.

Australian Armwrestling Federation

Jesse Johnson, Russian champion and coach Andrey Mosolov, and Rik Kamana just hanging out.

Australian Armwrestling Federation

Jesse Johnson gripping up with Bulgarian 100kg champion Krasimir.

The most intense weeks of my life with so much armwreslting I was sore for 2 weeks from hard matches everyday. Overall the trip was a huge experience learning heaps of techniques and making  new friends  I can't wait for next time!

by Jesse Johnson