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Outside » Outside Features

It Ain't Thumb Wrestling

Local arm wrestlers host a bicep bulging, teeth-clattering competition

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Last Sunday morning, a handful of very muscled men, and two equally fit women, gathered in a hot garage on Bend's southern reaches. The garage door was half-open, but no wind stirred.

At two different tables, the competitors clasped their hands and squared off against each other in a sport familiar to every school kid: Arm wrestling.

Although generally considered a sport of pure might (and, indeed, one of the guys has traffic-stopping biceps that measure 21 inches in circumference), they each explained the different techniques and styles.

"There is the top roll," said Dobbs Pressley, whose red hair is cropped close and wore wire rim glasses. The 1999 World Champion in his weight class, Dobbs continued, "It is like pouring a beer, and then turning a steering wheel."

There is also "the press," which involved leaning the body into "the push," and the "western roll," which involves hooking the wrist and cutting off your opponent's leverage.

A simple mano-y-mano competition, the sport has proven dynamic enough to fuel AMC's moderately popular reality show, "Game of Arms," which has followed competitive arm wrestlers since February. And, this Saturday, this local chapter of arm wrestlers hosts its first official competition and expects several dozen competitors. The competition is open to all-comers. Weigh-ins are the prior evening and on Saturday morning. Cash and trophy prizes. Sign up at EliteArm.wix.com/elitearmwrestling

Elite Arm Wrestling Championships

1 – 8 pm. Sat., Aug. 23

Seven Club, 1033 NW Bond St.

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