Okay, I know this concept is one that inadvertently enduces a great amount of laughter, perplexity and even for some an overwhelming sense of what the......But if you are willing to wrap your head around this concept, which, is pretty basic really, you will, flat out, win more matches. Not only win more, but you will even be able to win matches against someone who is stronger than you. Yes. Read that again. Someone stronger than you becomes entirely beatable with this concept. (Just ask Evan Bourgoine)
Anyway, so, while I'm on my flight to Melbourne I thought I'd take a chance to flesh this concept out a little more for those who are on the quest of mastery and who respect the combat side of this sport for what it is. A never ending rabbit hole that is always willing to offer you a deeper lesson, if only you a willing to look.
It's very easy to dismiss this concept, brush it off and just say ppppfffffft its simply about strength. I just finished watching a video from Coach Ray and Janis who touched on this topic, where even they, two guys who instinctively use much of this concept, dismissed it as "not a choice" and laughed it off with a nice shout out to me at the end. Hi Ray 😁😉
So, let's unpack it a little more.
To understand this concept we first need to establish the broad fundamentals. Wrist flexion, pronation, the ability to remain inside your shoulder, and back pressure.
For this article I will stick with just these fundamentals, however, the concept applies to far more intricate movements, but for the sake of not making this article a thesis, I'll stick with simply these fundamentals.
So, the general concept is that any given armwrestler, relative to another armwrestler will have comparative differences in their force capabilities within these fundamentals. One may have stronger wrist flexion and pronation, but the other may have stronger side and back pressure. Any combination of these comparative differences may exist and when facing each other in a match the outcome isn't always clear.
Generally speaking, if you are dominant in all 4 fundamentals you will win fast, if you are dominant in three you will most likely win, if you are dominant in only 2, the match will most likely come down to table IQ and if you are dominant in only 1 you will likely have to create traps and deadspaces and have higher table IQ in order to have the possibility of a win.
Okay, still with me? That sets some context to this concept and from here I will outline one specific example of how being the stronger man on only one fundamental and the weaker man on the other three can still achieve victory.
For this example I will use my match in 2018 where I faced the New Zealand superheavyweight champion Maateiwarangi Heta Morris who has been armwrestling a year long than I have and weighs 165kg.
Big Maat most definitely has stronger back pressure, stronger side pressure and stronger pronation that I do. Going into this match, my wrist flexion was the only thing that was close to Maats in terms of power, and yet our 6 round supermatch ended in a 3-3 draw.
I went into this match knowing I was weaker, so to quote Devon Larratt I chose to "never fight a losing battle" by CHOOSING to give away my pronation, my side pressure and my back pressure. At the ready go I literally put zero effort into these three fundamentals, and allowed Maat to freely dictate these fundamentals over me, because I knew that if I tried to fight for them, I'd lose them, and that would take away from how much effort I could invest into my wrist flexion.
So, with wrist flexion my CHOICE prior to the go of the only place I would fight, I strapped to enhance my cup as much as possible. The ready to happened and my cup was set, as Maat drove sideways, I DID NOT RESIST IT AT ALL, ie i gave it up and rolled onto the outside of my elbow freely giving Maat access to side while also conceding my pronation but maintaining my cup. As Maat approached the pin line, I tucked my elbow to the rear left of the pad, through geometry, forcing Maat to have to fight using his pronation against my cup. His effort there failed, and his pronation and back pressure began to fatigue.
From there Maat stood back to eliviate the build up of lactic acid, which I passively followed him, and continued to not engage in anything but cup.
Maat repeated his surge for the pin and failed again. This time failing higher and higher. As fatigue set in, I could feel his arm now flooded with lactic acid, and his side pressure now felt vulnerable.
At this point I re engaged my side pressure, which up untill this point had not been used at all. My side pressure was fresh, and now with his fatigue, the balance of power had now shifted and my side fundamental was stronger than his.
From there....I pinned him.
Had I have tried to keep my pronation, side and back pressure from the go, I would have without a doubt lost the match.
Okay, thats as best as I can do. If you want to see this match, you can watch it right here on this link. https://youtu.be/x3TCg3fO78U
Being able to win in this sport despite being the weaker man, is one of them most beautiful things there is.
So, remember, losing your hand can be a choice. And make that choice at the right time and it can enhance your chances of winning.