Is Arm Wrestling a Sport? -
Written by Douglas Oggelsby

During the month of July and August of 2023 my focus was on interviewing a Japanese Arm Wrestler that has spent 20 years of his life involved in this sport. Tadahiro Hosono, now 50 years old lives in Saitama prefecture, Kasukabe City, Japan and still competes in Arm Wrestling competitions.

Meet Tadahiro Hosono!

Preparing for (at time of copy):

Arm Wrestling Championship Sept 17th, 2023 in Japan

IFA World Arm Wrestling Championship Sept 27th, 2023 in Malaysia.

Accomplishments (To list a few):

  • 2012, during the Japanese Arm Wrestling Championship, Tadahiro finished 4th overall in the 80kg weight using his left hand.
  • In 2021, during the Japanese Arm Wrestling Championship, Tadahiro finished 2nd overall in the 70 kg weight using his left hand.
  • His significant accomplishment was at the 2022 IFA World Armwrestling Masters. Using his left hand, Tadahiro finished 5th overall in the 70 kg weight class. During this competition, there was also one Canadian competitor.
  • In several local Japanese competitions, he has finished in the top three.

I had the opportunity to talk to Tadahiro. The following are the answers that I received during that time.

Douglas Oggelsby (DO): How often do you physically train to be able to compete in these competitions?

Tadahiro Hosono (TH): I work out in the gym 12 times a week in the morning and night. Training is primarily upper-body training! Power is a must for Arm Wrestling. The most essential aspect physically is the power. You need to be able to explode that power at the right time.

Endurance is important. You need to be able to hold a competitor from putting your arm down and waiting for the right opportunity to explode your power. You must remain steadfast during a competition and crush your opponent immediately. My trunk is trained during the match and reinforced at the gym.

I also have a gym at home where I have my heavy weights and special equipment to help me strengthen my arms. I also attend arm wrestling training sessions with other competitors. We have about five tables, and we practice our techniques together. This training lasts about 2 hours, and we do this training twice a week.

During the weight loss training portion before a competition, Aerobic Training is a significant focus element for the competitor. Training the legs is not a priority as it becomes a weight competition, a no-no for Arm Wrestling.

DO: Do you train the mind for competition?

TH: Yes, you need to focus on mental training and physical exercise to get far in competitions. I set short-term and long-term goals during the competitions and try to stick with them. There are many mind games during the matches, and you have to be able to block them out.

Also, the amount of power you use during a match signifies your mental training. You need to know when to utilize all your strength and when to hold tight. Mentally, that can be draining on you; therefore, you must practice mentally keeping a competitor from putting your arm down.

Finally, your mind also controls the technique you use. You need to understand your opponent and mentally prepare for his style, and the first grip you get must allow you to prepare for the final attack. You must grab tight and try to have the opponent lose his fighting spirit. Trying to get the most advantageous grip possible when working with the referees and opponents is essential. Dont let your opponent get the upper hand. Sometimes, it happens so quickly that you go with what is happening, and you need to figure that out; therefore, your mental training has to be good.

DO: How does Arm Wrestling Competitions affect your overall mental health?

TH: It gives me a fulfilling life by making plans, setting goals and competing at the highest level possible. Win or lose, as long as I have competed at the highest level possible, I feel fulfilled and want to go further and reach higher goals. It allows me to be involved in a competitive sport, which is very good for my mental health. It is enjoyment and hard work at the same time which makes my overall mental health great.

DO: What do you do night before the competition?

TH: I continue my protein diet, which is mainly chicken. I do not change that before the matches. I do not drink protein drinks, and I rely on my diet. Lots of water intake.

In the days leading up, the focus is on aerobic exercise, which clears my head and prepares me mentally and physically for the big day.

I ensure to do light training at night leading up to my matches, and I guarantee to have something in my stomach before going to bed. Going to bed on an empty stomach does not work well for me.

Arm wrestling as exerciseArm wrestling championDouglas oggelsbyHow to train forTadahiro hosonoUpper arm strength

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published