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DON’T MISS IT: See Mas wrestling at the Arnold Sports Festival held in Columbus, OH, from March 2–5, 2017. More info: arnoldsportsfestival.com
Mas wrestling is a one-on-one tug-of-war competition using a stick.
It’s the national sport of Yakutia (the Sakha Republic), which is in northeastern Siberia, in Russia. It’s derived from the ancient Yakut game mas tard’yhyy; the Russian phrase means “stick tugging.” In 2003, Mas wrestling was registered by the All-Russia Sports Registry. It is formally governed worldwide by the International Mas-Wrestling Federation.
A coin toss determines grip placement. The match starts in the seated position, and on a ref’s whistle, competitors try to pull, twist, and yank the stick until their opponent either releases it or is pulled over the demarcation line. Foot readjustment and raising the body to create leverage are permitted.
WHY IT'S COOL
First, because you’ve never seen two people wrestling with a stick. Second, the Arnold Sports Festival hosts the world championships. That means no schlubs or newbies—just explosive matches featuring guys and gals with insane back, core, leg, and grip strength. – FLEX