It isn't an Olympic sport, not yet anyway. But there are a couple of athletes from Broken Arrow who will head to the MAS Wrestling World Championship next month.
"It's kind of a silly sport, but still, representing the United States was an honor,” said 100 kg class wrestler Ben Rudy. “Everybody I show it too, they kind of laugh until I show them video and they don't want to try it."
Watch MAS Wrestling enough and you'll think it's weird. But this strength competition goes as far back as the Viking games nearly 1,000 years ago. It found it's way in the U.S. in 2013.
"It was a little obscure,” stated 70 kg class wrestler Russell Herrera. “I like things that are different, and it's fun to learn something new, period, and challenge myself and that's exactly what MAS Wrestling did for me."
In a short time, Rudy and Herrera have gotten pretty good, good enough to qualify for the World Championships in Kyrgyzstan.
Rudy was introduced by the gym owner and then got his cousin Russell into it.
"The eastern side of the world has a lot of history and it's only been in America since 2013,” Herrera explained. “So to be able to compete at the world level and hold our own is pretty impressive."
Here's how it works: You have a wooden stick grip inward and outward by both competitors, feet up against a board. You win if you pull your opponent over or gain control of the stick.
Good workouts to prepare are kettle bells and deadlifts, then you're ready to go up against someone in your weight class.
So with Rudy, Herrera and developing new competitors, it looks like the Oklahoma boys will represent the U.S. well.
"They're scared now,” said Rudy. “They see American coming after them and that's motivation.”