WA Arm-Wrestling

Reporter: Mark Gibson

Two brutish brothers from Bunbury. 37 year old Matthew Scott weighs 130 kilos and works in an abattoir. 38 year old Ryan Scott is a milkman. You wouldn't want to meet either of them in a dark alley.

Ryan discovered his talent for arm wrestling as a teenager. "I found myself beating everyone and that included, one day, a guy who weighed 150 kilos."

Twenty years later, he became national champion. "And he needed someone big enough and ugly enough to train him." So, not-so-little brother Matt tagged along and now, they're both at the top of their game.

Sylvester Stallone put arm-wrestling on the map, in the 1987 movie "Over The Top." In Australia, it's a sport still struggling for recognition. Ryan says "When I was 18 all the arm-wrestling was done in a pub, now they're all done at the health and fitness expos in front of big crowds."

The Scott brothers train under the watchful eye of man mountain, Murray Mackay.

We first reported on the 6 foot 7 giant nine years ago. Away from the arm-wrestling table, Murray's a police sergeant. The 52 year old has become arm wrestling royalty. And he has two schoolyard bullies to thank, from 40 years ago. "They challenged me to an arm wrestle, I'd never arm wrestled before and I beat both of them and gained a bit of respect and from then onwards arm wrestling was my thing."

"No-one quite believes that I do arm wrestling and so my friends just think it's crazy." Yes, arm wrestling is for women too. Newcomer Tanya Joshi is already a state champion. "People say it's really not a sport where you're going to get anything from it except hurt, but I just think it's different, it's unusual, it's something that women are not really associated with and I think that's what's attracted me to it."

"I'm 45 and it's a sport that appeals to me because you don't have to be young." In November, Perth's Lisa Kulasalu aka "The Beast" became Australian champion. "It was a fantastic experience and hopefully I can use this as a platform to promote arm wrestling for women in Australia." The arm wrestlers say it's not just about brute strength. They spend hours working on technique. "There is training and technique involved in arm wrestling, also mental ability, determination, commitment." "So what are some of the rules, obviously your elbows can't come off these pads? No, the elbow has to stay on the pads, so if the elbow comes off they get a foul, they get two fouls and they're disqualified."

The arm wrestlers want to promote their sport and they're looking for sponsors, to help them compete in the world championships later this year.

For details on how to help our arm wrestlers get to the world championships in Lithuania