- Associated Press - Sunday, April 22, 2018

YORK, Pa. (AP) - On a Tuesday night at Myofit Performance Center in Manchester Township, kids ages 8-13 are lifting medicine balls, pulling weights and doing push-ups.

It all counts as training for an offbeat (and new) youth program in York County - arm wrestling.

Chad Eckert formed York Armfighters, a youth arm wrestling club team, several weeks ago. He’s the coach of the team and the owner of Myofit.

Eckert formed - and participates in - a local adult team. When his two kids became interested in the sport, a small group of youth armfighters emerged. Eckert says they would drive four or five hours to tournaments only to have two or three kids show up in a division.

“We’re really starting a big movement up and down the East Coast where we’re trying to get club teams started,” he said.



Enter York Armfighters. The club is free and it’s co-ed. Competition age groups range from 10-18, separated by gender and weight classes similar to wrestling.

It’s also low-stress. The club practices Tuesdays and Saturdays on an alternating schedule. Plus, Eckert said matches are usually over in less than two seconds.

“A lot of kids like, I think, the chance to compete without having to practice five or six days a week,” Eckert said.

Why the name armfighters? When Eckert started both the adult and junior leagues, he branded them behind the Myofit armfighter line. Plus, he thinks armfighter just sounds cooler.

“I think the kids are more excited about the name ‘armfighter’ instead of arm wrestling,” he said.

Eckert’s 10-year-old son Calen from Manchester Township sees the sport growing in the future. He and some of the other club members have been to tournaments as far away as Maine.

Aidan Cornell, 10, from Jackson Township, has been to Ohio and Maine for arm wrestling tournaments. After demonstrating his best hook, he said he likes to “take people down.” According to Cornell, the basics are learning how to hook and go over the top.

Right now, there are nine kids involved in York Armfighters, but Eckert hopes that grows to at least 20 by this summer. In June or July, he wants to have a tournament in York.

Eckert also wants to send some kids to Orlando for a national event in November. But the ultimate goal is to send some kids overseas to compete in the world championships in 2019.

If you go…

What: York Armfighters

Where: Myofit Performance Center - 78 Willow Springs Circle, York, Pa.

When: Tuesdays and Saturdays

More: Email [email protected]

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Online:

https://bit.ly/2K8uCLQ

https://bit.ly/2K8uCLQ

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Information from: York Daily Record, http://www.ydr.com

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