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PB brothers: armed & dangerous

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Concentrating brute strength, raw energy and hard discipline, the world’s best arm-wrestlers were conquered by two Bronx residents at the Jacob Javits Center and The Bar Show in a gripping 31st Annual NYC Big Apple Grapple International Pro Arm Wrestling Championships held Sunday, June 22. 

Pelham Bay brothers, Jason and Mike Hall, had trained at several competitions before dominating the amateur ranks at the New York City event, founder Gene Camp  called the most successful event ever in 31 years of holding pro and amateur events, winning their respective weight classes and doing so using both their left and right hands. 

In the 200-pound right-handed class Jason Hall beat out Lajos Konya and Bob Strano, both of New Jersey, to claim the top prize and then beat out both opponents once more to claim the left-handed championship.  

Mike Hall beat out Staten Island’s Robert Rossiri and Brooklyn’s Iskandar Nazarov to claim the 175-pound class right-handed title before beating David Argulio, of Brooklyn, and Sean Savoie, from Sunnyside, to take the left-handed championship. 

The Hall brothers earned the prestigious Arm Star Award for their efforts, along with a number of other medals and certificates given out at the event. 

“I don’t think I can recall any time when two brothers accomplished such a feat,” said Mike Hall, who was 9-0 overall in the competition (Jason was 8-1).  “I wasn’t sure we were going to do as well as we did.  I am very happy with our effort.”

Mike Hall noted that he saw a number of new faces at the New York Arm Wrestling Association competition; amateurs he and his brother were unfamiliar with and not prepared for.

“A lot of these guys train with professionals and me and my brother just train with each other,” Mike joked.  “But only one guy really gave me a hard time.”

The Hall brothers worked on a new training method, ditching their hook style for a basic top roll, more common in the competition.  “It was really effective,” Mike said. 

The Bronx also took the amateur team championship with 28 points, beating out Queens (12 points) and New Jersey (9 points). 

But the Hall brothers will now be changing divisions.  “Our next competition is in Coney Island on July 27 and we’ll be going pro,” said Mike Hall.  “It’s going to be hard for us, but we are looking forward to the challenge.” 

This summer, the NYAWA is also holding the New York Golden Arm Series, followed by the November 13 Empire State Championship – both are seeking sponsors and competitors. 

For more information on the 2008 season visit the NYAWA website at nycarms.com or call Gene Camp at (718) 544-4592 or Dan Fortuna at (631) 357-0692.

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