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Roanoke local headed to Russia to compete in world championship

ROANOKE, Va. - Mas wrestling, it's something some people have never heard of but for one Roanoke local, it's all he can think about and train for.
He will be going to Russia to compete in what is essentially the world cup for the sport.

"Very different than any other strength sport. You get to look at someone's face as opposed to powerlifting or bodybuilding, you know, you are either posing or moving weights and it's essentially you versus yourself. This is you against someone else. You have to be able to counteract their moves, you have to be able to know their strengths, their weaknesses, so it's very intense when you get to rip someone over the board. It's a very primal instinct," said Adam Tucker, mas wrestler:

The gym is Adam Tucker's second home, it is where he comes to train for a sport he has only known about for a year. 

"I had no idea this was going to be an opportunity and it's just kinda fallen in my lap and I've been able to run with it thankfully," said Tucker.

A Roanoke native, Adam never knew where mas wrestling could take him. 

"I've gotten to go to Finland, I'm going to Russia. It's been pretty amazing and I'm very fortunate to do that," said Tucker.

For those of you wondering what is mas wrestling, Tucker's coach Chad Clark explains the concept. 

"Mas in means stick. The best analogy and the analogy that I use most frequently is, it's like tug of war with a stick. The difference is you're sitting on the ground with a jam board between two athletes," said Clark.

"There are three ways you can win. I can pull you over the board,  I can, like I said it's a grip sport so I can rip the stick put of your hand, or I can pull you into the board where your feet no longer touch the board," said Tucker.

The sport originated in Russia, where he will be competing in the Mas Wrestling World Championship.

Over 40 countries will be represented at this competition. 

"People from all over the world are traveling to this remote part of Russia for one weekend of competition it's actually the world series or the world cup of the sport if you will. What people don't understand is just because a sport is not big here, doesn't mean it's not big n the rest of the world. To these people, they take pride in small sports like this," said Chad Clark, Adam's coach.

"This has been one of the hardest things I've done as far as my prep because I've actually had to cut weight, so once I weigh in, the anxiousness will go away," said Tucker.

Adam's coach says he's proud of Adam not only for the competitor he's become, but the person he is today.

"Not only is he a great athlete, but I knew he would be a great person and great ambassador for the sport. Adam's just driven. He's driven, he's motivated,  he's gifted yes, but it's his motivation and his dedication that separates him from other athletes," said Clark.

But for these athletes, it's not just about a stick and the board, it's about the relationships and opportunities it gives you. 

"The passion is for the sport, I love the sport so I love strength sports in general, but it really comes down to the family of mas. You get people all over the world that you know and that you're friends with," he said.

"I have people from South America,  I have people from Finland, I have people from Russian, I have people from Georgia that I am friend with now all because of this sport which is, that's really what my passion is that people from all over the county, all over the world can come together just by a stick and a board."

Clark explained that they eat together, train together, and compete together.

"We'll compete together and that's the bond and memories you will never lose. It's just something so unique and just so special about that," he said.

Adam says it's a sport he hopes others in the United States will learn more about and has some goals for wherever this sport takes him in the future. 

"Athletically it would be to win the world championships, it would be to be the 90 kilo champion of the world, that would be amazing, that's as high as it gets. It's the world series of the sport. So that would be my goal athletically. As far as personally, it's to continue to make friends all over the world," said Tucker.

Author: Sophia Borrelli
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Country:  United States of America
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