By Bunmi Adigun & John Balson @JJBalson

THIS over-the-top family contains some of the world’s greatest arm-wrestlers

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Videographer / director: Ruaridh Connellan
Producer: John Balson, Nick Johnson
Editor: Joshua Douglas

Over the top: The King family love arm-wrestling on a Friday night

Led by matriarch Joyce King - a 13 times world champion - the Kings devote huge chunks of their lives to the traditional bar sport.

Three generations of the family have taken it up, including Joyce’s daughter Jessica King, 28, and granddaughter Josie King, 20.

“Arm-wrestling is ingrained in this family. Once you’re an arm-wrestler you are always an arm-wrestler,” said Joyce, 51, who came out of retirement after five years in 2014.

“I love watching my children and grandchildren compete, even when they lose, because they are happy just being up there competing.

Arm the best: Joyce King has won the arm-wrestling world championship and incredible 13 times

“Arm-wrestling used to be a pub sport but now they have tournaments in casinos in Las Vegas. It’s really growing as a sport."

Even more impressive is the fact that Joyce, from Fredericton, Canada, has returned to the arena after a nasty arm-break last year.

“I was in the middle of the of the match and I managed to bring the lady back up,” she said.

“I brought my wrist back up and then snap - it just snapped off. I didn’t feel anything, no pain, until 15 minutes into the ambulance ride.

Sporty: Joyce, seen here in grade 7, was always keen on sports

“But everything is good now. I made a good recovery and now I’m back.

“I presume my daughter will beat me some day but I’ve always told her she’ll have to really beat me as I’m not going to just give it up.

“I had to earn my own way and so will she.”

Mother-of-two Jessica is now a two-times world champion herself, while Josie Montana King, a full-time student, has won two golds in Canada’s Arm Wrestling Championships.

Eyes on the prize: Joyce on her graduation day in 1983
Happy Couple: Joyce and hsuband Alan on their wedding day in 1986

Jessica, a construction worker who is 6ft and weighs 200lbs, said: “I first started arm-wrestling when I was 11-years-old. I just love the sport. The people are absolutely amazing. Everyone comes together and shares tips and doesn’t turn everything into a rivalry.

“At this point I can probably beat Josie but my mom is pretty jacked at the moment so I’m not touching that for a while.”

Josie has taken a slight hiatus to concentrate on her college studies but she plans to return to the sport soon.

She said: “I think the sport is empowering to women and it lets young children and older women and men know that women can do a power sport too.”

Wrist versus reward: Joyce posing for the camera with some of her silverwear

The rest of Joyce family, while not quite reaching the women’s heights, are also all keen arm-wrestlers.

These include Joyce’s son Cody King, 28, and grandchildren Hailey, seven, Jaxson, seven, Jacob, six, and Jenika, three.

All idolise Joyce, who weighs 180lbs and has 17in arms, and her record-breaking achievements in the tough sport.

The self-confessed tomboy became interested in sport as a child, playing with her three brothers and three sisters in the fields.

Top of the table: Joyce puts an opponent down with her awesome power

But it was only when she turned 30 that she started to become interested in the world of arm wrestling.

She said: “My first matches were pretty simple. There was only a couple of smaller ladies who weren’t very athletic and so I won easily.

“I got more confident and decided to take it on more seriously.”

She won her first world title in 2003 and went on to win a further 12, but there was one last challenge before she could consider herself the world’s best.

Top of the world: Joyce poses after winning the World Championships in Japan in 2006

She said: “The reason I considered myself the best in the world in 2006 is because I’m the only person to ever beat the heavyweight champion from Russia, Liliya Khamidullina.

“I took her on at Ultimate Armwrestling lll 2006 in Las Vegas. Nobody else could beat her and we went the whole three matches with me winning two.

“It was an amazing feeling. I still get chills now thinking about it.”

To stay at the top their training regime, the women endure gruelling gym workouts, protein rich diets and three-times weekly technique training.

Crunch time: Joyce faces and defeats the all-conquering Liliya Khamidullina in 2006 in Las Vegas

Their devotion has impressed trainer Derek Wilson, who has helped them with strength work for the last two years.

He said: “They’re the strongest arm-wrestling family in Canada. Hands down. They really take the sport seriously.

Following suit: Jessica King gets to grips with her brother Cody on the table

“Joyce is extremely resilient and stubborn to come back from the arm break. I don’t think there is a limit for her.

“You could put her up against a 250lb guy or a bodybuilder and if he doesn’t have good technique then forget it - she will pummel him every time.”

The training has debatably taken a toll on their feminine features but one man who isn’t complaining is Joyce’s devoted husband Alan, 62.

No pain, no gain: Josie, Jessica and Joyce working on their muscles in the gym

He also competed but quit when he broke his arm. He said: “Joyce could definitely beat me in an arm wrestle because she is stronger and better locked.  

“I am not embarrassed. She could beat guys a lot bigger than me. “I find her big muscles sexy. I think she is a super woman and very feminine - just not at the table.

“I love her and I’m very proud of what she has achieved.”

Joyce’s next challenge will be at a tournament at the Arnold Classic Worldwide, in Ohio, USA, this weekend (5 and 6 of March).