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International King Kong of Grip 2017

This past Saturday was the 5th Annual International King Kong of Grip Challenge.

king kong of grip

This year’s competition took place at 18 different venues in 9 different countries, and saw 170 competitors hit the stage.

I have been training very hard for this competition, because I wanted to get my title back.

I won it in 2015, and think I would have had a pretty good chance to repeat as champion last year, but I hurt my back a week or two before the contest and was in severe pain, which hurt me very bad on two of the events.

This year was my chance to become the first person to ever win it twice.

Unfortunately, despite my best training efforts, putting together 6 to 8 weeks of excellent work, and having one of my best competition days ever, especially for these events, I was not successful in getting my title back.

I did manage to get 5th overall, 2nd in North America, and 1st in my individual weight class.

I also was able to break the World Record in the 1 Hand Pinch Lift, and set all time PR’s on the 2.5″ Crusher and Stub.

Alas, the 2″ Vertical Bar, an event that has severely injured several people, proved to be a big limiting factor for me, and my overall placement suffered because of it, especially.

Despite the positives, I’m still rather disappointed because the ultimate goal is to win the Overall and take the Title of King Kong of Grip.

And at the same time, even though I’m disappointed, there are a ton of things to be happy about.

My Dad was there for yet another competition and got to see me break the record, and my wife and daughter got to be there for the first time to see me break a pinching record, too

I am blessed with a family that is extremely supportive, and that is a huge difference maker.

Also, got the chance to watch my partner, Luke have an awesome day on the platform, as well, setting multiple PR’s. If a couple more lifts went his way, his placing could have moved from 12th overall to 10th. That’s how close these multiple venue competitions can be!

In addition, my long time friend, Mike Rinderle put together a fantastic day after getting some pretty bad news about an injury he recently sustained, plus not having trained grip since last year’s King Kong.

My friend Chris Andrade, from Connecticut, also made the trip down for another King Kong, and he has no lost over 80lbs. It was his first time making the 93kg class. Watching his 11-year old son, “The Ace Cowboy” compete over the years has been awesome as well, and I’m looking forward to many more. I’m hoping Chris’s wife, Amber, feels better next time so she can join us in the chalk dust.

It was great seeing my friend, Joe Sullivan, compete for the first time as well. If he sticks with it, I think he will be force to be reckoned with. Dude is just so strong.

I really appreciate everyone who made some pretty long drives down to be at the competition. Brothers John and Peter Nickless both came down from the Syracuse area. It was John’s first time competing, I believe, and it was Peter’s first time competing since a nasty foot injury he had.

Big RT, Ryan Thomas also came down from the Syracuse area, and looked very confident on all the events. I think he could be very good at Grip if he concentrated on it, for sure.

And a big thanks to brothers, Mike & Jeff M, who are still new to grip, but made the trip from Rochester and got some good quality comp experience as well as some good work on various grip tools after the event.

I’ll be working on video editing throughout the week, and Allen Heineck, Riccardo Magni, and I will be recording a King Kong episode of This Week in Grip, tonight. So, if you’re not subscribed to my YouTube Channel, do so right now: Jedd Johnson on YouTube – so you don’t miss any of the awesome content that’s coming your way!

And if you competed in King Kong and would like to share the story of your day in the heat of competition, feel free to send me a write-up. It might get read on the King Kong show.

Thanks for the support, and all the best in your training.


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