Alex Kurdecha is 30 years old. He recalls that for the first time he tried to pull at the school desk, as probably all do. He managed to try to pull at the armwrestling table as a student in his second year at the Polytechnic Institute. Even then, Alex was fond of armwrestling, weightlifting, strongman at the same time, and he also managed to study. For the first time he performed at national level competitions in 2014, at the same time he won the Polish Championship for the first time. After there were other sports hobbies: from swimming to American football, and he returned to arm wrestling in 2017.
Alex, what did you do before armwrestling?
- Before armwrestling there were many other sports. My first sport at school was athletics, I once ran 100 meters in 12.1 seconds and did discus, I was the champion of the region among my peers. I also did shot-putting and everything, like everyone else at that time. Then, perhaps, there was more sport and more competitions and slogans “Faster, higher, stronger”. Of the interesting - set a local record in throwing F1 grenades.
What pushed you to armwrestling?
- Armwrestling, which we then called "fighting on the hands". There is a story: once, while still in school, we were fighting on the hands with the guys, and I was the strongest in the class. One of my schoolmates argued with high school students that I would pull the strongest of them. And here I am fighting a guy who is 3 classes older than me, and the struggle was long, difficult, emotional and interesting, and all my classmates shout and support me, and his friends also support him shouting: “Come on, he's a baby boy! What are you doing, bring him down!” I won a long fight, and I remembered those emotions forever, and when I saw an armwrestling poster in my student years, I remembered my school history and I thought, if I did it then, I can do it now. I went to the competition, and it worked.
Alex is from Ukraine. He studied at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute and in 2008 came to Poland for the aviation conference:
- I really liked Warsaw then. And when I was in senior courses I chose a program for training in the European project on aviation specialties, I saw the Warsaw Polytechnic in the list, I decided that I would go there! It turned out that everything here is very similar to Ukraine, almost the same, and the language too. Many friends, acquaintances, and hobbies appeared; I started to feel at home, so Warsaw became my second home.
You were studying aerospace systems engineering, are you currently working in a specialty, or is your work more related to sports?
- I studied as an engineer-researcher in the direction of “Aerospace Systems” in the specialty “Planes and Helicopters”. My master's degree thesis was “Emergency prevention system at the initial stage of the aircraft stalling” (performed within the research of department), my postgraduate project is the study of tthe assesment model of danger factor occurence of accidents of the UAV and efficiency measures of an emergency situation prevention at the initial stage of the aircraft stalling. Most of my articles and studies are related to flight safety. Now I work in PZM (Polski Związek Motorowy, PZMot), and my work is related to emergency situations, but on cars, not on aircrafts.
What are your plans for work?
- Now the direction related to control systems, the study of the human factor and emergencies are very relevant and very developing. In general, I like it, so I plan to continue working in this direction.
How do you spend your leisure time?
- About leisure - we love gathering with friends and inventing entertainment for ourselves, barbecues at the river or riding bikes. We love adventure! Or we can just watch a movie with a merry company.
In Alex’s life, science and sport have always gone side by side. At school, he was engaged in athletics and was very fond of physics, he won regional competitions in this subject. At the institute, aviation was standing next to a strongman, wrestling and strength sports. More recently, Alex’s free time was divided between American football and armwrestling, he pulled very actively: Polish Cup 2017, Zloty Tur 2017, Vendetta #49 in Italy, Moldova Cup, and Vendetta All Stars on the same stage with the strongest armwrestlers in the world. And now – Top-8!
Alex, how do you develop speed and power indicators: do you use techniques from other sports or do you train intuitively?
- In high-speed trainings, methods from American football help a little. These methods were built on techniques from weightlifting - these are jerks, climbing to high ground with weights, dynamic rises and starts, in football, too, starting with a whistle. So something probably came from there as well something else with athletics. Maybe my hands are good for armwrestling because of discus and shot-puttng.
What are your favorite exercises?
- Favorite exercises now are from gym: the upper block, bench press, biceps lifting.
What are your personal records?
- I have a lot of records on the strength of grip, but the most clear and significant, perhaps, was that once I and Andrey Pushkar were the first to close the Captains of Crush No. 3 expander in Ukraine.
How do you manage to run fast? After all, in football it is necessary.
- On the draft tests I had a very good result, as for a linear player who plays on the line of defense or attack and weighs usually more than 150 kg. And my weight is 145-155 kg with height of 202 cm.
What would you advise novice athletes?
- I would advise beginners to try as many kinds of sports as possible and choose your favorite, because sport is great, it charges us with energy and happiness! Sport gives fullness to life! It is more fun to work with it and relax!
When you have children, will they play sports?
- Yes, as I have already said, sport teaches us to enjoy life, to be more active, to teach perseverance in achieving our goals! What kind of sport - it does not matter, the main thing is that you like and want to develop in it! If we talk about the age at which children can start playing sports, you can play game sports - from a very young age, this is how sociability and activity will develop. And if about power sports, then there should be a number of good trainers who will tell you when and what weight you can and should start to lift. The main thing that sport helps to be healthy and happy!