The Holles: Bending Raw

Back in the 1960s, in the earliest days of powerlifting as an organized sport, there was a fellow named Wilbur Miller who was also known for his hand strength - and Wilbur Miller could bend spikes in his bare hands, which is exactly what the Holle brothers are doing now.

In the late 1980s and the early 1990s, short bending, never exactly a mainstream activity, got some unprecedented attention when IronMind® began shining a spotlight on what John Brookfield, most notably, was doing in this arena. John and a handful of others kept pushing up the standards, but short bending had not exactly become something you'd find practiced all over the place.

Moving down the road another decade, what had begun as a seed had taken root and was growing. We would say that the dam really broke when Gavin Holle turned the bending world upside down after he quietly bent an IronMind® Red Nail™ in half - something that nobody other than John Brookfield, the first to congratulate Gavin, had done.

Despite having top flight authentication for his feat, there were some Doubting Thomases, who would soon develop an adaptation of Gavin's style, which was very different from John's, and before long, PR performances were popping up around the bending world, which was growing rapidly.

At this point, controversy reigned because there were all sorts of arguments about bending styles, permissible padding, etc., and we've even seen rules for bending that are wordier, no doubt, than some national constitutions.

In what might well be a case of back to the Holles for a glimpse of the future again, the latest is that the Holle brothers, likening bending pads to the wraps used by some powerlifters, have eschewed all forms of padding and now, quite simply, they bend everything with their bare hands. And from what IronMind® has seen, the bends are also done in the traditional overhand style, with the hands at about midsection height.

It is hard not to be almost bowled over by the directness of such as assault on a nail, but it should also go without saying that this feat of strength is not for everyone, and that the chances of injury - potentially very serious - should be apparent, understand and accepted by anyone tempted to try this.

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