Ever performed a yokoshihogatame on a teddy bear? If you have, you might have pinned it to the ground with one arm between its legs and the other over one of its shoulders, as in judo. Or, you might have been playing on a UFO catcher, also known as a crane game — the popular arcade machines in which you use a moveable, so-called UFO-mounted claw to fish booty (teddy bears, plush toys, watches, sweets and much more) out of a brightly illuminated glass box.

What? You mean you didn’t know you could execute martial arts maneuvers using what is probably the oldest amusement in the arcade? Well you can. And the people best qualified to show you how will be converging on Makuhari Messe in Chiba on Feb. 16, when the grand final of the Crane Game National Championships will be held as part of Amusement Expo 2008.

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