Stone lifting is probably one of the most historic test of strength and most iconic feats and challenges from ancient time to modern day. Stone lifting is a huge culture that is widely accepted in Norse and Celtic culture and folklore. Its a transition of any boy to be accepted as a man by his community.
In Iceland we have plenty of historical stones like the Husafel which is now fabled and part of modern day strongman competitions. Scotland is probably the country with a rich history and folklore in the ancient history of stone lifting. From the world famous Dinnie Stones, Inver Stone (which was also the first Manhood Stone that I lifted), Menzies Chieftain Stone, Dhalwinnie Stone or Barevan Stone just to name a few.
These stones attract the strongest lifters all over the world to be a special elite club of people. Who are passionate, fly over oceans and drive for hours just to lift stones. I consider myself to be one of them.
Historically, lest we forget Singapore too has her own myth and folklore about having immense feats of strength. This you probably heard about in plays, books or even stories growing up of a local strongman who made a pact with a spirit that he wanted to kill for eating his catch. Sparing his life in exchange for super human strength. This is none other than Badang.
In one of Badang’s last feats of Strength. It was said that he picked up a stone which was then known as the Singapore Stone and threw it across the Singapore River and shattering thereafter in a competition. Fast forward to modern day, a part of the shattered Singapore Stone can be found in the National Museum of Singapore. Unfortunately they also wouldn’t allow us to lift or throw a historical artefact (That kind of made sense).
Moving forward… I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to lift one of the many Manhood Stones in Scotland and be the 119th person out of a few thousands to put wind beneath the stones for the Dinnie Stones in its 200 year history. It was such a historical moment being the only Singaporean to be awarded a full lift on the Dinnie Stones.
On my way back from Scotland and fresh from my Dinnie Stones Adventure. I asked myself… Can I actually have this done in Singapore? Because it almost feels that Feats of Strength has been sorely forgotten and resigned to just oratory stories, myths you hear and there is no recorded history of feats of Strength other than just modern contemporary strongman competitions. Which people do tend to forget.
On my way back from Stone lifting adventure in Scotland. I had an ephipany also because I was inspired by my Dinnie Stones Lift and my interaction with Brett Nicol, owner and guardian of the Nicol Stones. And also after reading “Stonelifting’ by Martin Janacsics.
Why do we need this?
Because a rite of passage for boy to a man is accepted at as going through National Service in the Singapore context. Definitely, we need to bring back the culture of being strong and not let it be resigned to just myth and folklore. Sure it will probably take 20 to 50 years for this sub cutlure of stone lifting to develop. But we all have to start from somewhere. And with reckless abandon like I always have. Always being the first person to start something in Singapore from competitions to doing things out of the norm.
The idea of the Taufiq Stones of Strength was triggered and concieved. It also took me some time to brainstorm, discuss ideas, options and source equipment, bits, pieces, powertools, manpower and child labour to finally introduce the Taufiq Stones of Strength
One can be very quick to say that “Oh Taufiq you are just trying to copy the Dinnie Stones! Isn’t yours a cheap rip off?” or “Nobody is going to be able to lift these stones!”. These thoughts do come to mind but the reality is unless you have managed a full lift or walked with the Dinnie Stones your opinion doesn’t really matter. There will also be people who say it’s impossible, until someone is able to do it.
I will be more than happy and be the first to say that my Taufiq Stones of Strength is inspired by the legendary Donald Dinnie with his feats of strength, courage and athleticism and also the hundred something athletes that come before and after my full lift of the Dinnie Stones. Because thousands of people came to lift the stones but only a hundred or so succeeded.
And all I want to do is create a culture and a group of stone lifters so strong that they never doubt themselves, promote and grow my beloved sport of strongman. Especially stone lifting in as many ways as possible. So read below if you want to know how you can be a part of this stone lift and literally set your name in stone.
Taufiq Stones of Strength FAQ
Owner of the Taufiq Stones of Strength
Guardian of the Taufiq Stones of Strength
Andrew Johnson (Program Director, Strongman Singapore)
Location of the Stone
Savage Garden, Koon Seng Road, Joo Chiat Area, Singapore
Weight of Stones
170kg and 160kg, combined weight 330kg.
Rules to Lift the Stone
- No Straps for Men
- Straps allowed for Women
- Chalk Only
- No Deadlift Suits
- Belts, Braces, Sleeves allowed
- Stance (Any as long as you can pick it up)
- You are given 3-4 attempts. The appointed judge will be the one determining if you have successfully put wind beneath the stones.
Putting Wind Beneath the Stones with no straps.
Assisted Full Lift
Putting Wind Beneath the Stones with straps allowed ONLY for Women
Stone Attempts are by appointment on Saturday late afternoons only. Please send your interest to Taufiq@taufiqstrongman.com to book a slot. You will be required to sign an indemnity form prior to your attempt.
So here is the good news too… The Taufiq Stones of Strength will also make appearances at all Singapore Strongman Series competitions in Singapore too. Above rules still applies. You will be awarded a certificate upon full lift of the stone, name on the book with a number given to set your name in stone in history.
So with that, I end this post by encouraging you to attempt the Taufiq Stones of Strength and set your name in stone. And be remembered a 100 years later as one of the few men who are brave enough and so strong that you don’t doubt your own strength!
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