Arsen Mek’ok’ishvili of Georgia was acquainted with chidaoba, the Georgian traditional style of wrestling, from a young age as his father was a local chidaoba champion and Mek’ok’ishvili himself became the Georgian champion in that style in 1934. Mek’ok’ishvili did not take up a classical wrestling style until in 1939, however, when he moved to Tbilisi. At the same time he also practiced sambo, a Soviet wrestling style similar to judo, and his first successes came in this sport, when he won the Soviet heavyweight sambo title in 1940. He repeated this feat six more times in 1947-52. As a freestyle wrestler, Mek’ok’ishvili won the 1952 Olympic and 1954 World heavyweight titles. Domestically he was also almost unbeatable, winning the Soviet freestyle heavyweight title in 1945-46, 1948-53 and 1956. Between 1945 and 1954, Mek’ok’ishvili lost only once, to another great heavyweight of that time: Estonian Johannes Kotkas. After finishing his sporting career, Mek’ok’ishvili worked as a wrestling and sambo coach in his native Georgia, and died in Moscow, Russia from injuries sustained in a car accident.