Meet Harold Ryden
At World Championship 2002

Hi Harold, How long have you been armwrestling?
I started in the sport in April 2000 .
How did you get started?
At a local fair they were holding an armwrestling competition that I noticed in the paper.  I always thought I was pretty good at armwrestling.  In High School I would always beat everyone, even the school teachers so I thought I would stand a chance if I entered.  It turns out I had an accident shortly before in which I broke my left wrist and crushed my left hand which made it difficult to hold onto the peg.  I lost my first match thinking I am out of my league.  Working my way up the B side I went undefeated only to lose to the guy that I had lost my first match too.  I ended up taking 2nd place in the tournament and was confronted by the director who said I had talent and invited me to the Iowa State Championships.  At the Iowa State Championships,  without any training, I was blessed to take home 4th.
What Happened?
I entered the 80kg right handed class.  Not having a clue what armwrestling was all about I was beating some really good armwrestlers.  Some of them were from Team Minnesota whom were very respected in their classes. I ended up getting in contact with Jason Remer and Rett Houdek and was asked to join in their training once a week.  They taught me at a rapid rate how to become a decent armwrestler and about techniques of the sport.
What have you done since then?
I have won numerous titles throughout the Midwest until I moved to the West Coast of California where I took first place in the 80kg right handed in Petaluma Amateur World Championships.  That is when I decided to pull the pros.
What exactly have you won all over the world?
Being so new to the sport... I have not come close to the titles I intend to win.  I have won the right handed 80kg California State Title as well as the left handed 75kg and taken 2nd place in the Unified Nationals which qualified me to represent Team USA at the World Championships where I took 8th place.

Armwrestling Workouts?
My workouts consist of plenty of one arm pull-ups, rope climbing, sit-ups, and lots of table time.  Just for fun, sometimes I pick up the kids and use them as my hammer
Recommendations for new armwrestlers.
Find a good group of armwrestlers to train with.  Stay committed.  Find what works best with your style and definitely train on your weak spots.  Get a hold of as many armwrestling videos as you can and study them.  Watch competitors speed, styles, stances, etc...
How did "Pullers For Christ" get started?
My wife and I were youth group leaders at our church in Minnesota when I first got interested in the sport.  After many months of praying I felt the Lord leading me in a new direction.  After a year or so as youth group leader I felt the Lord called me to the sport of armwrestling.  He showed me I had a talent that I shouldn't waste and to use it for His glory.  I asked the Lord to show me if this was really his will and I turned to the Scriptures.  The first page I turned to revealed his answer which was Psalm 18:34... He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  I believe the Lord has put me in the sport to share the love of Christ.  I have spoken at youth groups about using your talents for the Lord and how they can do anything through Christ who gives them strength.  I want to be there for anyone who needs prayer, has questions, wants to share anything or problem they have confidentially.  I am here to help my fellow brothers and sisters.  I have been asked to pray before tournaments and for individuals before matches.  I am just a servant of the Lord and I try to be as humble as I can but Lord knows I am not perfect, none of us are.
What was your most memorable match?
I have two most memorable matches.  First would be against a Russian at the USA World Championships 2002.  We slipped and ended up in the strap.  We ended up in a hook which was where all his power is and fought back and forth for a good 2 minutes or so.  I tried every move I had to beat him and at times I thought I had a chance to win.  He was more determined than I was so he went home with the win.
Second most memorable match was recently at the California State Open Pro/Am with Bob Brown who I always have admired as a great armwrestler.  First match of the night was between us, we ended up in the strap and were both stale mate for a good 20 seconds until I hit him with unexpected side pressure sending him to the pad for the win.  This was one of my best moments in armwrestling. (Thanks Bob)
To all the armwrestlers, Thanks for all the good times and God Bless,

Welcome to Harold and his organization "Pullers for Christ" as the newest member of United States ArmSports.  Thanks Harold.   Dave Devoto



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