Meet John Wilson
Q) How long have you been armwrestling?
A) I have been pulling actively since 1998, although I really didn't begin to get serious with it until about 3 years ago.
A) I had seen a few competitions when I was a teenager. At
the time I was competing in bodybuilding and bench pressing. The gym I trained
in was in the back of a bar in Petersburg, Va. Called "Joe's Place." Joe held
several events a year there. I never really got involved with it because I was
preoccupied with my other sports, but I always enjoyed watching people
armwrestle. The intensity was unreal! I did enter two events. The first one was
the Virginia Classic. I'll never forget it. I was sixteen years old and thought
I'd give it a shot. I remember thinking, "Hey, I'm pretty strong. I should do
good at this stuff." My first match was Leslie Whims. I don't think he even knew
I was on the table. He certainly never felt anything from me as he proceeded to
flash me without effort. Learning my lesson, I entered one more event (a novice
event) and placed second. I realized that this sport was immensely more
technical than I had imagined. I left for the Navy soon after. What tiny bit I
had learned about armwrestling served me well for those six years. Nobody ever
beat me during my time in the service, regardless of size. It's funny now
looking back on it. I honestly thought I was pretty good!
A) It wasn't long after my first tournament in Jacksonville
that I moved to St. Louis. I went to a tournament held by Wayne Burns and it was
there that I met the guys from the St. Louis area and I began to train with
them. It was then that I began to really take this sport seriously and get down
to business. The first two years were typical. I still stunk, but I was
learning. Slowly but surely I got better and learned more. I was fortunate
enough to meet several Turkish pullers who really opened my eyes to the
possibilities of what an armwrestler could do. Engin Terzi, Omer Bennurkan,
Durson Ondar, and Kazim Asliyuksek were phenomenal. They taught me things I had
never even heard of before. We all became great friends and I owe them a
tremendous amount of gratitude for all they taught me. The real turning point
for me personally was the day Jeremy Plaster began training with us. Jeremy was
just as hungry as I was and together we traveled the country hitting every big
event we could make it to. We traveled, trained, and competed at every
opportunity. We were somewhere in the United States almost every other weekend.
We did that for two years. It is this period of time that I credit with the vast
majority of my armwrestling success. It was like Armwrestling University for me.
A) My best years are still ahead of me.
A) Working out is a luxury for me due to my job. I travel
non-stop. The most I've been able to do is to contact pullers in the area that I
am working and try to set something up. While it is very tough, I have had some
of the best training sessions with some of the World's best pullers by doing
this. I cherish these training sessions.
A) Armwrestle, armwrestle, armwrestle! Go to every tournament
you can. Get over your ego. If you are going to do this sport, you WILL LOSE. I
have learned more from losing than I ever did by winning. Use these losses as
learning experiences. You will lose for a while until you master the basics. As
you get better and begin to win, go find harder competition. Then you'll be
losing again, but learning at a higher level. Keep doing this until you've run
out of levels! Find out where the champs are pulling and go there. Learn
everything you can. Learn where your weaknesses are and address them one at a
time, eliminating each and every one.
ARMWRESTLING.COM- Dave Devoto (707) 537-7373
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