Attn: Denise Wattles
         ArmSport Newsletter

Re:    Letter to the Editor

From:  Former AAA Director Ray Darling  

Open letter to all,

        I have just read the letter from Mike Bonelli, a long time friend of Steve Stanaways in the last ArmSport Newsletter.

 Who has the most arm wrestlers? AAA, USA, or the IAF ...What difference does it make? We are talking about all the same competitors. Most arm wrestlers compete in all organizations events.

 I have competed in WPM, AAA, USWA/USAA, WWC and IAF tournaments and so have many others. I believe that the arm wrestlers aren't concerned as much with who puts on a tournament, as with how well it is run and who is doing the most for the sport.

 When you look objectively at the sport and its' progress it is my opinion that Mr. Dave Devoto (World Wristwrestling Championships Inc.) has done the most for arm wrestling over the years, having the Petaluma Championships televised. Mr. Tony Celeste (Ann Wrestling International) added to the awareness of the sport by putting the pro football and pro baseball tournaments on ESPN. Has the AAA ever done anything like this? No.

 We must remember that the AAA is now a business owned by Frank and Karen Bean not a sports organization for the benefit of its members as previously portrayed. There is no longer a board of directors or any by-laws and the only people who have a voice concerning the AAA are Frank and Karen Bean.

 As far as I know the only two tournaments the AAA puts on are their Nationals and the Arnold Classic Tournament and in the case of the Arnold Classic the Schwartznegger group provides the prizes so although the AAA participates in it they aren't really responsible for providing the tournament. All other AAA tournaments are sanctioned by the AAA (Frank & Karen Bean), which means a fee is paid to the Beans and they put it on their web site. However all the expenses for these tournaments are the responsibility of the meet director who is holding the tournament.

       I have been a member of the AAA for over twenty years, competed at Petaluma for many years and more recently have been introduced to USWA/USAA. To my surprise Leonard and Denise were not the demons that I had envisioned, but two people who do a lot for the sport of arm wrestling and for the arm wrestlers.

 When deciding which events to compete in, look at the numbers... the number of tournaments put on and the prize money given away… and support the organization that does the most for the sport.


Ray Darling



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