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Armwrestling - history

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Armwrestling - history

Armwrestling - history

Armwrestling can be traced all the way back to acient Egypt where a painting depicting a type of arm wrestling was found in an Egyptian tomb dating to about 2,000 B.C.


The modern sport is based on a Native American game. In fact, it was usually called "Indian wrestling" when practiced by frontiersman during the 19th century and by children in the 20th century.


In addition to being a semi-popular sport among high school and college students, arm wrestling was a tavern sport and the first organized competition was staged by a journalist, Bill Soberanes, in 1952 at Gilardi's Saloon in Petaluma, California.


Over the next ten years, it became bigger and bigger. In 1962, Soberanes and Dave Devoto moved the tournament to a large auditorium in Petaluma and renamed it the World Wristwrestling Championship.


The sport got a major boost from "Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz in 1968. Schulz did a series of comic strips in which Snoopy was headed to Petaluma to try to win the championship. Largely because of that publicity, the championship was televised on ABC's Wide World of Sports in 1969 and became an annual event on the program for 16 years.

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The American Armwrestling Association, now the American Armsports Association (AAA), was organized by Bob O'Leary during the 1960s. It now has 56 member associations across the country. O'Leary was also largely responsible for the founding of the World Armsport Federation (WAF), with the United States, Canada, Brazil, and India as the first four members. There are now more than 70 member countries.


The year of 1979 was a very busy and important year and that same year, John Miazdzyk hosted the very first World Armwrestling Championship in Canada. Four countries were represented.


The world really didn’t know at the time that this was to be the catalyst that started the present World Armwrestling Federation with over 70 member countries now


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