PRESIDENT'S BULLETIN UPDATED 18TH SEPTEMBER 2023
For those allergic to social media latest news will be here & deleted when no longer relevant.
I type this shit every week & wonder sometimes if I'm just pissing in the wind. Attention is premium these days with social media & the accompanying ads wanting to intrude upon your time there can't be much incentive to visit this page. According to WIX though, about 260 of you do every week, which is heartening. I hope that some of you are actively training & not just idle layabouts dreaming of what might be. What might be is very much dependent upon a consistent approach to training - natural ability will get you so far, but those out there with less gifts are often quietly progressing with a plan. Do you need a special diet, expensive equipment & a medicine cupboard full of drugs to succeed? No. None of those things alone will guarantee sucess. Work has to be done & the choices you make along the way will shape what sort of armwrestler you become.
Being President of the PAA UK & IRELAND gets me into conversations I would otherwise have no business being in. I get some insight into the trends & spend a lot of time thinking about how best to go about things. I see the PAA's role as providing a route to progression. Without trying to make profit we can put on events in places that might otherwise not be viable to an independant promoter. Despite the growth of the sport numbers at Regionals this year have reduced - why? Well more opportunities are springing up, There are supermatch leagues, a few more tournaments & the need to travel just to compete is less. Just this week another tournament has been announced - in the North West (details to follow) & by my count there have been at least twelve tournaments run in the last 12 months - compare that to pre 2019 when there were one or two.
How does this affect the PAA? Well I think that the Nationals will be more stiffly contested. Those winning regional & independent tournaments will ask themselves if they are better than they think & those who are just behind in the placings will have taken some heart that they are almost there. So the PAA provides some progression & whoever takes home the national titles - both novice or pro - are on the radar for the independent promotors who will want to use those titles to promote supermatch opponents.
Consequently my thoughts are to try & take the warzones to places that they haven't been to & provide some back yard competition for those who always have to travel. Whether or not they turn up once I roll in - well sometimes you wonder how close you have to be to someones back yard to entice them out of it.
Armgods have a tournament this weekend for the BMF belt. I have at most 15 days left on the Presidential yacht but it coudl be as few as two - so I might get to resume my role as road warrior sooner than I thought.
The week after a small contingent is off to Malaysia to contest IFA Worlds - a larger one goes in the opposite direction to Canada with Paul Maiden. Big opportunites there for both teams - who'd have thought it just a few years ago?
Dan Hanlon & I will be running the Yorkshire Cup Warzone on 21st October - a week before the Novice Nationals. The idea was to put on something for the Pros 5 weeks before their nationals as a tune up & to get the Annual cup established. How many will come? What are the weight classes? These are questions that plague every organiser.
Having the UdezumouUK event to experiment with bought about the warzone format & flexible categories - weigh in everyone on the day, divide the number by two or three & split the weights accordingly into Light & Heavyweight & add a Middle if there is enough to make it worthwhile. This gives a good number of people in each class - or one mixed class - & whoever wins it has had to have some battles & deserved the win. The alternative is to give medals out to the top 3 even if there is only 3. Does that provide progression or value? Those who made weight by starvation, bin bag running & sauna sitting feel devalued if the class is non existent - so my system cuts out the stress - eat drink, be merry - get yourself as strong as possible & let the random nature of circumstance determine where you sit on that particular day.
Of course, the Nationals are always going to have the weight classes that we established so there are champions in weight classes to sell their wares to the independants & progress to Euros & Worlds.
Is all this set in stone? Not at all - practicality & the spirit of progression is what I'm trying to achieve. I'm not going to please everyone, but there are alternatives if you don't like the cut of my jib. I'm not trying to compete with the independant promotions or provide glitz & fanfare - others do that much better. Know though, that to win a Warzone is something special & no one can say you had an easy ride.
If you've made it this far, well done. Get a gold star for attention.
I have not yet updated the PRO STATUS list, but have some more info from Martin Zajac (thanks Martin) to do so when I can devote some time for it. Still waiting for London's JULY results from Dzhan Kurt which I can't find published anywhere & have asked for - does anyone else have them? The pro status list is something I established to reward those qualifying with a certificate & ejection from the Novice tournaments. The PAA issues these certificates free of charge to anyone who has qualified - but without results I can't keep them updated & people who should have been rewarded might not be & those who shouldn't be in Novice tournaments might slip in & steal the medals. That's shit for everyone concerned.
Events calendar as always has details of what I know - another to be added for December this week - Newcastle have put it about on Facebook, again I will put some time to include it ASAP.
See you down the road.