Local arm wrestlers to test their strength this weekend
By Chris Fish
MELBOURNE - Dale Vicos wants the public to know that his arm wrestling competition, "Guts-N-Glory," isn't your everyday "bar-room brawl."
"There is uncanny sportsmanship at my competitions," said Mr. Vicos, an arm wrestler for 35 years and vice president of the National Power Arm Wrestling Association. "This competition is for people of all types. It doesn't matter if you have never competed before. No one walks away embarrassed."
Mr. Vicos is the organizer and tournament director of the Central Florida Armwrestling Championships, held at Off the Traxx, 918 E. New Haven Ave. in Historic Downtown Melbourne, Saturday, Sept. 15.
The event will include 27 different weight classes and divisions for men and women, including a beginner division, titled "Right Hand-Novice." No experience is necessary, and the tournament will include a double-elimination.
While Mr. Vicos has been conducting arm wrestling tournaments since 1998, he said this event will be the third consecutive arm wrestling competition he has hosted in Brevard County.
While training for an arm wrestling competition, Mr. Vicos, a 25-year U.S. Air force veteran, said working out in the gym isn't necessarily the only way to prepare.
"It's not always people who go to the gym who participate," he said. "We have a lot of blue-collar workers who do very well, especially people who are mechanics or work in masonry. Tennis players do very well, too. They have strong forearms."
Mr. Vicos said arm wrestling is also 30 percent mental.
"People will get psyched out sometimes. Someone will look (at their opponent), and they will think they can't beat them," he said. "You can't go by looks. One time, I had a 14-year-old girl, who weighed 115 pounds beat a 360-pound woman in her 20s."
Mr. Vicos said he hopes to also feature a "Battle of the Badge" competition, featuring firefighters versus police officers.
"Any badge-wearing professional in the field of firefighting, law enforcement, prison guard, either civilian or military will be allowed to compete," he said.
The event will also feature a few special guests, including Dann Carr, creator of the television series "American Gladiators," who is a two-time world and five-time national-arm wrestling champion in the 1970s, Mr. Vicos said. Mr. Carr is known as "Apache Dann" in the arm wrestling world.
Mr. Vicos said there will also be professional wrestlers from the "Team 3-D" Professional Wrestling Academy located in Kissimmee in attendance.
Registration and weigh-ins are from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The tournament begins at 2:30 p.m., is $15 and co-ed couple's registration is $20 total. Registration ends at 1:30 p.m.
Ages in the competition include 16 and older. Anyone younger than 18 must have parental consent.
Registration for the "Battle of the Badge" competition is $5.
For further information about the Central Florida Arm Wrestling Championships, contact Dale Vicos at (321) 431-8843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.