On the Table, Baysider Baffles His Opponents

It was a proud day for Bayside High School as one of their own, Patrick Baffa, finished in first place in the middleweight division of the New York Junior Arm Wrestling Championship. His first meeting with future male MVP arm wrestler Edwin Safarian jump-started his passion for the sport, and the love affair hasn’t stopped since.

Competing in these matches is nothing new for the Bayside resident. Training for nearly a year, Baffa has competed in several matches. Baffa’s father first introduced him into the sport at a very young age. An amateur himself, he would beat the boy every time. "It would frustrate me and make me train myself to do better the next time," Baffa reminisced.

He arm wrestled in the first grade in the school cafeteria, but it wasn’t until junior high school, and especially later on when he met Safarian in Bayside High School that he began seriously training and competing against his new friend.

When asked about the size of his biceps, Baffa answered expertly that although physical strength can definitely be an asset in arm wrestling, technique weighs in as the heaviest factor for success. "There are a lot of big guys out there who get taken advantage of because their focus is on strength alone and not technique," explained Baffa.

Baffa recently finished in first place in the 175-pound Middleweight division at the NYAWA Junior Arm Wrestling Championship. "Most of the guys from Newtown are first-timers," he said explaining his less than challenging victory in his division.
Unlike his opponents from the Elmhurst school, Baffa has had the good fortune of being trained by some of the NYAWA’s best veteran grapplers. Morty Soren, Frank Malis, and Whitestone’s own Steve Black and Chris Myers all took time out of their schedules to show the young athlete the ropes.

With all his training and experience, just how long does it take for Baffa to defeat his opponents? "If it’s an easy guy, 0.7 seconds," Baffa replied. "If it’s a tough guy, seven seconds. And if it’s a really tough guy, I lose."

After completing college, Baffa wants to go from being the strong arm of his school to being the long arm of the law with a career in law enforcement. A few members of Baffa’s family work for the NYPD, which might explain him wanting to attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He doesn’t quite know what he wants to major in once he gets there, but he’s sure he wants to go into law enforcement. "I’d like to be a customs agent or a U.S. marshall," said the 6’1" athlete. "I like to solve problems."

With his desire to protect and serve, this Whitestone resident is sure to surpass any expectations of him, regardless of the badge he straps on. A warning to would-be criminals four years from now: think twice, the middleweight arm wrestling champ is out of school—and he’s wearing a badge!


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