Thursday, April 21, 2011

Challenge Match: Jennifer Thomas!

I was challenged by Jennifer Thomas to a match this past weekend in New Jersey and finally got to experience her world class headlocks for myself! First of all, she is really awesome and fun! She really loves to go at it in the older school style of get in there, muscle it out and crush you till you beg. Most of her training was in Pro Wrestling but she can mix it up in true competitive style.

She was someone who was on my "want to challenge" list for a long time. We finally started chatting actually not in regards to a match together but supporting each others web endeavors. Jennifer is definitely naturally competitive and it did not take long for us to start talking less about who was getting more clicks on and start talking more about who could make the other beg!

Both of us were pretty confident going in and both of us were loving the anticipation. On the day before Jennifer up the stakes even more by asking me to bring my camera so our first ever face off could be documented for all. Damn! No excuses. No do overs.

We faced off for 7 rounds with the winner taking the set by one submission. Jennifer is so strong especially given her petite size. It's a real shock locking up with her and feeling the limits of my strength matched by hers. The struggles were slow and taxing. Both of us were eager to lock the other in our favorite power holds. Headlocks for Jennifer and body scissors for me. There were no joint locks or chokes. We could have gone for them. But it just wasn't that style of fight. Both of us were committed to crushing the other till they couldn't take it.

It was one of the rare times I have ever been submitted in a headlock and probably fairly rare that Jennifer had been squeezed to submission in a body scissors. It was close! We both loved it! There will be more matches between us. Next time we are even flirting with the idea of an oil match! Time will tell!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Taking the Jello Wrestling Plunge!!!

So last night I got to experience a personal wrestling first (since I've been at this a while that is becoming rare). At IMPACT here in NYC I was lucky enough to get to participate in Jello Wrestling and wow was it fun! I had attended the first iteration of this even this past November and though watching was definitely a hoot I found myself wanting to jump in there so bad! So this time around I got on the list earlier. They actually do some of their own match making in advance so the odds of getting a match at the event is far better if it's set up in advance rather than trying to snag an instant match at the event. Slots fill up really quick!

This event is a total blast. It brings me back a little to a few years ago when they used to do similar events at Arlene's Grocery among a few other venues. These events were tournament style, all fem and had a very fun energy to them with play-by-play announcers and live music. I always enjoyed going to these events as a spectator but always wanted to feel the thrill of being in such a match in front of such an energetic crowd. They stopped doing the Jello events at some point but no one who had been to one really ever forgot how fun they were.

This event definitely retains a lot of the fun energy of the previous incarnation but I would say shifts it a little bit darker and edgier. It favors a fight card structure rather than a tournament structure and opens the match combinations up across the board. Fem v Fem, Male v Male, Mixed, even 2-on-2 and 2-on-1. There's a DJ, an MC, spotlights and the crowd goes wild! :)

My match was set a week or two in advance against a feisty looking fun FetLifer whom I had never met before (name withheld till she tells me it's cool). And there is something about that that's actually quite exhilarating. To me anyways, the idea of being matched up with someone you don't know for a first time match in front of a lot of people is pretty wild. I was excited to take the Jello Wrestling plunge!

As the event got rolling, the Wrestling Pit was set to go and the waivers were being signed by many eager participants who were mingling with an even greater number of curious spectators. I finally met my match face to face. Both of us were pretty much in our fetish/wrestling gear. We chit-chatted a little bit probably sizing each other up just a little at the same time (I was! lol). She was no push-over! Both of us had wrestled before, had some training in BJJ but neither of us had ever tried what we were about to do.

The lights over the Jello Wrestling Pit brightened and we were informed we would be the opening match! Instant butterflies as the spectators gathered. The MC hyped up the crowd for a night of fun and Jello-drenched glory! One at a time we entered the Jello ring to cheers from the fun-spirited crowd. We stared each other down a little as "Welcome to the Jungle" poured over the speakers from the DJ. We inched closer to each other, locked up and immediately tumbled into the pit together struggling to get on top.

Wrestling in Jello is probably crazier than any other kind of wrestling I have tried. Oil Wrestling is pretty slippery for sure, but it pretty much keeps to the skin. This was semi solid, slippery and you were in a pool of it that would get everywhere... in your mouth, in your tights... Every move would send it flying in all directions! Trying to grip onto your opponent pretty much results in gliding over them and getting flipped to your back. We went at it full steam ahead, both of us flipping the other over and going for pins. I could hear her giggling as I would attempt to get on top of her and then get flipped to my back in an instant.

The MC started counting down to the end of the time limit, crowd cheering us on, as I could feel the intensity of the struggle ramping up as both of us tried to pull out a last-second victory. I pressed her to her back, pinning her arms out to the side hearing the referee starting a 3 count but just as he gets to 2 I feel her part muscle, part slip to her side under me avoiding the pin. In the last seconds I got my legs around her waist and my arm around her neck and got a submission as time expired. Though technically chokes are illegal at this event so my victory was mired in controversy. Guess that just makes me a dirty Jello Wrestler! ;) (But seriously, everyone should follow the rules!) :)

We slapped hands and stumble-slid to the seating around the ring as the crowd cheered and the next match started being announced. I was surprised at how much I was panting from such a short match but it was highly energetic and honestly one of the most uniquely fun matches I had ever done and with a truly awesome-fun opponent.

The event went on with about a dozen really fun-spirited Jello battles with many lucky participants getting in there more than once. The party go-ers were into it, the atmosphere was electric and the Jello flew in all directions! You can bet I'll be going back, looking to extend my record and wreak gelatinous havoc on unsuspecting faces. And next time I'll have all sorts of new tricks up my sleeve... like sandals. The amount of Jello that got in my shoes was enough to inspire me to check them next time at the door along with my coat! :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The One Hour Grapple

Recently, as I started my fitness routines to get me in my best shape for the big grapple event in June, I started wrestling with a girl called Aluna. I met her at Michelle Falsetta's Mixed Wrestling Event in late January. She was already a friend of a friend but was totally new to wrestling. She is a total natural athlete. She surfs often, has played soccer at a collegiate level and has an intense competitive streak. We wrestled about a 10 minute round at the party which I won due to skill level. But the match was SUPER tiring. She really brings it 100% from start to finish. We chatted after the match and decided we wanted to wrestle again on our own. Aluna particularly liked matches that could make her tired.

We met up for another match about a week later and wrestled for 4 more 10 minute rounds, which was different than I usually do. Usually I'll wrestle till one of us scores a submission, both of us take a breather and when we feel like it we do another round. With Aluna, if there is a submission we get right back up and immediately go at it again. Nothing can save you from the exhaustion until the timer sounds. We were both into it. We talked about it more and decided we wanted to challenge eachother to keep slowly increasing the round times until we worked up to a full one hour long non-stop grapple. We made a google spreadsheet (dorky as that sounds, lol!) with many matches in a series laid out with one round slowly increasing in time until it gets up to a full 60 minutes. So that's our goal! We are keeping a tally as we go along all building up to that final 60 minute challenge.

We just had Match #3 in the series last week and Aluna beat me for the first time. Despite the fact that I am in better shape than our last two matches she was alot stronger too from a full week of non-stop surfing on a vacation and she started a yoga routine that she says has helped. We start standing up so there is alot of foot work and takedown attempts and blocks. We did one 10 minute round and two 15 minute rounds. By the third round we had done so much standing grappling that my calves were totally worn out and cramping. This was despite that I had drank alot of water and had a good dose of potassium to avoid muscle cramps the days leading up to the match. It was definitely more grappling from a standing position than I was accustomed to! And against a girl who has a killer set of legs on par with any soccer player girl you have ever seen. It happened at critical times too in positions where I almost had her only to have her escape because of the intense pain in each calf.

This match motivated me to up my intensity in the gym and try to push myself harder. I have been to the gym 3 out of 4 days since that night. I'm really starting to notice improvement in my cardio and fitness. This week I put alot more effort into increasing my strength and endurance (because Aluna was stronger than me in this last match!). We are doing these matches on a frequency of every two weeks so I still have another week to put the effort in to get ready for match #4. I'm still leading in matches, rounds and submissions won (all of which we are keeping a total of throughout the series) but we are close in all three. At this rate our epic one hour showdown will likely take place some time in August. But this is a really fun and motivating way to really push yourself to the limit with someone. We will both be so much stronger at the end than we were when we started and I'm looking forward to sharing more as this goes along. :)