Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lucha Libre 101

I went to my first Lucha Libre match or masked Mexican wrestling event a few weeks ago with Jeremy and my 15-year-old brother-in-law Zach. For those of you who don't know, Lucha Libre is beyond huge in Mexico. It is a rich part of the culture.

Roudy fanatics crowded in the dingy gym. We sat in fold-out chairs, vendors sold the famous masks and food stalls with hot dogs and hamburgers were packed into the small arena. Before we headed to the event, I had images in my head of being the only woman in the crowd. But to my surprise the world of Lucha attracts more than just men and boys. The crowd was filled with women of all ages, and they were actually some of the loudest hecklers! The sweetest little 5-year-old girl wearing Disney attire sat behind us. But soon, she too, was heckling the wrestlers. It was fun to watch, and even more fun to listen to all the crazy shouts from the audience.

We'd been wanting to do a story on Lucha Libre, so the following week, Jeremy and I went to observe a class that taught Lucha Libre to amateurs and provided continued training for professionals. This time I saw women rule, not only the outside of the ring, but kick butt from the inside. Petite girls about my height were slamming down some big dudes. We even talked to a 13-year-old girl who decided to spend her summer learning Lucha moves. It was funny to see her mom cringe in the corner of the gym everytime her daughter threw herself from the top rope of the ring or kicked some guy in the face. Go Girl!

Read Jeremy's story by clicking on the title above.

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