Saturday, December 27, 2014

Known Result or Surprise? Mixed Wrestling Question

Hey Readers,

This morning, I posed a little question on Twitter:

"Do you like to know who wins a competitive mixed match before you watch the video? Or do you like the result to be a surprise?"

It's only been a few hours since posting, but the response has been very nice (especially considering I only tweeted the question once).  Thanks for that, guys!

I also started a similar discussion on the forum back in February 2014 (that thread is here).  Similar to the responses coming from Twitter so far, opinions are pretty mixed on this matter!

I absolutely respect both sides on this matter.  And I think that is why I am so fascinated with the question.  I totally understand the thrill of the surprise - heck, I've been avoiding Game of Thrones spoilers.  I also understand that for the pro-"Surprise" people, not knowing the result ahead of time can make viewing the match much more like watching a live telecast.  However, I also completely understand the "Want to Know" point of view: What if the result will be upsetting?  What if you're looking for a *specific* outcome?  When you're purchasing an item, are you comfortable going into that purchase without full information?

Both camps make perfect sense, and I could go on at length about how both are completely valid.  However, the point of this post is something other.

I err on the side of caution when it comes to video descriptions.  Indeed, when it comes to competitive mixed wrestling videos, my descriptions normally reveal the result.

However, I am curious about releasing a video that does not reveal the result in the description.  And I am curious about putting together a match that could be a "surprise" in this sense.

It's very do-able.... but who would the opponents be?

Here's a list of local ladies and gentlemen who work with me and who are willing to do competitive mixed wrestling.  Select a few and make me a proposal! (they are also listed in the left hand column of the DoomMaidens website).

VeVe Lane     - 5'4" and 120 lbs
Amazon Annie     - 6' and 200 lbs
Crazy Azy     - 5'2" and 130 lbs
Rachel DD    - 5'4" and 120 lbs
Sircee       - 5'8" and 180 lbs


(Unfortunately, Keri is still rehabilitating her shoulder and can't do mixed competitive. Indra *may* or may not be up for fully competitive mixed.  I don't think Trish does fully competitive. ShaSha would be defeated by anyone in a competitive match)

Hanz      - 6'1" and 180 lbs
Diablo     - 5'6" and 165 lbs
Adrian    - 5'9" and 200 lbs
Thrash     - 5'6" and 140 lbs
Kevin     - 5'7" and 180 lbs
Frankie    - 5'4" and 145 lbs

Pick a pairing, leave a note here or e-mail me, and I'll contact the wrestlers and try to put it together!  Local wrestlers are easy to bring together.  If you want more info on the wrestlers, just let me know.

If you want to see special rules, also let me know.

And the match will be released without results being revealed.

Like the idea?  Leave a comment below or drop me a line:

Friday, November 7, 2014

VeVe's Post: Filming with Syd Blakovich?

VeVe posts the following to the Doom Maidens Wrestling yahoogroup.  It's a call for customs and suggestions featuring visiting female wrestler Syd Blakovich from California.

Syd will be visiting NYC in late November 2014.

Hi, Everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that we're talking with Syd Blakovich about setting up a shoot for the end of this month.

Syd's a very experienced grappler & BDSM model -- a BJJ brown belt and past MMA fighter, as well as a veteran of Ultimate Surrender and

Image Gallery (warning: NSFW)

If you have custom requests featuring Syd, let us know ASAP; it will help us plan the shoot and make it happen.

All the best!
                 - VeVe

Pics of Syd:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014. Thematic Pictures!

Happy Halloween!  Have a creepy evening, everyone!  Some thematically appropriate screen captures for extra festive spookiness. Thanks to Amazon Annie, Crazy Azy, VeVe Lane, and Candy Pain!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pro-Style Madness with Crazy Azy and Amazon Annie

So, we gave Crazy Azy and Amazon Annie a pro-style "audition" together yesterday.  The result was quite madness, I must say!

Actually, the result was "Pirate Azy Pro-Style Attack!"  A video in which Azy totally dominates Annie with her pro-style holds.  The video is pretty over-the-top, zany, and wild, but it is a chance for Azy to show us the pro holds she knows.  She works Annie over with camel clutches, Boston Crabs, single crabs, the Stretch Muffler, surf board, triangle chokes, and more (but no Ceiling Holds, sorry!).

The action and vocalizations are a little "rough," since this is their very first pro-style attempt.  In fact, Azy had NO prior pro-style experience at all.  But the visuals look great, and the holds make for some sweet pictures.  I think Azy has got a lot of potential as a heel character!  And Annie's not too shabby as a jobber, either.  Pretty flexible for an amazon!

I concocted the storyline, and then I told the ladies to just go and run with it... and we'll see what they do with it.

So anyway, have a look for yourselves and let us know what you think!  The video is about 13 minutes long, and we've uploaded it to Amazon Annie's youtube channel.  Remember, this is a "first attempt" and an audition, so please be kind :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Summer's End: Mixed, Jade, Rachel, Sircee, VeVe

Well, it's only been a relatively short time since our return from the August FetCon road trip, but there's been a surprisingly huge amount of work going on!  I mean, really, I can't believe the amount of filming that's taken place in this past few weeks.  Basically, one thing leads to another, and once that ball gets rolling, it just picks up speed...

Here's a little run-down:

The Great Outdoors

In late August, VeVe, Hanz, and I took the camera outside again for more outdoor filming adventures.  We hit a wooded area to film both a special custom video and an "experimental" (for us) mixed wrestling themed scenario video which came to be called "Wilderness Mugging Gone Wrong!"

In the "Mugging" video, Hanz played the role of a mugger who stalked hiker VeVe on the trail, only to find himself in tremendous trouble once he finally attacked her.  I was really pleased with the aesthetics on this one - the various shades of green and sunlight through the trees just looked so appealing.  Plus VeVe wore a red shirt, which really made her stand out amongst the surrounding greenery.  Here's the cover image from that video, so you can see the colors in effect:

I'd love to be able to do more outdoor themed filming, and I'm definitely sure that VeVe and Hanz would like to as well.  In fact, I think that VeVe and Hanz are the most available for outdoor filming.

Actually, now that I think of it, this video was inspired by a stage combat workshop that VeVe and I had attended in late August.  I wish I could have gotten Hanz there as well, but it was just too short of notice.  In any case, I got to refresh my stage weapons handling knowledge, and VeVe got to give it a first try.  We mostly ended up getting into "unarmed" classes, which is ironic considering that's what we actually have the most work-experience doing.  Oh well!  But we got to do some classes in knife, small sword, and broad sword, too.

I once held SAFD recognized stage combat proficiencies in Rapier & Dagger and Quarterstaff, but that was many moons ago, and that workshop was my first stage weapons refresher in about a decade.

Anyway, VeVe and Hanz are both very excited to try weapons-type battles - sword duels, high fantasy settings - so we'll have to let them give that a try.  ... at some point... before the idea gets buried by this incoming mountain of To-Do!

But moving on, because, holy cow, there's actually been a LOT between then and now...

Filming with Jade Indica and Rachel DD

Also in August, we moved quickly into 2 other shoots, one featuring Jade Indica, and the other featuring Rachel DD.

VeVe and Jade filmed several videos together, including a slinky-yet-angry "showgirls" catball fight, featuring black pantyhose and lacy bras.  They also filmed a new little superheroine "cosplay" battle, which VeVe had been pushing for for some time.  VeVe was a big instigator on this video, which featured both ladies treading upon the mats with their high heel boots - VeVe in stilettos, in fact!

VeVe's cosplay pro-style battle with Jade also gave us our first chance at having a wrestler gagged while she's fighting and getting put in holds (VeVe tape gagged) and a chance to try some post-production special effects.  Both of these factors related to VeVe's character's super powers, which involved a powerfully disorienting banshee scream.

Needless to say, VeVe was super excited to try this one!

And only a few days later, we filmed with Rachel DD, which involved her revisiting her SuperGirl Rachel role, as well as even more catball fighting - this time with Rachel as a wealthy housewife and VeVe as a sexy burglar - and then some competitive bondage wrestling.

Since Rachel had to miss out on the big 6-Way Bikini Bondage Wrestling tourney from July, she instead got to face off against VeVe alone!  The end result was a wonderfully tight and tidy hogtie for Rachel, complete with cleave gag!

More Men and Mixed Action

Then as September started rolling around, we got into a big mixed wrestling kick.

Initially, a few fans had requested a male vs male bondage wrestling match take place, and we were certainly willing to give that a try.  Following their successful 2-on-1 take down of VeVe in July, Howl and Sato agreed to meet up later to bondage wrestle against each other.  And so, we looked forward to this match-up.

But Howl had plans to go out of town at the end of August, so our timeline for the Howl vs Sato match suddenly became quite tight.  And, as it turned out, we weren't able to get Howl and Sato together in time, but returning wrestler Twiggy stepped in for the match.  And so, our first men's bondage wrestling match ended up being Howl vs Twiggy.

Once that long, grueling match finished, we gave Howl a much-needed break as we moved on to a competitive mixed bondage wrestling match of Twiggy vs VeVe.  So, Twiggy got to experience wrestling both a total novice and a bondage wrestling expert that day!

Once Howl had recovered, and following VeVe's roping of Twiggy, VeVe and Howl broke into a costume bag and got themselves decked out for a much anticipated pro-style match.  And as we were getting attire together for Howl, we discovered that, remarkably, he fit into VeVe's shiny red thong leotard.  VeVe put on her black thong leotard, and then, after they both added boots and tights, we had a splendid Thong Leotard Battle on our hands!

And just as I was getting all of that footage processed and released, I suddenly found that I was scheduled to shoot 3 more mixed wrestling videos within the first few days of September.

We had a much-anticipated competitive match between Sircee and Adrian, which had some Twitter-sphere built-up as the opponents tweeted menacingly at each other for months beforehand.

Two days later, we had an audition shoot for two new gentlemen, each of whom faced off against VeVe in different competitive wrestling styles, one after the other.  New wrestler Kevin fought VeVe in a regular wrestling bout, and newcomer Frankie took on VeVe in bondage wrestling.

Both Kevin and Frankie did a great job in their videos, and we have gladly added them to our roster of available talent.

Whew, and now, writing all of this is also reminding me that I'v still quite a lot of work to do for upcoming releases.  I've got quite a few unreleased videos that have been calling to me:

- A "special conditions" bondage match of VeVe vs Sircee, where VeVe fights with her ankles bound from the start.  And where she is attempting to get a specific fun-suggested tie on Sircee.
- The awesome bondage wrestling match of VeVe vs Frankie
- The 6-lady "Slave Revolt" video featuring VeVe and Indra as mistresses who get overpowered by their 4 escaped female captives

Ok, more to come, as always, and more being planned as we speak!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

FetCon 2014 Brief and the Water Camera

Greetings Gentle Readers.  Welcome back!  I went quiet for a little while during the last two weeks, since I've been road tripping along the East Coast for videography purposes.

FetCon 2014 Visit

This trip brought us down to Fetish Con ("FetCon") 2014 in Tampa, Florida.  VeVe and I joined up with Minxy Li, and  we enjoyed a bit of vacationing amongst the filming goings-on.

I filmed a tickle bondage wrestling video featuring VeVe and Mutiny, which also gave me an opportunity to meet Mutiny for the first time.

After the tickling, VeVe and Mutiny geared up for another video together: a superheroine / villainess bondage wrestling scenario, wherein SuperGirl Mutiny was presented a "gift" of krypronite ropes by villainess Evil VeVe.  As you may expect, that didn't go well for Super Mutiny, and she ended up helplessly bound.

Over to the left is a little camera phone picture of VeVe and Mutiny before their superheroine shoot.

We also filmed a bondage wrestling video of Minxy Li vs Ginary.  This was a return visit to the bondage wrestling arena for Ginary, but this match with Minxy proved just as difficult, if not more-so, than her last rope-tie appearance.  In short, Ginary ended up tied up pretty quickly and fully dominated by Minxy.  Ginary then had to suffer through physical tormenting and eventual ball gagging as Minxy roughed her up, taunted her, and generally enjoyed herself at Ginary's expense!  Here's a camera phone picture that VeVe snapped over my shoulder during this filming.

And after the bondage wrestling, VeVe and Minxy teamed up for a Lift & Carry video with Ginary, where they kept Ginary off the ground for 10 minutes, trading her back and forth as they performed various lifts.

We also got to meet Tomiko (of Las Vegas) for the first time as well.  VeVe and Tomiko filmed together for 2 videos, doing a superheroine / villainess video for Tomiko and a 1960's -esque skin diver girl battle for us. That was fairly madcap and, in my opinion, quite retro-looking in terms of action and videography style.

Superheroine Showdown

Like last year, VeVe also joined in on the official FetCon Superheroine Showdown again (hosted by George Perez).  VeVe appeared again as a villainess (notice a theme here?), this time sporting her post-apocalyptic thong attire.

For this Showdown, the superheroines escorted their captured supervillainesses up onto the stage.  And just as the superheroines introduced themselves and showed off their captured criminals, the Big Boss lady villainess Saharra Huxly burst in to cause a distriction.  Just what the villainesses needed to turn the tables and escape from and subdue their captors.  Now the shoe was on the other foot!  The villainesses then took over and made their introductions as they displayed their newly-captured superheroines.

Villainess VeVe was captured by and then captured in-turn a superheroine called Miss Mapleleaf.  I myself captured quite a few camera phone pictures of the action, and a photographer named Mig grabbed some high resolution pictures with is pro still-photography camera.  I'll share some of those here:


Also at FetCon, VeVe and Minxy got a chance to meet up with popular dominatrix Goddess Phoenix, who was visiting from Atlanta, Georgia.  Here is a camera phone snap shot of these three ladies.  Also a group shot of Ginary, Minxy, and VeVe.

Water Camera

Following FetCon, VeVe and Minxy headed over to Clearwater Beach, where they got to swim in the Gulf of Mexico and also test out our new waterproof video camera.  That camera is really small - about the size of a cell phone, and held the same way.  It took a bit of getting used to, but I came around to it quickly.

I grabbed some video of the ladies floating in the waves and playing with a giant beach ball, but the ocean waters were too misty for good underwater filming, and it was too hard for the camera to see very far while below the surface.  But the camera certainly was not phased at all by being dunked under the water, salted, and rained on.

We later arrived at another hotel as we travelled further south and east in Florida, where I was then able to film VeVe underwater in a pool.  And THAT produced a very nice, clear underwater picture.  Here's a little excerpt from a fuller video we filmed under the surface in the sunny pool:

Very nice results in the pool!

And some stills I took from this footage:

We also brought the waterproof camera back out again as we travelled north in Florida, capturing VeVe flexing in the water at Neptune Beach in the early morning.  Waves crashing and water droplets falling onto the camera?  No problem.  I would never want to stand waist deep in the ocean with my normal dry-land camera, but with the waterproof mini camera, I have no such fears.  But, granted, the little water proof thing is very simple and doesn't have a power stabilizer, so if I'm walking and filming and waves crash into my legs, the camera will certainly feel it (and show it).  But anyway, here is another video from the water camera, this time above the surface:

Whew, and there we have it for now!  Just a brief little summary, but hopefully with lots of helpful and interesting visuals.  I'm here in a splendid cafe in North Carolina on our way back up the East coast, and it's about time for me to get back on the road again.

I hope you enjoyed this little check-in entry, and hopefully too this underwater camera footage is inspiring!

When we get back up to NYC, I'll be attending a weekend-long stage combat seminar on both Saturday and Sunday.  VeVe will be attending as well.  It's a little brush up for me, but it will be some of VeVe's first formal training with weapons-based stage combat.  That should yield some interesting results!

See you all later, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Conflict of Modern Underground Female Wrestling

Hey there, Gentle Readers.

Now, mind you, I normally avoid topics of controversy (uh oh...), but recent Twitterings have gotten my attention and have moved me to speak out.

I recently read a piece discussing how Brazilian jiujitsu ("BJJ") is threatening to dominate the underground female wrestling video industry.  The claim implied that technical styles of grappling are not as interesting or, one can infer, not as sexy as instinctive, untrained squeezing and pressing.

Sure, I can definitely see that.  Raw passions, innocent risk-taking, and wild fury may very well have greater appeal for an underground audience than sportsman-like chess playing.  It was implied that it is better to see untrained ladies performing hard, strenuous wrestling than experienced grapplers on the mats together.  Indeed, one can see the appeal, surely.  However, we need to consider a few things before we can move on.

Firstly, from a production stand-point, unbridled, untrained, "anything goes" is like playing Russian roulette when it comes to competitive underground wrestling.  How long will it be before one wrestler turns the wrong way while in an incidental lock, before another gets her neck cranked in a headlock, before too much random leg tangling leads to the loss of a knee ligament... All is well and good, until injury happens.  And when bad injuries occur in the underground, some really bad feelings can result.

But training and experience can greatly reduce the number of accidental, ignorance-based injuries.  For one, wrestlers will be less likely to attempt potentially self-damaging movements (I keep thinking of forcefully spinning the wrong way out of a heel hook - which can potentially happen incidentally).  Furthermore, the wrestler will be more likely to immediately realize when she or her opponent are in a potentially damaging situation or position, and she will be able to adjust for safety.

But I risk digression here.  I just deleted a bunch of technical digression, actually.  Back to the topic at hand.

The Conflict of Style

I have seen these comments time and time again.  To paraphrase: No one fights "Old School" anymore!  The women are using grappling styles that are too efficient!  Scissors and smothers are being defeated by new-fangled grapple-y techniques in "open" underground competition.

Some people long for the good old days, before submission grappling schools became ubiquitous and when underground wrestlers relied on trial-and-error in the moment.  What's a quick and easy way to cause pain?  Scissoring with your legs.  What's a quick and easy way to cause discomfort?  Smothering the opponent's face.  Untrained wrestlers can find these techniques quickly and easily, and against other untrained wrestlers these attacks can be quite effective.  They are universally accessible.

Indeed, when I first tried underground wrestling many years ago, I submitted someone by front body scissors, just on instinct.

But these easily accessible techniques are also easily countered.  As people are inclined to do, wrestlers sought ways to overcome these obstacles.

In the 1990s, on the "mainstream" stage, we saw the emergence of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  In the early UFC, we saw representatives from different martial arts come together to fight in "mixed martial arts" competition.  The early events were dominated by the representative for Brazilian jiujitsu, Royce Gracie.  As a result, BJJ grew tremendously in popularity, often championed as a way for a smaller/weaker opponent to overcome an untrained larger/stronger opponent.

Over time, BJJ schools grew in number, branching out across the nation and the world, and providing opportunities for adults to learn an efficient grappling martial art.

And please note where I say "adult."  By this, I mean "non-school-age person" or, more specifically, "someone who is no longer playing sports on a school team."  Indeed, someone on a school wrestling team has great access to wrestling training, but someone who is not on the team or who has already graduated has a very hard time accessing regular, formalized wrestling training... but BJJ and no-gi submission grappling are actually quite accessible for adult people.  They are our most accessible form of wrestling and grappling education at this time.

Female wrestler Helen von Mott was one of the first, if not the first, underground female wrestler to bring her BJJ education to the underground scene.  In fact, she even earned her BJJ black belt while still operating in our industry.  Helen became legendary as an underground wrestler, known to be extremely skilled and confident, and she also demonstrated just how effective BJJ style training can be in the mixed / female wrestling environment.  She even visited us here in NYC to show our local ladies some essential techniques and encourage all to take up BJJ training (easy to do with schools so accessible).

And so, Brazilian jiujitsu had entered the waters.  Its effectiveness in mixed wrestling and against untrained opponents became obvious to see: by using leverage, off-balancing techniques, and a new arsenal of submission attacks, trained women started snatching victories from untrained (and sometimes larger) opponents.

Indeed, this style of training even provides the weaponry needed to escape from and defeat incidentally-applied scissorholds and smothers.  How great!  Who could ask for anything more!

Since BJJ style training is so accessible nowadays, many ladies have added basic techniques to their repertory.  However, a downside does come of all this.  Perhaps several downsides.

One is the guard position.  I personally don't have issues with the guard position, provided it is an active, aggressive guard that is just a stepping stone to a sweep or submission.  However, less experienced grapplers can lack the skill and confidence needed to progress from the bottom of guard and/or conservative opponents may make no attempts to pass the guard if there are no penalties for stalling.  The result of those cases is a match with very little movement, few changes of position, and one big neutral position.

The next problem is the "calm" mentality that results from BJJ training.  Generally speaking, the more experience one has in this style, the more likely that she will approach the match in a thoughtful, technical, chess-game state of mind.  "Anger faces" become more rare, impulsive and passionate random movements become more rare, and the match can become more of an athletic discussion and/or surgical dismantling, rather than a clash-and-bash festival.

Next problem: the game is now top-heavy!  While many ladies have accessible to jiujitsu and submission grappling training, many others still do not.  So, in a world where prior training is becoming the norm, untrained newcomers and veterans alike are finding it harder and harder to win.  In a world where everyone was playing by instinct, size and strength - or random anomaly - were often the determining factors.  But now, with no formal skill level divisions in the industry, the game has changed to be potentially less inclusive.

What is this Brave New World like?

It's sporty.  At least this is how it appears to me.  It's competitive, certainly.  It does start to run noticeably parallel with the mainstream.  And not everyone is pleased about that.

Two points I want to touch on here:
1. Sexiness
2. Competition

As to Sexiness...  one of my follow community members notes that jointlocks and technical athletics just don't have the same "sex appeal" as squeezing scissorholds and pressing smothers.  I have two thoughts here, and my initial thought is this: Imprinting.

If, back in your "formative years," your first encounter with underground wrestling, be it mixed or female, was filled with images of ladies fighting competitively with scissorholds and smothers, then I would dare say you may have become inclined to seeing fighting with scissors and smothers.  These moves were the bread and butter, and who can have wrestling that sexy-looking without them?  That's how it's done!  That's how it first appeared to you.  And, if you liked what you saw, then that's how it should always be.  Changes to the game, and the decline in use of these moves, for better or worse, are just... for worse.

But what if, theoretically, you never cared for scissors and smothers, but the first time you saw a triangle hold, or a mounted triangle, or even an armbar, what if then you had a little light go on saying "how sexy!"  Furthermore, what if you weren't even around during the Old Days and instead your first encounter with underground wrestling featured small girls defeating larger girls by using slippery skill and mounted triangles... and what if you liked that very much... ?

Now, I grant you, squeezing and pressing is generally "sexier" and more sensual than putting pressure on a knee or elbow from off to the side.  Probably a greater number of people find this to be the case.  Body-to-body pressure in a slow, smothering manner, with sweat and (insert your favorite attire choice), the grueling strength battle, bulging muscles, gritting teeth, wild hair (like, think 80s hair), pressing, squeezing. But anyway, just consider this.

So Why Change?

Competition... Most people like to win.  But the competitive lady wrestlers really like to win.  And none want to lose.  Especially when being video recorded.

In a given match, the wrestler will do whatever she can within the rules (ahem) to secure her victory.  Or, at least, to prevent herself from losing.

We've established that BJJ and formal submission grappling training can teach a wrestler how to grapple more efficiently: conserve energy, escape from holds, launch time-tested techniques.  And we've discussed how underground ladies are incorporating this style in order to stay ahead of the game - or how previously-trained ladies can quickly rise to the top.  But what has happened to the scissors and smothers?

Since they are easily escaped and countered by trained grapplers, scissors and smothers may be falling behind in top-level underground wrestling competition.

Well, says I, that's easy to fix!  Why not just change the rules to make it "Scissors and Smothers Only" or "No closed guard" or "No joint attacks"?


You. Can't. Change. The. Rules.

What?!  Rubbish, of course you can change the rules.  You can make whatever rules you want.  Furthermore, have we even established what The Rules are?

You. Can't. Change. The. Rules.

Yeah, but - what rules?  What are these unspoken rules?  We know there are rules, because, for one, you aren't allowed to kill or maim you opponent.  So, there, that's one rule I have divined.  We kind of think there are no small joint manipulations allowed (bending fingers or toes), but no one ever really mentions it.  We know there's no striking.  We kind of think that all submissions are allowed, by default, but we also do not allow submissions by hair pulling (or do we??).  So, what are the rules?  Do we really know?  And if we don't have them written down, why can't we legitimately offer variations?  And, by the way, who exactly is "we".....?

So, things change but they don't change?

The Rules =  female submission wrestling.    ...?

Isn't it perplexing?  What if we had an underground circuit for scissors and smothers wrestling?  Would it have a following?  I suppose, if you build it.... maybe it's worth a shot.  But one of my esteemed colleagues says that "special rules" are just a "side show" to the Main Event.  Indeed, there is some phenomenon out there in the wide world that says "Scissors and Smothers Only" is not the "pure" default.

I asked Keri for her opinion on the matter.

On Twitter, I asked her how she would feel about winning a match using a scissorhold.  Also on Twitter, she replied:

"i wouldn't be proud of a match won w/ technical skill needed."

In response, I asked:

"But, Keri, how would you feel is only scissor submissions were allowed?"

And she replied:

"same way. I'd do it and it would be fun, but I would not count it as any part of win/loss record."

How intriguing!  And thank you, Keri, for adding this very valuable point of view!

Win/loss record matters to the lady wrestlers.  But what counts toward the win/loss record?  It seems like only matches that follow The Rules.

Sadly, under The Rules, draws are allowed to happen.  I think this is a key problem to complaints about the New Way.

Since a draw is not a loss, modern wrestlers may be inclined to fight for the draw.  This means less risk-taking, more conservative styles, fewer attempts are scissors and smothers against high-level opponents.  Low-percentage but potentially interesting/entertaining moves go out the window (such as risky guard pass attempts, school girl pins, or attempting headscissors from the bottom of guard).  And, instead, a match may come down to a takedown followed by guard position for the entire rest of the time.

Attempting to pass someone's guard is risky.  You can get swept and then stuck on the bottom after being so happily on top.  So, if there are no penalties for not attempting a pass, why risk it?  If you are pinning your opponent and The Rules do not specify Pins, then why bother with a submission attempt that could lead to the opponent's escape?  As it is, there is no downside to a draw.  And this can lead to "slower" modern matches, which are not slow because of sensual body pressing.

So, What Are We to Do?

If the underground wrestling world is uncomfortable with the modern developments of the game, then what can be done about it?

1. Change the rules.
    I know, I know, this leads to a lot of belly-aching.  But if you want to see the trained grappler girls fighting on instinct and impulse, you need to put them in an environment that is new to them.  It's just like periodization in weight training: once you've adapted to a stimulus, you need to vary that stimulus in order to get new, dynamic results.

2. Do not allow draws.
    This one is tough to implement, since draws have been allowed by default.  Indeed, some women may refuse to compete if they knew a winner had to be determined somehow.

    I disallowed draws in our competitive matches perhaps a year or two ago.  I've tried several tie-breaking techniques, such Sudden Death overtime, arm wrestling, positional point scoring, and judge's decision.  Of all of these, I think the most satisfying is Sudden Death overtime, but that can make the match unreasonably lengthy...
   ............. but just think about it - if you came into a match knowing that it would never end unless someone won, wouldn't that light a fire under you?

    I think the least satisfying is arm wrestling.  That's a totally different game.

    The jury is out on Judge's Decision.  I am actually a submission grappling referee, so I am used to deciding matches by decision in the mainstream world.  We select a winner based on "skillful aggression" - whoever tried for the most things, whoever took the most skillful risks and pressed the advantage.  However, I don't get the impression that the underground scene as a whole is prepared to accept Judge's Decision.  But I'm not sure - maybe the ladies would accept it...

3. Standardize Pins-and-Submissions as the default
    This may be considered "changing the rules," but a number of people, particularly in mainland Europe, tend to lean toward Pins-and-Submissions as a potential default.

But really, at the end of the day, it all comes down to what the ladies and the rest of the community will accept as The Rules.

If I say "no draws" for my company, then people will just think it is just a unique quirk of ours.  However, if I can somehow, for example, mobilize my wrestlers and colleagues to accept the "no draws" policy, then we might be on to something.  However, if the promise of a not-loss (aka draw) is very lucrative, then it might be difficult to get rid of draws.

Whew, so there you have it!  These are my words on the topic for this lovely, humid summer afternoon here in New York City.  I'm motivated to try putting together some new female competitive matches with new faces (however, fantasy FF, mixed, and bondage wrestling are far more popular, I find... but that's a topic for another day).

Maybe MAYBE I can conduct some video interviews on the matter with the ladies.  That would be just swell!  But in the meantime, I leave you to muse on the matter.  And, as always, my ears and inbox are always open, and I'd love to hear your comments on the subject.  (I'm really quite friendly, under the right circumstance ;-D  )

Thanks for reading, and catch you all later!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beach Wrestling Today: Report!

So, we finally got to get in our first official beach wrestling adventure this summer!

As I mentioned in my last entry, our beach wrestling attempt last week was foiled by an off-putting weather forecast, and so the beach visit only resulted in scouting and solo filming.  But today, we had no weather fears to worry about!

So, early this morning, VeVe, Hanz, and I ventured out to the Rockaway beach for some wrestling action in the sand, sun, and surf.  Sadly, Amazon Annie and Azy couldn't join us, but hopefully we can get them involved on the next go-around.

VeVe had last attempted a little beach wrestling last August, but I don't think Hanz had ever wrestled on sand and surf before.  I don't know if he knew what to expect, but he got a pretty good taste of it this morning.  Actually, I think both VeVe and Hanz got a good literal taste of the ocean with this morning's bout!

I bought the competitors down to the water's edge, and we set up a fight area just inside the surf line, so that the water would wash in and out during the match.  So, as the tide rolled, the competitors would be alternatingly surrounded by wet sand and several inches of water.  And, of course, the sand and rolling waters proved a to be quite key aspect in this entire endeavor...

VeVe and Hanz started off with a pure submission wrestling bout, a regular competitive bout with all submissions being legal.  I kind of hoped they'd do a little more with takedowns, since I know what "difficulties" surf wrestling can provide to participants - takedown, stand up, takedown, stand up is a more forgiving method of handling this environment - but these two were just bound to discover the beach's joys all on their own.

So off they went!  And as soon as they hit the ground and started to work, they both discovered how immobilizing the wet sand can be: you get pressed into it and get stuck, it scratches you when you try to scoot around on the ground, it makes you fend off the environment just as much as you're fending off your opponent.  And then there's the challenge of the rolling waters!  Opponent on top of you and pressing you into the sand?  So you're stuck in the mud and.... here comes a wave!  Get rolled over and "face plant" right into the water.  Gasp for breath just as the tide rolls back in, and here's some tasty salt water.  It's a huge challenge to beach wrestle on the ground!

But despite the environmental challenges, VeVe and Hanz fought on!  In fact, they fought for about 11 long minutes before the first submission was eventually gained.

After a little interview to give their first impressions and comments, the competitors steeled themselves for the next round, which had quite the potential to be an even greater challenge: pins only!

So, they no longer had to worry about sticking their necks into choke holds, but now they faced the possibility of being pinned down into the rushing waters...

And, oh yes, this round was the hardest.  Especially for little VeVe.

With her ability to slide and slip around her opponent's body greatly reduced by the sand-burn traction, VeVe found Hanz's size advantage to be quite the foil.  But despite being stuck, sunken into sand, and water logged, VeVe fought on with amazing perseverance.  

And, by the way, any standard belly-down pin defense would often result in water in the face... and, of course, don't forget the opponent on top of you.

But despite fatigue, sand burn, and salt in the eyes they fought on! 

The Pins Only round lasted about 10 minutes, with only one full 3-count pin being achieved, despite all of the many attempts and body-pressing effort.  Both competitors emerged drenched, roughed-up, and covered in wet sand.  Surely, this is not an activity for the faint of heart!

Furthermore, VeVe has a low tolerance for cold, and even though she was moving about, the water was slowly freezing her into shivers.  But what a trooper!

Anyway.  VeVe and Hanz gave another brief commentary for the camera afterwards, letting us know their thoughts and opinions for this round.  We'd intended to also do a third round of takedowns only, but by this time the beach was starting to populate, and park rangers were starting to buzz about.

So that was beach wrestling for today!  Make no mistake, it is an adventure, this style of wrestling in the surf.  It can be rough, and cold, and scratchy, and certainly salty-wet.  It can be grueling, and fatiguing, and even claustrophobic.  It's a great struggle, it's very tough, and it most certainly is both a physical and mental challenge!  

I just put the full video of this together, and I'm actually taking a break right now from capturing screen stills.  I've got so much I'd like to say in the video's official description, since this video offers so much.  Competitive mixed wrestling, splendid outdoor environment, physical stress, mental anguish, an exercise in sheer will power.  Whew, ok, just thinking out loud here.  So, let me fire off this post and get back to work on the images!


And now at 11 pm this same evening, the video has been released!