The closest I’ve come to wrestling in the past is grappling with my brother aged about 11. Of course, I always lost. We used to watch WWE, back when it was the WWF (darn those pesky animals and their selfish acronyms!), and then pretend we were the likes of The Ultimate Warrior, Stone Cold Steve Austin and, not to forget, Hulk Hogan. It was always so much fun.
Luckily, through Gymbox, I had the chance to re-live those childhood memories with an evening of Show Wrestling.
As we waited by the ring for the class to start at the cinema-cum-gym in Covent Garden, the fighters made their entrance; put it this way there was a lot of chest slapping, war cries and… teeny tiny lycra pants. Following a crazy demo of holds, throws, flips and stomps, we were invited into the ring to warm up. Needless to say we were a little apprehensive.
But we needn’t be.
After a warmup of squats and sit ups Darell, the coach, showed us a brace hold. This was the foundation for the other moves we learnt. Charlotte and I got stuck right in the middle of the ring jumping around and growling like maniacs. Next up was the headlock, which for some reason I couldn’t make look the same as the coaches did. From the bracing move you pulled your opponent’s head towards your chest (kinda awkward for the ladies as Charlotte rightly pointed out it felt like we were breast feeding!) and then pulled your arm around their neck and locked your fingers.
Finally we learned the full nelson, definitely my favourite of the moves. From the brace position you flung your opponent’s arm over your head and then wrapped both arms up under their armpits and locked your fingers behind their head. We were told that you could break your opponent’s neck from that position if you really wanted to. We decided just to trust them on that.
After we’d mastered the wrestling moves we were challenged to a plank fight. From a high plank position we had to knock our opponent to the ground. Emma fought off several opponents (including boyfriend, Tom, go Emma!) but was eventually beaten by blog partner in crime Charlotte before my turn.
The full class at Gymbox has a whole host of moves that can be taught, including striking attacks, strength based holds (like the headlock and full nelson) and throws, acrobatic manoeuvres and how to build your character.
Check out the class listing here to take advantage of this really fun class. Progress Wrestling also host events, and cater for birthday parties, hen dos and more. For more information head to their website here.
Photos by Vesna Nikolic for Gymbox.