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March 19, 2013 at 9:37 PM

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Northwest Wanderings: Mexican wrestling requires 'suspension of disbelief'


ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

El Fenix is headed for a fall after a stomping by luchador Hero during lucha libre or Mexican wrestling practice at Profesor José Gómez's gym in Renton.

This is one tough gym.

Before the warm-ups and the wrestling, a man in blue tights and red, green, silver and black boots is sweeping up the dust and dried blood in this small garage-turned-gym in Renton.

Half a dozen masked men and one woman are about to practice lucha libre, Mexican wrestling, for two hours under the tutelage of Profesor José Gómez.

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ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Northwest Wanderings travels to a Mexican wrestling gym in Renton, Wash., where Lucha Libre Volcánica practices under the watchful eye of Profesor José Luis Gomez, a wrestler of 25 years who founded the lucha libre school and troupe in 2010.

El Fenix takes a leg stomp to the midsection from Hero, but in an instant he's up and engaging his opponent in a Greco-Roman-style hold.

Each luchador (wrestler) has chosen his or her own ring name. There's El Rey Jaguar, La Avispa, El Viento, El Sonico and Cromo.



ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Mexican wrestler El Sonico chose his name as an homage to the Sonics basketball team.

Their masks all are from Mexico City, where El Profesor was a wrestler for 27 years.

There are two students, a software engineer, a marketing manager and a construction worker.

El Fenix calls the group a troupe.



ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Luchadores practice some close, Greco-Roman holds during an evening workout at their gym in Renton.

Don't ask if it's fake like American pro wrestling.

"There's a suspension of disbelief by the audience," says El Fenix.

This is about acrobatics, action and stunts and performance not scripted.

To succeed, says El Fenix, "You must disregard your survival instincts."

El Profesor shows them how to take the falls, punctuating the move with a slap to the canvas.

El Profesor says "it takes persistence, patience and practice."

The wrestlers conclude practice forming a circle in the ring, arm in arm, giving thanks no one was injured.



ALAN BERNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

El Profesor, left, gathers his luchadores in the ring at the end of a two-hour practice to give thanks no injuries occured.

For more photos, from Lucha Libre Volcánica visit the gallery.

Most Popular Comments
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Looks like a lot better of a workout than the lame CrossFit stuff. MORE
And the Seattle Times demands we pay online for this? MORE
Agreed Rain. Also beats hangin' out and not doing more positive stuff like this. I... MORE

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