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Wrestling Muscles in Action
By Béatrice Goffin

A recent past. Years gliding away...

Already for "Force et beauté", and later for "Muscle au féminin" I had written to express my passion: feminine strength, "she's muscle" not only for aesthetics, public show, competition, which is already a fantastic social conquest, an acknowledgment, but rather in order to make our muscles work in harmony with our breathing and endurance on quick and powerful movements programmed by a real technique unceasingly "in search" and so to be able to measure ourselves to others, either in a relaxing wrestling game while joking and laughing or in a simple and sportive competition in which the winner has to submit her partner, sometimes her rival or to make her immovable.

Wrestling has existed for ages and pictures show us Spartan or Egyptian women at close quarters or in sportive pugilism.

We must not forget the Amazons from the mythic age ...unless Amazons should belong to every epoch...

I have been practising active wrestling for twenty-five years in free wrestling, submission wrestling; I am still interested in a club where tens of young girls have been trained; moreover I had a lot of probations in Athens, Amsterdam, in the USA and I am still keeping the same enthusiasm.

Wrestling is my life. Not only because of the cups and trophies, the titles and the numerous videos which retrace my victories, my defeats too, but also because of the pride of contributing to the slow change of mentalities; and above all I like human relationships, travels and the lovers -I should say the worshippers- of wrestling, who are holding their breath when two girls are going to wrestle, who are collecting videos -or others who would sell their souls to brave a woman wrestler and feel that feminine strength masters them, crushes them. Those few photos remind us of several nice "grasps" and make us reflect about some psychological aspects of wrestling.

Feminine fights are often implacable because each girl is a rival facing the other, but wrestling also reveals durable friendships.

Men lose when confronted with women. Is it is only to act as a "gentleman" ? Or is it an inclination for the pleasure of defeat?

The wrestling woman is domineering and the winner is proud of showing her superiority to the loser, above all if the loser is a man.

Doesn't wrestling, as a game, recall the image of life magnified for strengthening the species by the loser's "death". Is it not the unconscious impulse that we have inside ourselves that wants to impose his descent, but such a lot of phantasms, prejudices, traditions have mixed up everything.

Wrestling, source of mental and physical balance, suppression of aggressiveness, universal language. As long as wrestling remains a ritual, no doubt exacting, but aiming at strengthening human beings, and not at wounding them, it will be object of fascination and women's free access to wrestling may, we hope so, make our civilizations progress towards more balance and perhaps more equality ...unless woman might be definitely superior!!!

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Published in the magazine Athena 2, volume 3, Paris 1996.

By Béatrice Goffin, Wrestling Instructor, Jemelle, Belgium.

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© Robert Silverman 2001