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Germany: Resuscitating Berlin's forgotten past of female wrestlers01:41

Germany: Resuscitating Berlin's forgotten past of female wrestlers

Germany, Berlin
June 13, 2013 at 14:48 GMT +00:00 · Published

Germany: Resuscitating Berlin's forgotten past of female wrestlers

Female wrestling master 'Anna-Konda' opened the first and only private female fight club in Berlin in 2010 after deciding to revive the traditional sport which had been very popular in Berlin's Golden Twenties. The purpose of the club is not only to have fun and engage in athletic activity according to Anna-Konda, but also to dispel the patronising cliché of weak women versus virile men.

"It makes you fit and really healthy. You can carry things alone. You are not a poor victim," says Anna-Konda.

Historically, female versus male wrestling was a huge attraction that fascinated hundreds of people in bars or street festivals that often saw men compete against women and lose. In modern times, female wrestlers prefer to spare the men public defeats and fight privately, however they fight without referees, relying on an honour system to determine wins, losses and ensure safety. The wrestlers say that they focus not on the sexual or violent aspects of fighting, but rather on personal capability and the unpredictability of the outcome inherent in every fight.

Anna-Konda says, "The fight is pretty fun, you don't know what is going to happen and how it is going to end. You weigh perhaps 20 kilos more but that doesn't mean you will be victorious."

Anna-Konda, coming from a background of heavy weight-lifting, competes against the few female wrestlers and men interested in fights on a non-commercial basis. Everyone is allowed to fight, regardless of size or background skills.

"We don't have violence here. Certainly everyone loves a little bit ... when fighting one is focused in the moment and one wants to somehow dominate the other one," she says.

Germany: Resuscitating Berlin's forgotten past of female wrestlers01:41
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Germany: Resuscitating Berlin's forgotten past of female wrestlers

Female wrestling master 'Anna-Konda' opened the first and only private female fight club in Berlin in 2010 after deciding to revive the traditional sport which had been very popular in Berlin's Golden Twenties. The purpose of the club is not only to have fun and engage in athletic activity according to Anna-Konda, but also to dispel the patronising cliché of weak women versus virile men.

"It makes you fit and really healthy. You can carry things alone. You are not a poor victim," says Anna-Konda.

Historically, female versus male wrestling was a huge attraction that fascinated hundreds of people in bars or street festivals that often saw men compete against women and lose. In modern times, female wrestlers prefer to spare the men public defeats and fight privately, however they fight without referees, relying on an honour system to determine wins, losses and ensure safety. The wrestlers say that they focus not on the sexual or violent aspects of fighting, but rather on personal capability and the unpredictability of the outcome inherent in every fight.

Anna-Konda says, "The fight is pretty fun, you don't know what is going to happen and how it is going to end. You weigh perhaps 20 kilos more but that doesn't mean you will be victorious."

Anna-Konda, coming from a background of heavy weight-lifting, competes against the few female wrestlers and men interested in fights on a non-commercial basis. Everyone is allowed to fight, regardless of size or background skills.

"We don't have violence here. Certainly everyone loves a little bit ... when fighting one is focused in the moment and one wants to somehow dominate the other one," she says.

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