Seattle’s Only Luchador Wrestling School Offers Hands-on Lessons in a Mexican Tradition

Netflix’s 'GLOW' may have put professional wrestling in the zeitgeist again, but it has nothing on Seattle-based Lucha Libre Volcánica.
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Lucha Libre Volcánica’s only female luchadora, La Avispa, gets ready to rumble.

For more than 25 years, José Gómez was a professional luchador—a wrestler in the beloved Mexican art of lucha libre, in which masked, extravagantly costumed wrestlers perform high-flying stunts. Seeing a need for a training facility after moving to Seattle from Mexico City, Gómez opened his luchador training school, Lucha Libre Volcánica, in 2010. The school, the only one of its kind in the state, instructs about 30 aspiring wrestlers at any given time, including the Northwest’s only luchadora, or female wrestler, who goes by the name of La Avispa, or The Wasp. (Most students are men in their 20s, 30s and 40s.)

Once “El Profesor Gómez,” as their instructor is known in the ring, determines they’re ready, students join their more seasoned classmates in a monthly public match, complete with costumes, stunts and storylines.

“Lucha is my life,” Gómez says of the spectacle of swagger and spandex; for his students and assembled spectators, lucha is also a whole lot of fun. See for yourself at Lucha Libre Volcánica's A Very Lucha Christmas exhibition Saturday at Evolv Fitness.

Lucha Libre Volcánica
December 9. 8:30 p.m. Free, $10 suggested donation.
Evolv Fitness, South Lake Union, 1317 Republican St.; 206.371.9568.

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