Mexican wrestling, or lucha libre, is the noble art of doing batshit crazy stuff in a wrestling ring and looking cool while doing it.
Wanting to turn myself into a human cannon ball, I recently took a class at the London School of Lucha Libre.
1. It's all about the performance.
A great mixture of theatre and exercise, lucha libre is a real workout.
Yes, even though (SPOILER) wrestling isn't real.
2. And a lot of it involves shedding your inhibitions.
The average beginner lucha class lasts three hours, with half of that dedicated to stretching. It's serious work, but comes with a sense of fun and mischief throughout.
As we started with a light warm-up, it gave us time to focus on the type of wrestler we wanted to be. It's not often you spend a night doing your best Ric Flair impression while squatting, so I decided to try my hand at being a chickenshit bad guy called Thaddeus Reynolds.
3. But also fighting against your body's natural instincts.
This gnarly neck exercise is called "bridging", a means to stretch your neck muscles and minimise spinal injury if something goes wrong. Causes a lot of butt cramp, quite a lot of fun to do.
4. And similar to stunt work or stage combat, there's a lot of gymnastic work involved too.
At its essence lucha is all about making a crowd go "wow," and making sure you don't actually hurt yourself while doing it. A good core warm-up put me in good stead before the combat rolls started.