Guest post by Michael Leveton

The two combatants, wearing flashy lycra and fantastical masks, begin to assault each other. They grapple and exchange blows, but quickly escalate into a barrage of flips, flying acrobatics, and 20-foot drops onto each other. The audience screams, heckles, boos and cheers, to which the combatants respond by heckling in return.

This is another day at the office for the luchadors of Lucha Libre Volcanica — a lucha libre troupe based out of Renton. LLV is also home to the first and only school of Lucha Libre Mexicana — a traditional form of Mexican professional wrestling — in the Pacific Northwest. LLV draws large excitable crowds around the Puget Sound: from live shows at the University of Puget Sound and South Park Seattle, to Cinco de Mayo cameos in Teatro Zinzanni’s Spiegeltent. LLV has also made special appearances at local food banks and libraries.

Although recently made popular by troupes such as Lucha VaVoom, and the cartoon Mucha Lucha, lucha libre is a longstanding athletic, cultural tradition in Mexico, second only to soccer in popularity. LLV’s founder and Lead Trainer, José Luis Gómez, wrestled professionally across Mexico for over 25 years before moving to Kent and starting LLV. Jóse did not start LLV just to make money — he started LLV to share his passion for Lucha Libre Mexicana. His love for the sport shows through the dedication and hard work of his 18 students — including one female — whose ages range from 15 to 45.

To learn more about when you can catch a match or learn how to grapple yourself check out their website at http://www.luchavolcanica.com/, their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LuchaVolcanica, or email them at info@luchavolcanica.com.