Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chinese Female Wrestler Defeats a Big Man

I met up with Wang Xu as she was walking to the gym. She was She was a big woman, but I expected that. Her coach, Fang li, told me that she couldn’t compete anymore because she was heavier than the biggest women’s weight class. He was trying to get that changed, but his bigger hope was trying to prove that the women he coaches are the better than the male wrestlers in China. Fang believes that women are better suited to wrestling because of their low center of gravity. He had heard the arguments about men being strong, especially at the higher weights, but he was out to prove them wrong. And Wang Xu was part of his plan.

After about a year of training under Fang, Wang Xu weighs in at 96 kilograms, though she still looks quite feminine. She even wears her hair kind of long, pulled back in a pony tail. Today, she and a few other heavyweight women were going to wrestle some exhibition matches against male wrestlers.

I asked Wang is she was nervous. She laughed a little and looked at me quizzically.

“No. Why would I be?” “Well, you’re up against a pretty strong guy. Do you think you can beat him?”

“Of course. I’ve pinned 120kg men before. They’re not so tough.”

I was impressed by her confidence, but thought she might be overconfident. I’d seen her opponent and he was no push over. He was a 2 time provincial champion and was hoping to make the Olympic team.

When we got to the gym, Wang’s opponent Chang Yongxian was already there, warming up with a partner on one of the mats. I went over to talk to him as Wang Xu headed fro the lockerroom. "Hi. So are both you guys wrestling against women today." They both nodded. "


The two wrestlers started cracking up and nodded. Maybe they were the ones who were overconfident. I’d seen this so many times before and all I could think was that they might not be laughing when those women get done with them. The guys acknowledged the women were very skilled wrestlers, but they said women’s competition was much easier than men’s and they didn’t have the upper body strength needed to wrestle males in such heavy weight classes.

Wang and a few other women wrestlers were in their singlets stretching out on the other side of the gym. Fang Li had just arrived and was sitting in a chair in the corner of one of the mats. A referee appeared and shouted for Chang and his friend. They went over to the mat. Chang’s friend sat in the chair to coach while Chang did some stretches. He was already pretty sweaty from warming up, so his buddy toweled him off and the ref called Chang and Wang Xu to the center of the mat. Chang was tall and had very broad shoulders and narrow hips. He was all muscle. His black spiky hair was shiny with perspiration and his red singlet was darkened in patches from his sweat.
Wang Xu looked fresh and relaxed. She was shorter than him, but wider. Her black pony tail fell to one side as she hunched over in her stance, ready to wrestle. The two shook hands and the ref blew the whistle.

They circled each other for a while, but neither was able to get a grip.
“C’mon, put her away so we can get on with our training,” Chang’s buddy shouted.
He went for a takedown and grabbed Wang Xu’s right ankle, pulling it high. She hopped around and turned her back to him, trying to get out of bounds but he caught hold of her other ankle and began to twist, turning her over a couple of times until the went off the mat. Chang’s friend clapped as they returned to the center of the mat, confident that Chang would take her down again and pin her.

Wang Xu was getting more aggressive. She went down low and tried to tackle him. Chang was caught off guard and seemed to panic a bit. Wang Xu was trying to get in back of him while keeping her arms wrapped around his waist. She pushed him forward and planted her feet solidly on the mat and then, with a loud scream, she lifted him up off his feet. Chang’s buddy’s jaw dropped open and Wang Xu hoisted the big man into the air, arching her back and slamming him to the mat. The male wrestler hollered in pain as he came down hard. He was stunned. And so was everyone else. Wang Xu leapt on top of him, but he squirmed onto his belly. You could see the fear in his eyes as Wang climbed on top of him. She drove her arm underneath his hairy armpit and grabbed the nape of his neck with her fingers. Her biceps bulged as she tried to roll him over, but time was running out. The buzzer sounded and the period ended. Wang Xu got up and calmly walked over to her corner while Chang slowly got up and slouched over to his corner. His buddy was agitated, talking so fast I couldn’t understand all of what he was saying. It was along the lines of “Why did you let her do that to you. You can’t go easy on her. Do you want to lose to a woman?”

As the second period began Chang desperately tried to take Wang Xu down, kicking her feet to knock her off balance. But she managed to hook one of his legs. He moved sideways to her and threw his arm around her back, attempting some sort of headlock. But she was too far from him. He attempted to used his strength against her, using pure muscle to throw her down. But he didn’t have any balance because she still had his leg trap, so they fell to the mat sideways, face to face. Now it was a real contest of strength. Whoever could roll the other over would win. The male wrestler relied on his powerful upper body, wrapping his big arms around Wang Xu, squeezing his manly pecs against her big breasts. Wang Xu relied on her hips, wrapping her muscular legs around him and twisting he pelvis into his. They teetered for a few seconds. Everyone in the gym was mesmerized. Suddenly the male wrestler started to collapse. Wang Xu rolled on top of him as he desperately tried to bridge. But her lower body strength was too much for him. She flattened him down and he let go of his grip around he upper body. He arms flailed hopelessly as she pressed his shoulders into the mat. Then came a loud slap and the tweet of the whistle as the ref called the pin. Wang Xu had done it. She had defeated this huge stud.

Chang looked angry and embarrassed. His face was red as the referee raised Wang Xu’s arm in victory. But he couldn’t go anywhere yet. His buddy was up next




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