Bring your bucks and your biceps over to Roberta’s backyard this weekend for the Second Flex: Ladies Arm Wrestling competition. Eight decked-out lady wrestlers will compete in a round-robin style tournament to see who’s the strongest, and who plays the dirtiest. Outrageous costumes and betting? They’re strongly encouraged. Even better? The event is free, and net proceeds go to support Providence House — a not-for-profit organization founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph that helps transform the lives of homeless, abused, and formerly incarcerated women and their children – one family at a time.
The Five Borough Ladies Arm Wrestling league is a part of a national network of ladies arm wrestling league. We sat down with the last bout’s champion, Jackie O’Nasty, and organizer Kate McNeely to get their take on what makes a champion.
Free Williamsburg: How did you get started arm wresting? What was your first brawl?
JO: I first wrestled in Tivoli NY near Bard College. I was friends with the organizer, Lilly Bechtel. We had come up with my name together, I had some clothes for school that looked like Jackie O. I took the train up from the city to a bar called the Black Swan just to compete. I was excited, I love sports of strength and do a lot of push-ups on my own. My opponent was The Pilgrim, this woman who lived in the area. She just beat me without hesitation, but it was fun.
Here in Brooklyn, I have kept my character, Jackie O’Nasty through all of my competitions. At our first brawl here, everyone was chanting Jackie–my win was a group effort. I highly recommend giving it a try.
Katy McNeely: I helped start the New Orleans LAW (NOLAW) and was everything from a emcee to a wrestler (Justin Beaver) – here in NY I am the Emcee- Lady Libertine– My first brawl I lost in the first round, and my last one as a wrester i made it to the final match but lost (but Justin Beaver won the dance off)
FW: Why ladies arm wrestling?
JO: It is fun.
KM: LAW is important as a new wave of fundraising as well as feminism. We are still challenging notions of femininity and stereotypes of what it means to be female- within a hilarious and theatrical package. It means something when you are fundraising for a womens shelter by being really strong women.
FW: Are there any tricks to winning? Any secrets to a good match?
JO: There are some tricks to winning…and I’m not telling. Win or lose a good match should be a good show. The wrestlers and audience should be all riled up.
FW: What does the winner get? And is it too late to enter?
JO: Anyone can put up a bid to wrestle after the event. We also have some raffle prizes for audience members who give money. The winning wrestler gets a trophy and bragging rights.
KM: If people want to wrestler in future events they can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, but we pick the wresters before the event. As for the raffle prizes- if your wrestler (the one(s) you are betting on) makes it to the 2nd and thrid rounds you have a chance to win gift certificates and awesome prizes.
FW: Advice for aspiring wrestlers?
JO: Arm wrestling is great. Do push-ups every day and start brawling.