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Photo by Danielle Doll
Photo by Danielle Doll

If you’re looking for a fresh start, but you simply don’t have time to join the circus (it’s just so impractical!), we’ve got the next best thing. High-flying acrobatics? Check. Dramatic alter egos? Check. Vividly colored costumes, bordering on flamboyant? Check, and check.

Yes friends, it’s the offbeat world of lucha libre (Mexican wrestling). And we’re going to show you how to join its ranks.

STEP 1: MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF

Any respectable luchador has a fierce fighting name. Blue Demon. El Santo (The Saint). Mil Máscaras (Man of a Thousand Masks). The key is to aim for intimidation with a twist of silly. You can generate yours by clicking here. Share it with friends and family, and then subsequently respond to that name and that name only.

From this point forward, the author of this post will be known as El Chango Rapido.

STEP 2: HIDE YOUR FACE

Not that there’s anything wrong with it. But masks (máscaras) are a vital, almost sacred aspect of lucha libre, with patterns and colors designed to evoke gods, ancient heroes, animals, and other archetypes. Be sure to pick a mask that complements your wrestling persona (are you terrifying? agile? speedy? enigmatic?) and then hold onto it for dear life. Losing your mask to an opponent during or after a match is a fate worse than death.

You can look like this:

Photo by Danielle Doll
Photo by Danielle Doll

Or like this:

That’s El Chango Rapido on the left; Lucharitos owner Marc LaMaina, aka Chimichanga Loco, on the right.
That’s El Chango Rapido on the left; Lucharitos owner Marc LaMaina, aka Chimichanga Loco, on the right.

STEP 3: ENTER SOME FIGHTS. WIN MOST OF THEM.

This one seems self-explanatory. Try not to lose.

STEP 4: KEEP YOUR TRUE IDENTITY A MYSTERY.

Your fans (read: Grandma and Grandpa) will delight in your veil of secrecy. Some of the best luchadores are known as much for their mystique as for their wrestling skills; it’s all part of the flair and drama that is lucha libre. Only if a luchador has lost his mask to his opponent in a lucha de apuesta (match with wages) will he reveal his true name and hometown – with great shame, of course. El Santo, once the most famous luchador in the world, was never seen in public without his iconic silver mask. When he died at age 66, he was buried in it.

Note: This may make a trip to the bank slightly awkward, so please use your discretion with Step 4.

Photo by Danielle Doll
Photo by Danielle Doll | A movie poster showcasing the famous Santo.

STEP 5: HEAD TO LUCHARITOS IN GREENPORT, AND FIND YOURSELF AMONGST FRIENDS

This little taqueria packs a big punch. (Pun intended; “lucharito,” loosely translated, means “little fighter”). If it’s Tuesday night and you’re dying for not just a delicious taco, but also a delicious taco contest, stop in and sign up. From 3 to 6 p.m. tacos are $2 each, but it’s not until 7 p.m. that the real fun begins.

Eat the most tacos in one sitting (no bathroom breaks allowed) and you’ll not only bring honor to your family, you’ll also pick up one of these babies:

Courtesy Photo | Current Lucharitos record holder Tim Hermance with his well-deserved prize, a luchador mask
Courtesy Photo | Current Lucharitos record holder Tim Hermance with his well-deserved prize, a luchador mask

For those who aren’t competing, masks are also sold at Lucharitos for just $15. Think stocking stuffer – because nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like an invitation to wrestle.

Of course, we recommend heading to Lucharitos any night of the week! Sample the fantastic array of food, chat with the friendly staff and patrons, and revel in the quirky and colorful lucha libre décor at this upbeat little taco bar.

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