Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
–from the 1994 Inaugural Speech of Nelson Mandela, President of the Republic of South Africa
Welcome to Virago!!! First of all, thank you for your interest in our company. It’s exciting to be able to share with you the experience of Women’s Wrestling and the philosophy of our company.
Virago (pronounced ‘VEER-AH-GO’) is the Latin term for a woman who is ‘not feminine by conventional standards’) was founded by Helen VonMott to promote wrestling and other grappling arts as a healthy, competitive, sport for all women, regardless of age or background. To this day we offer low-cost training to women who just want to wrestle, in addition to private wrestling and domination sessions.
HISTORY: The company began as a video-production house. Helen and her partner, Tony wanted to give a counterpoint to the T&A; video companies promoting playful, erotic matches as being actually ‘competitive’. Tony and Helen didn’t have a problem with sexual wrestling per se, but they felt that the public was missing out on the excitement of seeing women REALLY wrestle.
As Helen became more involved in bikini wrestling videos, she became more and more hungry for knowledge. Enrolling in a martial arts class led by one of the top fighters in the world (Ralph Gracie), Virago brought something to the women’s wrestling industry that up to that point in time had never been seen before…actual technique.
Going up against the old school bikini wrestlers who knew two or three fantasy holds with her new arsenal of proven submission wrestling techniques, Helen found the old methods of gaining submissions to be woefully lacking. Not only did Helen find that with her new training she steam-rolled her female competitors, the excruciatingly painful and effective holds taught to her by the Gracie family, proved equally effective against men. Conditioning and technique properly applied by a woman could win over a man’s brute strength and power almost every time. Simply put, using the 3000-year-old art of jiu-jitsu, Virago started a modern revolution.
In 1998, the year of Virago’s inception, most video companies were run by male fans and therefore the wrestling in the videos was geared more towards a man’s appreciation of watching the event, than the woman’s love of participating in it. Helen, not having to make a profit but merely operating the company as a way of showcasing her wrestling and that of the women she trained with, recruited women and taught them actual wrestling skill. Real competition using aggression combined with technique was the focus of the videos. Helen’s business partner, a very religious family man, would only support videos that were shot fully clothed, and therefore no topless or erotic productions were ever made by Virago. Helen herself, very active in the global martial arts community, would have been embarrassed at tournaments and within her competitive team had photos of her nude or topless been easily available on the Internet, and so had no problem with the direction her partner wanted to take the company.
Cut to the year 2002. Inspired by Helen’s successes both within the industry and on the mat, more and more female wrestlers begin to enrol in jiu-jitsu and wrestling classes. Fans themselves are beginning to have an aesthetic appreciation of female skill, not only focusing on ‘scissors’, and grape-vine techniques, but also noticing the beauty of a triangle submission or a well-executed sweep. Private sessions have become Virago’s main focus. Lacking the gratuitous eroticism of other women’s wrestling tapes, Virago Videos had a loyal, but not very large fan base, and due to of shipping problems coupled with marginal profits, Helen called a halt in production. However, due to the exceptional skill and athleticism of the women, men from all corners of the earth seek out Helen and her wrestlers in order to understand a woman’s strength and power at its full potential. These are men who want the experience of having a truly competitive match with a woman. A women who is not only able to hold her own in a wrestling match, but actually dominate.
Verbal domination, ‘beat downs’, and playful sessions-focusing less on straight up competition and more on just having fun- and even straight up sensual domination matches are all added to the menu as more and more women from different walks of life contact Virago just looking for a safe and supportive environment to work in. ‘True feminism’, Helen reasons, ‘is not about deciding what is right and what is wrong, it’s about allowing a woman to choose whatever the hell it is that she wants to do with her own body’. If a woman wants to make money with her body by using it in an erotic fashion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. To take that choice away from her because of American puritanical ideology would in itself be dis-empowering…the exact opposite of what it is that Virago is trying to accomplish.
THE PRESENT: Teaming up with Tsunami Wrestling (a Bay Area company specializing in private shows and bachelor parties), Helen and her team of women book private matches and shows on a daily basis. These matches range from ultra-competitive to fully erotic, but most fall somewhere in between. Foot and muscle worship, trampling, lift and carry sessions, erotic wrestling shows, role-playing scenarios, smothering, and spanking have also all been added to the menu as more women are added to the team, each unique in her talents. Every woman in the Virago family has her own specialities and Helen works hard to match every individual client with the wrestler she thinks will give him (or her) the most enjoyable experience. Virago also has two competitive wrestlers (Shannon and Debbie) based out of New York and hopes to expand Virago’s East Coast team. To book, please call Helen at (415)748-1789.
In addition, Virago wrestlers can be booked through Helen for video work with other production companies. Helen and her wrestlers have been featured in tapes produced by DWW, Joan Wise, Video Sports Limited, Academy, Ken Starr, Les Femmes Fatales, and many others. Many of the women are also available as models for Internet photo shoots.
THE FUTURE: Having teamed up with a new, New York-based business partner, (Tia) Helen hopes to open another studio in the Manhattan area. Tia is excited about exploring the production side of the business and feels that with Helen’s wrestling expertise and knowledge of the industry, combined with her talent and work-ethic, Virago can produce videos, unlike any available today. Together, Helen and Tia plan on exploring the more erotic venues of the wrestling video medium focusing on mixed wrestling domination, fem/fem ‘no holds barred’ fights, foot worship, and fully competitive fem/fem matches culminating in erotic conclusions. Many of the women have their own fantasies that they want to put on video, and we would like to accommodate them as well. We are investigating the possibility of having streaming video on the website, thus doing away with the headaches of video duplication and shipping. The website itself is being revamped to include a ‘members only’ section, the profits of which will be used to pay for fresh content so that the site never gets stale.
We the wrestlers at Virago invite you to come in and look around the site. For a photo history, check out ‘Mat Moments’ in our ‘Photos’ section, or to see who’s available for a match go to ‘Private Sessions’ and click on ‘Women of Virago’. Be assured that we all love our work, and while the money is of course a nice perk, none of us would be here if it wasn’t something that we really wanted to do. If you have any questions, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, e-mail Helen, or call the number listed above. Don’t forget to check out our Links section as well. We look forward to your call.