A wrestle-based party of sweaty and/or costumed bouts, where participants ask each other to "dance" down on the mats.|
An evening spectacle of friendly matches and thematic antics.
A chance to throw down! ...or to simply recline and watch the action unfold.
Grapple Den is a neutral meeting ground for fun-seeking grapplers and wrestling fans of all shapes and sizes. Our parties are open to people of all genders and experience levels, 18 years and older. The mats are the dance floor. Party-goers wrestle well into the evening, participating in one-on-one matches and multi-way rumbles.
How Do You Get Matches?
Mix and mingle and ask a potential partner to "dance" (aka wrestle). If they agree, then both of you give your paired Fight Cards to a Referee or Match Maker to get in the queue to get on the mat.
Need Help Finding a Partner? Our Match Makers can gladly assist with helping people find wrestling partners.
What are Matches Like?
Matches are typically in "submission wrestling" style (try to make the opponent tap out using legal holds), but other styles are welcome, if discussed with Referee and partner.
Matches are usually 3-5 minutes in length. Matches can be scored on points, if participants wish. Matches can end at the first submission, but they do not have to. Matches can have multiple submissions, if participants wish. All matches are timed and end when the agreed upon time is up.
There is no obligation to wrestle anyone you do not feel comfortable wrestling. There is no obligation to wrestle at all, if you prefer not to. Audience members and spectators are well-loved and much appreciated!!
Referees (on mat) and Match Makers (off mat) keep a close eye on the action to assist with keeping the environment safe.
Is There a Dress Code?
There's no *formal* dress code. We are easy-going. If you plan to wrestle, wear something you can wrestle in. Ideas include:
Spandex, singlet, leotard, sports wear, rash guard and board shorts, comfortable costume-y items, attire that fits the theme.
Attire could be more, could be less. But note: for wrestlers, don't wear belt buckles or sharp pointy objects.
Health and Hygiene Policy
Wrestling and grappling are close person-to-person contact activities. Because of this fact, and because we care about everyone's health, we strongly recommend the following good hygiene practices for anyone who wants to roll at Grapple Den:
- Keep toe and finger nails clean and clipped very short.
- Shower before you arrive.
- Use flip-flops, sandals, or slip-on shoes when walking on unmatted area.
- Avoid walking barefoot where people walk in street shoes.
- NEVER go barefoot into the restroom and then go on the mat. Wear sandals or shoes into the bathroom.
- Wash your grappling clothes often.
- Cover any wounds you may have.
- If you develop any new rashes (not mat burn), warts, odd blemishes on your skin after wrestling/grappling in ANY venue, see a doctor.
- Get rid of warts as soon as you can (doctor or home care methods).
- Do not touch blood unless it is your own or you are using an impermeable barrier.
All genders and skill levels are welcome.
There is no requirement to wrestle. Spectators are great! You can kick back, relax, and enjoy the action.
Evening General Format
The evening begins with a Beginner Intro Lesson to help newcomers learn some basics. This starts soon after doors open.
Throughout the evening, party-goers participate in matches together. The matches are interspersed by performance interludes of "Featured Matches" by staff wrestlers.
The evening concludes with the infamous Royal Rumble, a multi-person Tag-in match that often results in a considerable wrestle-pile. Participation in the Royal Rumble is recommended only for experienced grapplers.
Grapple Den Wrestling Party History
Originally founded in August 2007, the initial Grapple Den Wrestling Parties occurred as a monthly events in the basement of a hookah lounge in Hell's Kitchen (W 40th street). These events ran late into the night on a week night, attracting kinksters, Burners, members of the LGBT community, casual wrestlers, professional wrestlers, adventure-seekers, locals, out-of-towners, and people who curiosly picked up our paper promo flyers around town.
The party ran in the Hell's Kitchen space until 2011. We took the show on the road, co-hosting events in Philadelphia for a time. Our colleagues in Baltimore then picked up the party to host locally, and the NYC crew went on hiatus. In 2017, we revived our wrestling party antics with The Spectrum Wrestling Party in Brooklyn. We ran several of these Brooklyn parties throughout 2017. In June of 2019, the Grapple Den party returned to Manhattan, kicking off its revival event in a brand new venue near Herald Square. And from here, who knows what the future will hold...