Killing me softly

Pillow fighting isn’t just for slumber parties anymore, it has now become a part of the world of professional sport too. +PFC -The Pillow Fight Club is trying to turn pillow fighting into a professional sport – but unlike MMA, “anyone can compete, and anyone can win.” Described by CEO Steve Williams as “hardcore swinging with specialized pillows.” Pillow Fight Championship aims to bring spectators the adrenaline rush of a combat sport without any of the blood and violence. “I can come at you as hard as I possibly can. It’s going to hurt, but you’re going to be OK.”

Competitors use specially designed pillows made of foam rather than down. The pillows have a nylon casing with durable handles to allow for fast and hard-hitting movements. The queen-sized pillows, which weigh up to 2.2 pounds each, aren’t your typical nap time cushions. “We added the ripstop nylon which added a lot of flash and helped the sound because a bedroom pillow won’t really make any noise when it hits but the ripstop nylon combat pillows make a loud ‘POP.’” The two competitors standing six feet apart and trying to hit their opponent over the head as many times as possible. Fighters must swing the pillow single-handedly and are only allowed to raise their hand up as high as their neck to block an incoming “pillow punch.” Because flinging a bulky cushion becomes increasingly difficult after four minutes, even for experienced MMA pros, PFC fights are only comprised of three 90-second rounds. Since participants’ roots in combat sports like MMA and jujitsu, pillow fighting often uses similar skills. For many, training includes plenty of cardio, weights and pillow swinging. “I’m coming out with cartwheels, I’m coming out with backspins,” said Kendahl Voelker. “I didn’t even use half of the things I have in my arsenal.” Whether fighters choose to attack their opponents with finesse or knock them to the ground, using pillows as fists means they get to leave the ring with their teeth.  So far about 300 people have taken part in bouts in the U.S., although as many as 2,000 have signed up to fight.

Here’s Japan’s take on competitive pillow fighting,  Japan’s pillow fighting isn’t a one-on-one affair. Rather, it’s teams of competitors. Further, instead of grand, each pillow fighting round starts with each team on opposite sides of the play field. Here, they lay down on their comforters with thick blankets over them and their head rested on a sleeping pillow. Then comes a referee’s whistle, awakening teams to rise and start dashing towards the border between their side and their opponent’s to grab a pillow and to start throwing them at their opponents. It’s a lot like dodgeball at this point, except there’s a defensive component to it where some teammates create shields for their companions by holding out their blankets.

The formal Canadian pillow fighting league launched at a goth bar called The Vatikan in downtown Toronto. Fights within the League featured either two or three girls, the latter referred to as a damage à trois, and a codified set of rules. Fighters frequently incurred cuts, scrapes and bruises. There were also more serious injuries, including concussions, black eyes, lost teeth, split lips, torn muscles, and bruised kidneys. The latter featured the first instance of live tryouts for members of the audience. The events that followed in 2006 at the Vatikan launched the new League-sponsored series of events primarily focused around the pillow fighting bouts. The League saw television rights snapped up by reality television and sitcom producers./spa

May 20th Birthdays

1946 – Cher, 1982 – Sierra Boggess, 1993 – Caroline Zhang, 1981- Rachel Platten

1944 – Joe Cocker, 1918 – Jimmy Stewart,  1971 – Tony Stewart, 2000 – George Jones

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