VANIs Playfight

Playfight is about connecting with other through physical contact and joy. It is not about winning or losing. It is not competitive. Playfight is, above all, playful and there is no right or wrong way to play. You can wrestle, but you do not need to. You can be slow, fast, tender, rough, or all of those at the same time. Wanna play?

This workshop is for those who…

  • are open to playfulness
  • are comfortable with touch
  • want to meet others through non-verbal interaction
  • don’t care about winning or losing
  • are able to communicate their relevant injuries and health condition
  • are comfortable with the possibility of getting some bruises

No previous knowledge of martial arts or special fitness is required.
The workshop will start with an introduction followed by some games.
The idea of these games is to set an atmosphere of trust and to give participants the chance to interact in structured exercises before the fighting circle. You will be paired up randomly with different people, and we will keep rotating so that you have the chance to interact with most people in the workshop. This will be useful in the second part, when you have to choose your fighting partners. This first part will happen with clothes on.
After a short break to drink some water, we will come back to the fighting circle. Here there will be the option to undress partially (always keep your underwear on). The rules will be explained and we will do a short body warm-up. In a fighting circle, the group sits, holding the space for the two fighters in the middle. The fighters play until they are exhausted or the bell rings. (There will be a time limit so that we can ensure everyone has the chance to participate.) Or they just decide to stop when they’re satisfied.


How do you choose a partner?
One fighter comes inside the circle, they will make eye contact with the person of their choice, who can choose to accept the invitation or politely refuse. We always accept a ‘no’ with a smile and a thank you. Never insist or ask for an explanation, simply invite someone else.


Before a fight
Before every fight there is a short check-in. Please inform your partner of any injury, request or off-limit areas (i.e. no touching of breasts; be mindful of my left ankle; please pull my hair). You can also decide to have a “goal” (i.e. to take the other person’s T-shirt away) or use a blindfold. Every fight is different and is up to your imagination.

What is not permitted in a playfight?
Overstretching joints, throws and take-downs, standing up, choking, genital touching, licking/biting.

How to stop a fight?
If for any reason, you want to stop the fight at any time, just say “stop” or tap the matt twice. This will be explained at the workshop.


About the facilitator:
Torian is a community organizer and an anthropologist. They are organizing the type of events they would like to attend, where you can meet people and share experiences in person through touch and vulnerability.

Before coming to Berlin, they have organized community events in the cities where they lived (Thessaloniki, Tallinn and Helsinki), including feminist discussions, workshops, porn screenings, and mental health events. Their interests are very eclectic and include (dis)ability, trans experiences, animal welfare and climbing, to name a few.

At VANI, they are interested in co-creating caring spaces to explore non-verbal consent, touch, and playfulness. Torian enjoys learning through feedback and constructive criticism.

  • In case you have questions regarding accessibility, need more information about the
    exercises, need assistance with language or any other type of concern, contact the
    facilitator at [email protected]
  • Arrive 10 m early. None will be let in after doors close