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In photos: Cushioning the blows with East Van's pillow fighters

From the gym to the ring, see how seriously the competitors take their pillow fights

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The Eastvan PillowFight Club was launched in March, in the Gastown art studio of Melanie Porodo and Steve Watts. It began, says Mr. Watts, “partly as a way to engage the public, partly out of a desire to put [our] rage and frustration to good use, and partly out of a necessity to pay the rent.”

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Participants in the Eastvan PillowFight Club adopt monickers for the ring, from left: Lady Batarang (Daniel Larsson), MediKated (Katie Grzebinski), Miss Treats (Amy Stack Mazzone), The Butcher’s Daughter (Leah Moynahan), Serbian Scrambler (Ana Krunic), Tinker Hell (Shylo Pruyn), Blondie Bedlam (Cali Robinson) and Melitia (Melanie Porodo).

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Miss Treats and The Butcher’s Daughter battle one another. This is no slumber-party pillow fight. The women of the PillowFight Club are armed with club-approved pillows (no stuffing allowed), which they use in the ring to pummel their opponents. A mix between pro wrestling and boxing, a match consists of three two-minute rounds, with the outcome determined by judges’ decision.

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Melitia, the defending champ, makes a splashy entrance at the Astoria. Judges award points for things like “creative moves,” “flurries” and “playing with the crowd/theatrics.” Points are deducted for “hooking above the chest,” “attempting a pin” and “striking without pillow.”

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Members of the club hug in solidarity in the basement of the Astoria before a match.

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Blondie Bedlam applies makeup before taking her turn in the ring.

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Blondie Bedlam reacts after knocking down defending champ Melitia during a bout. The first match was held on April 7 (International Pillow Fight Day) and the crowds have grown since, with eager fans cheering on the fighters.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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On Saturday, the latest instalment will be held at the Astoria Hotel, with the main event seeing Blondie Bedlam face off against The Butcher’s Daughter to determine who will meet champion Serbian Scrambler for the club cup, to be held some time in 2013.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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