Up close in the brutal world of a female fight club

Story highlights

  • Katarzyna Mazur spent months photographing a female fight club in Berlin
  • "I enjoy exploring new worlds, especially a world which exists in a gray area," Mazur said

(CNN)Under harsh lights in a private, rented room in Berlin, women face each other in violent, sometimes bloody battles of brute strength.

There are no official rules to this female fight club. The fighters are both beginners and professionals, anywhere from age 20 to 50, said photographer Katarzyna Mazur, who spent months documenting the club in 2013 and 2014.
    Led by founders nicknamed Anna Konda and Red Devil, a match might pit a bodybuilder against a martial arts master. They can wrestle, throw punches or "cat fight." There's no judge, just someone who knows the parameters they've decided for the match. The small audience is mostly made up of men, but it's a place for women to shed the roles they play outside.
    "When I saw this kind of fighting for the first time, I was quite shocked. I had never seen something like that before, and it was really interesting to experience all of this so close," said Mazur, who photographed the fight club as part of her work toward graduation from photography school. "Inhibition and fear do not exist on the mat."