Welcome to the first in a series of guides about training to become a pro wrestler. In this series I will cover a lot of topics including keeping fit, bumping, your first show, respect in the business and much much more.
This guide basically will help you to achieve your goals by explaining how to go about becoming a pro wrestler, and guiding you along and help in your decisions from picking your school, deciding on a gimmick and more.
Hope you enjoy this series and more than anything I hope it is beneficial and helps you out.
Finding The Right Wrestling School
The decision to step foot into a wrestling ring and follow your childhood dream isn’t an easy one to make, trust me I know. There are hundreds of variables that can affect your path to becoming a pro. Through this set of articles I hope to address many of the questions, fears and general points you may not know when following your dream. In the first of the series I will be looking at wrestling schools and why choosing the right one is important.
First off, if you are going to undertake this be sure it is what you want. However, there is no shame whatsoever in starting a school and realising it’s not for you, if you want to be in the audience and not the one in the ring, that is perfectly ok. Don’t be ashamed of you think training isn’t for you, as it isn’t for everybody. If you think this is for you, well, just be ready for what’s to come as this is where your journey begins and it isn’t going to be an easy one.
An absolute important factor in choosing a school is to do thorough research. There are tons of great wrestling schools out there, and you need to decide which is the best for you. This is a serious decision not to be taken lightly. The right school can either make or break your career as a professional wrestler. That’s how big of a deal it is. Definitely research everything there is to know about the different schools you are interested in. If you do intend to fully invest the next few decades of your life into professional wrestling, it all starts with your school, so you need to make sure you make the right choice.
Search through Google and find all the schools near you (hopefully not too far away). Pretty much all established wrestling schools these days will either have a phone number, email address or even a dedicated Twitter page where you can get in touch with them. I advise getting in touch with them and having a chat. Discuss you’re thinking about starting training and you would like to come down to the school and have a look around and see what goes on on a daily basis.
This shouldn’t be a problem for any school, and if it is and they say they haven’t got the time or they can’t do that, instantly move onto your next school as anyone who doesn’t allow anyone to come along, visit and get to know the trainer’s and have a chat isn’t a good school and probably just wants to take your money. Your school/trainers need to be willing to get to know your potential future students and be willing to help in any way you can.
On the day of the visit, I highly suggest to take a notepad for jotting down notes on the school. It might feel a bit silly, but remember, picking the right school is a major and potential life changing decision so you need to make the right choice. This could just be for a simple pros & cons list, or in depth analysis of the trainer’s and what goes on daily, but it will definitely help you decide when you’ve got all your notes written down.
Another thing to point out is to write down as many questions as possible that you need to ask. You need to find out the ins and outs of the school to figure out if it’s right for you. I have listed a few sample questions below that should definitely be asked:
- How much does training cost and is it per session, per week etc.
- How many students are being trained at any one time.
- Who are the trainer’s and what experience do they have.
- How long has the wrestling school been established for.
- If a student is progressing well, what are the chances for future matches?
As you can see, these are just a few example questions definitely to be considered asking once meeting the school owner/trainer.
Remember, if you don’t feel happy with something, or if the school doesn’t feel right for you in any way, you still have other options. This probably isn’t the only wrestling school in your area so make sure to visit each school before actually deciding which one is right for you. Definitely try to spend the day at each of the schools to see how they operate, and how each individual trainer teaches.
One of the key things to remember is that every trainer is different. How basic moves are performed doesn’t change, but the way in how they are taught can vary from trainer to trainer. You may find yourself being taught moves by one trainer and you’re struggling to remember certain holds or how they’re performed. Then again, another trainer might teach the exact same moves but the way in which they explain the execution might totally click with you. Different people learn in different ways. As a professional wrestler you are constantly learning every time you’re in the ring. Some of the best wrestlers in the world right now are those who’ve wrestlers in all different countries learning numerous styles. So bear in mind that you may learn different ways from one trainer compared to another. Just ensure that you have the right trainer and you are learning from them.
When choosing a school, it’s important to find out if this is solely a wrestling school, or if they run their own promotion too. The best schools will have a promotion connected to their business. Holding regular shows throughout the year will give you hope of potentially wrestling on one of their shoes one day.
This is a question you need to make sure you ask. If students appear in their shows once the trainer’s think they are ready. If so, that’s a great start. Making your debut in front of an established promotion, and a bunch of pros is a good beginning.
Another thing to remember is, different people learn at different paces. Just because a guy in the school has been there for 6 months and has had 5 matches already, and you’ve been there for over a year and haven’t been booked in any yet, don’t get frustrated.
Don’t rush your training and learn at your own pace. You will eventually get there it may just take longer than others. Perfection can’t be rushed.
Along the way you are most likely going to meet a ton of professional wrestlers. Do not disrespect them or treat them shitty, as this is a simple way to end your career before it’s even started. Respect is a huge thing in pro wrestling, and there’s a little saying that goes “keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut”. Basically listen to everyone and take every bit of advice you can, and don’t open your mouth and say the wrong thing. Respect can get you a long way in this business.
Find out how much training is going to cost. The thing to know here is different schools operate in different ways. Some schools operate on a per session basis, where you will pay $10 per training session for example. While others will charge a weekly or monthly fee for accessing training. Although, on the other end of the spectrum there are known to be schools who will charge upwards of $5000 in charges for wrestling training.
This is a major point you need to research your school on. There’s no point in wanting to attend a school which costs $200 a month, if you’re only able to afford $100.
You have to be careful, admittedly some of the best schools are the most expensive, yet if you only have the one school in your area that charges well beyond your budget, that’s where the problem arises.
Some schools charge so much because they operate on a 5 day basis, or just because you’re receiving some of the best training in the country and the price reflects that. However, there are schools out there that are cheap and offer great training too. Basically it all depends on your location, and what your budget is. But definitely look into things into detail and make your decision.
Find out what features are available at your chosen wrestling school. You may have access to more than one ring which is definitely a plus, especially with a huge amount of students in a school. Ideally your perfect school will have access to multiple rings aswell as its own gym, but in reality this isn’t always the case. Find out how many students you will be sharing the ring with. Also. Do not attend a wrestling school that doesn’t actually train you in a ring. Yes, there are things you can learn, actually a ton of things without a ring, but first and foremost you are learning professional wrestling. You need a ring. Any school that doesn’t have a ring is a no go automatically.
If you can, read reviews. If the school you’re about to attend has an alumnus of professionals on the current indy scene, or TNA & WWE etc, you can at least guarantee it’s damn good. It might take a while to find out, but try to find any past trainees who are now pros, possibly they might list them on the school website, but there’s always forums, Reddit etc where you can ask and find this information out.
Another step would be possibly trying to get in touch with the guys who have attended the school and asking their personal opinion. I know pro wrestlers don’t tend to have too much time on their hands but if they receive an email asking about the school they used to train in, they might be obliged to.help you out.
To conclude, if you don’t feel the school is right for you, for whatever reason, don’t commit to anything. Actually a lot of schools right now will give you a kind of taster, to ensure you’re ok and everything feels ok, and to make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for. But if for any reason, you don’t feel the school is right for you, move on and look towards the next school.
It’s going to be difficult because I know you’re just going to want to get into the ring and train asap, but finding the right school, training when you can, going to shows etc, it all fits into place, and as I’ve said numerous times in this article, training to become a professional wrestler isn’t something to take light-heartedly. It’s a serious business which in 2016 is only getting better and better. So investigate all your options, pros and cons of one school compared to another. But do try to get a personal visit to them, therefore you have the ability to draw your own conclusion of what you like about each, how you feel the trainer’s treat you and how experienced they are amongst many more questions you may have answered.
Above all, good luck. Finding a school for you is the first step towards a potential career in professional wrestling. Pro wrestling isn’t for everyone, but for the talented few, who work hard, commit their lives & their bodies for the entertainment of the audience, pro wrestling is a business no other can compare to. So good luck & I’ll see you in part 2 next week where we will look at how watching wrestling can help you a hell of a lot on your quest to become a pro.