The following is a summary of our approach to pro wrestling training: roughly the order in which we teach things. This is by no means an exhaustive description of our training, but it should give you an idea about what to expect and an explanation about why we do some of the things we do.
Rolls, bumps and ropes
Rolls – After you pass our tryout, the first thing you’ll learn at our gym will be various forms of rolling. Learning how to roll is important in order to protect yourself, mainly in the event you are dropped on your head. If you develop a second-nature of rolling, you will have a better hope of rolling with certain falls and avoiding injury.
Bumps – There are three basic types of bumps we will teach you to do, freely, without anyone actually performing a move to you:
- Flat back bump – This is the most frequent and basic bump, where you begin standing and land straight back, flat on your back with your feet off the canvas, then getting up in the correct manner. This is the type of bump you will eventually take when you take moves like clotheslines, shoulder tackles, etc.
- Flip bump – This is a bump where you start standing on your feet, flip forward and land flatly on your back and flatly on the soles of your feet. This is the type of bump you will eventually take when you are given moves like hiptosses, bodyslams and back body drops.
- Face bump – You start on your feet and land flatly, directly forward on the front of your body, with your face actually almost-but-not-quite touching the canvas. This is the type of bump taken for moves like drop toe holds and flapjacks.
Ropes – Running the ropes is harder than it looks. Footwork is very important in getting across the ring economically. We will also teach you how to lean back and hit the ropes correctly. Many students are surprised to find hitting the ropes can actually be painful at first. The ropes are made of steel cable encased in rubber hose and will probably leave you with a sore back until you get used to running them.
After you are able to roll, perform the various basic bumps and run the ropes — and perform all of them well — we’ll begin building “the Universal” (sometimes called “the International”).
“Universal” is essentially short-hand for a common sequence of moves you’ve probably seen on TV many times.
There are at least 7 parts of the Universal, which are each important fundamental pro wrestling moves:
- Shoulder tackle
- Any one of: armdrag, hiptoss, etc.
We’ll painstakingly teach you each movement. We’ll stress safety, fluidity, economy of motion, realism, intensity, sound, etc. It will probably take several sessions for you to perform the universal with a fair amount of aptitude.
We believe it’s important to teach these most basic of fundamentals together as part of “a spot” (i.e., a sequence of moves) so students are immediately introduced to pro wrestling moves in a holistic manner, and are made to perform them in a way those moves are expected to be performed in an actual match.
One of the early successes of our gym and one of the things our students have been complimented on is their fundamentals. We believe teaching the Universal in this way has been a key to that success.
After you can perform the Universal well and repeatedly, we will move on to other moves. These include but are not limited to:
- Small highspot bumps
- headlock takeover
- back elbow
- snap mare
- vertical suplex
- back suplex
- Basic strikes
- forearms to the back
- small package/inside cradle
- school boy
- sunset flip
- O’Connor roll
- La magistral cradle
- Oklahoma roll
- Additional movements
- Chain wrestling holds
- arm wringer
- top wristlock
- wrist lever
- various counters thereof
Among wrestlers in the area, Mikey and Brandon’s knowledge of chain wrestling is about as deep as it gets. We believe a basic understanding of chain wrestling should be taught to everyone, but a deep understanding is not necessary for everyone. We think it’s wiser to spend more time on other, more essential fundamentals. But if you’re interested in learning technical mat wrestling, you’ve come to the right place, and we’re more than happy to show you what we know.
Again, moves we’ll help you learn are not limited to those mentioned above. Additional particular moves may be learned on a case-by-case basis according to your abilities and the type of wrestler you want to become.
Once you are able to perform the Universal well and have a good background of other moves to use, you will be able to start having practice matches. Obviously this is where it all the pieces we’ve taught you have to come together in the form of matches that would allow an audience suspend its disbelief and become emotionally engaged.
By the time you are ready to have your first practice matches, we will have explained basic match psychology, the importance of heel-face dynamics, how to have fire, how to comeback, etc.
After each match, we’ll talk about how it went in detail and give feedback.
After many practice matches, hopefully you’ll eventually improve to the point where you become “match-ready”. At that point, we would encourage you to get appropriate gear, begin finding bookings, and would recommend you to promoters.
Continuing to train after your first matches however is highly encouraged. Every one of our trainees who have made their pro wrestling debuts have chosen to continue training after making their debuts. Many experienced pro wrestlers continue to train with us regularly.