What to look for when you want to start training in the art of Professional Wrestling.

How can you tell the difference between a strong Pro Wrestling School that can give you the tools you need to become a great wrestling superstar and a clueless backyard mob that happens to own a ring?  It can be damn near impossible to tell for someone who’s just getting into wrestling and difficult for many who are already in. After making the assumption that you want to become a good, well rounded and well-respected wrestler, I’ve put forward some very basic things that should be present in any decent Pro Wrestling Academy.  Hopefully this can give new rookies an idea of what to look for when judging where to begin their training. 

Things to look for/do:

1. PRIORITY NUMBER 1 – Safety.
A good school will teach you to always look after your fellow wrestlers and yourself.  Safety needs to be a main focus especially when you’re first starting and it’s a good early indicator when evaluating schools.  Wrestling is dangerous and beginning your (hopefully long) career as a pro wrestler without learning how to look after yourself and others is disadvantageous.  

2. What is the main focus of the beginner’s classes?
The first thing you should be taught is how to land/bump/breakfall safely - mixed in with a solid fitness regimen (eg lots of squats and push ups) then probably basic lock ups and holds.   If you can’t land safely, then you pretty much can’t do anything else safely.  A good school will ALWAYS start with breakfalls/cardio.

3. Are the trainers/current wrestlers at that school in shape?
Do they stress to you the importance of fitness?  The majority of good Pro Wrestlers are premium athletes.  They don’t need to look like pro body-builders but if it’s a good school there should definitely be some exceptionally fit and strong people hanging around.

4. Watch your trainers wrestle.
Most schools are attached to a company; I highly recommend checking out their shows and seeing what they do in the ring first hand.  Do they look like in-shape professional athletes?  Do they have professional looking wrestling outfits, like trunks and boots similar to stuff you might see on WWE or any other major international promotion? They should. This is all part of doing your homework to make sure the place you’re spending your time and money is worthwhile. If you’re into wrestling, this should be fun anyway.

There are many, many more things that go into making a good school, however in my experience if you walk into a place and you can tick off these points you’re likely in good hands.  If they don’t have these basics my advice would be to keep shopping around.

The same as anything, this is my humble advice based on my experience as a student and a trainer and should be taken as such.  My main hope is however to put the idea in people’s minds that you should have a look around and see what’s on offer, to not just blindly choose the first place you find.  

-Jack Bonza