Starting From The Bottom: Week One

Added by Matt Bayliss

As I referred to in my last column I was at a point of having a new beginning so to speak, and that kick started today.

I will still hopefully continue with “The Way I See It….” as a more general overview of wrestling and I will keep trying to turn out some reviews as well – I have two Tidal DVDs currently sat at home awaiting my attention, and if the hype is anything to go by these should both make for great viewing. So I thought the best thing would be to write this under a new title. “Starting from the bottom” seems appropriate as you will come to realise shortly.

This blog is intended to cover me taking up the challenge of learning to wrestle. Now, I know lots of people go to wrestling training, I’m not trying to make out that I am unique or special in anyway I just simply thought it would make for an interesting read. Especially if – just like me – you are a fan of wrestling but have never set foot in the ring, you may not want to or choose to so I will take your bumps for you!

I started my own column with a bit about me, I will do a similar thing here but relative to the subject and to highlight the challenge ahead of me. I’m 33 years old, I work in a non physically demanding job, I am comfortably over weight at around 18 stone and I have a long list of small, niggly physical ailments from playing sports when I was younger. I don’t exercise much other than running around after my 3 year old son and carrying my 3 month old daughter around. I recently joined a gym, went religiously for two days then a number of factors (read as “excuses”) got in the way. So, in essence I’m no fine physical specimen bit I do love wrestling. I have looked at possibly training several times over the years but again those pesky “factors” got in the way! But when I saw Kamikaze Pro were opening a dojo with Pete Dunne as the trainer it was too good of an opportunity to miss out on. Those who have read my other columns will know I am a huge fan of Kamikaze, not only because they are my local promotion but they put on top shows consistently and there is a really great family feel about the whole set up. Pete Dunne is a really great performer too, he has done and achieved so much already it would be crazy not to want to get trained by him!

Having missed the first session due to an actually legitimate factor (I was away on a family holiday) tonight was my first session. Needless to say i was nervous as hell, not only did I not know what to expect but I didn’t know anybody, and didn’t know if I would be at a disadvantage having missed the first week. Of course my circle of friends offered up a tonne of support, mostly laughing or shaking their heads…

My nerves were unnecessary though, I was greeted and welcomed nicely and the session was about to get underway. The group was a real mix of people and abilities, lots of different physiques and experience yet everyone worked well and got on together.

I’m not gonna lie, the WARM UP nearly killed me! Squats, stretches, jogging and versions of press ups I’ve never even heard of!! But I survived nonetheless and would come to appreciate the warm up and especially some of the stretches later on!! Now we moved onto some mat work. I don’t think I have done a forward roll in well over 20 years, and as I mentioned above I am overweight and unfit so I am pretty sure i made plenty of involuntary grunts and felt pretty dizzy after a few goes, then we did some other roll variations including backwards rolls which is a completely unnatural sensation! We finished up this part with a group drill that ultimately dropped me with cramp! I could feel my calf seizing up but managed to keep going and doing my bit … Just! I took a quick break and stretched off and had a drink and much to my surprise was eating to go again!

After this we split into two groups -beginners and the more experienced – the beginners group practiced taking back bumps before moving onto shoulder tackles and clotheslines. This was great fun and very interesting to actually do the moves and take the bumps and have Pete explaining the mechanics of it all as well as the do’s and don’ts with each move.

We finished up with some vertical and back suplexes, again this was great and honestly not something I thought I’d be doing!

So that was my first session, I am shattered and I ache and I am dreading the thought of having to get out of bed tomorrow, but at the same time I am really buzzing and already looking forward to next week and planning on getting additional exercise to help me going forward.

Am I ready to wrestle? OH HELL NO!! But, as much as I joke about it that is not really my motivation at this point. One thing to come from this though is that I have even more respect for the guys that do wrestle week in, week out and that is just based on doing the basics!

It was a really enjoyable session and Pete is a great teacher, and very patient and helpful with everyone, it was also good having Marshall X training with us and learning from Pete showing that you never stop learning. Overall a great group of people and I look forward to going back and getting to know everyone more, as well as suplexing the hell out of them of course!


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