Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #12

kpro7The training sessions just keep getting better at the Kamikaze Pro Dojo. This week was immense. It was probably the most fun and productive time I’ve had since joining the school. Here’s why.

Things are really starting to fit into place and the momentum is picking up. We kicked off with some cardio outside on the track again, which was such a blessing because it’s been ridiculously humid this past couple of weeks. After three laps and two sets of running the steps, we were all sufficiently warmed up. My recovery time is getting shorter and shorter, which I’m pleased about. I’m controlling my breathing well. Practice makes perfect and I’m really happy with the improvements I’ve made to my endurance over the past three months.

Once that was done, we went back inside and were split into the usual beginner and experienced groups – only this time with an awesome twist. Myself, Johnny and Karl were put in with the advanced guys this week. It was a step up in terms of what we were doing and felt pretty daunting at first, but it was so worth it. First we went over another grueling drill – side stepping around the mat, high knees and forward rolls into flip bumps.

Then we went over the running powerslam and northern lights suplex again. I managed to successfully execute both once or twice, after failing a fair few times. I seem to be better at the getting picked up part. I will need to build more upper body strength in order to change that. I’m working on it but things have been really hectic since I got this new job two weeks ago – I’ve barely seen the weight room.

The best part of the whole day was the chain wrestling we worked on next. This is exactly the kind of thing I want to learn. We worked on a lock up, waistlock takedown, escape, headlock, a few reversals, and a half nelson pin. When we put it all together it was such a fun chain to do. It took me a while to get each thing down but I think by the end of the class I wasn’t doing too badly for a beginner. I’m really looking forward to doing more stuff like this as I think that’s where I may be able to excel, as opposed to the big power moves. Nonetheless, I still need to build strength and get these moves down if I ever hope to have an actual match one day.

We finished off with promos. Me and Johnny did our Technically Hardcore gimmick tag thing against the now famous Born Ville. Pete didn’t have too many complaints and it looks like we are doing okay. Hopefully we can keep moving forwards and not take any steps back. Some of the other promos were excellent, especially from some of the newer guys and even some first timers.

It looked like one of the biggest turn outs this week too. New people keep showing up every Tuesday. If you want to be one of them, check out the Kamikaze Pro Dojo in Birmingham here. It’s a great school with a really nice atmosphere, top trainers and real structure. I hope to see you there soon.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

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Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #10

kpro7You know what time it is! Welcome and thank you for checking out Week 10 of my training diary. I am making a late attempt at becoming a professional wrestler. In the UK, a lot of guys start training in their early teens or sometimes even younger. At 24, I guess that makes me the DDP of this ting. Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped me giving it my best so far.

If you’ve been following my weekly Dojo Blogs, you will know that for the past few weeks we have been drilling a lot of the same stuff. It’s been difficult for all of us beginners to perfect the basic rolls and bumps. Well this week, business really picked up! Before going into too much detail, I’d have to say this was the best organized and most enjoyable session so far. I spoke to a few other beginners who completely agree. Everyone got to do a lot of really focused work in smaller groups, and I think we all benefited from it.

That positive situation seemed largely down to the inclusion of a new trainer – Dan Moloney. I’ve seen this guy wrestle on a load of local shows and he is really good. I also think he might have been at the NSW session I went to a while ago (the one that damn near paralyzed my out-of-shape ass!) I could just be getting him mixed up with someone else, but he has always looked so, so familiar to me. Anyway, Dan came along and gave a helping hand as the third trainer. I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent thing, but I’d love it if that were the case.

Dan being there enabled Ryan and Pete to split the beginners group in half – thus forming three classes of about 4/5 people. It’s pretty self explanatory why that is awesome. Of course we got to work much faster and it was probably easier for the trainers to focus on just a few people and really give a lot of detailed insight. Myself and three other beginners were put into a middle group to practice some awesome suplexes and slams. I don’t think we had done any of this stuff for quite a while, maybe five weeks or so. With that in mind, of course none of us were hitting perfect power slams and verticals, but the practice is invaluable, and I had so much fun doing them. I had to mark out under my breath every time I attempted a scoop slam!

Before everyone even arrived, the session was better than usual. There is normally a group who have the space before us to do some insanity workout or something. It usually eats into our time a little bit, and then when they are done, we have to take all the mats out and get changed, etc. They weren’t there, so when myself and a couple of other trainees arrived early, we got all of the mats and everything out ready so we were already way ahead of time. That meant that when the trainers and everybody else arrived, we didn’t have to wait around for the other group to finish and stuff, we could just crack on.

That is when we did the most grueling warm-up yet. We headed out onto the athletics track and did a lap. I knew there was more to come. Pete Dunne then set us the real challenge. Up and down the steps 10 times, then a lap, then up and down again 5 times, then a final lap. I did myself proud again and managed to complete it all in good time. All of those runs in the park are really starting to pay off.

I know how important cardio is in wrestling and I never want to be blown up after five seconds in a match, so this work is vital. Long may it continue! Plus the fresh air is really good. I’m going for another run after I finish this post – onwards and upwards! I know it’s not exactly the London Marathon, but if you’d asked me to even do the single 400m lap four months ago, I would have struggled. It’s managing to not die during these warm-ups that makes the endless, monotonous running in the park seem more worthwhile.

Anyway, after we got ahead of time and did the mammoth warm-up, it was time to get down to work. The two groups initially combined to go through some basic rolls. After that, we were split into advanced, beginner and… a tiny bit better than beginner, I guess. As I mentioned previously, our group focused on picking each other up and slamming each other down onto the crash mat. I found the being slammed part a lot easier than the doing. I really need to work on my upper body strength. I have been weight training for a few months but the progress has been fairly measly. I could do with some tips. Any jacked up guys reading this, holla at cha boy!

After we had our fun, we were all sent off to prepare promos. Myself and Johnny once again teamed up to try our hand at a tag. I guess we did okay. He is already confident, and my confidence is slightly improving. The substance was average though. We really need to step it up. I’m going to call him tomorrow so we can talk through some ideas. Ryan came up with some pretty funny stuff we could use with our gimmick, so I’m quite excited about working something out. Also, we need to bring a prop for next week’s promo session, so that is something to think about.

Some of the other promos were real good, but as always James absolutely killed it. He has the whole class in stitches every week. My lame attempts pale in comparison. Oh well, learning every week I guess! I don’t wanna flake on my solo promos because I know that’s going to be important, especially for my confidence to do it alone. But now we have a little vision for this tag team, I’m kind of interested to see what we can do with it. Check back next week and I will tell all.

That just about wraps up this week’s post. As always, if you’re in Birmingham or the surrounding areas, do check out the Kamikaze Pro Dojo. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking to try your hand at pro wrestling, this really is the place to be. Everyone is super nice. The trainers are real good. The whole atmosphere is welcoming. Of course, it’s not babysitting. You do need to show that you want to be there, put in maximum effort and show some respect. But it’s not like some of the horror stories you have probably heard about being “broken” army style. If you give everything you’ve got, these guys will help you. If you watch wrestling, I doubt very much that you haven’t dreamed about trying it. So why not check it out here and come down sometime!

Thanks for reading

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #9

kpro7Thanks for checking out another brief instalment of the Dojo Blog. I’m journalising (if that’s a word) my journey from wannabe Dave Meltzer to real life pro-wrestler. One day, when I’m known affectionately as “The new Brock Lesnar” you can come back to this page and remember the good old days.

Anyway, that’s enough funny business – back to reality. I’m having fun on my quest so far. Nine weeks are down. I’ve done a two hour training session once a week and a couple of in-ring seminars during that time. I’d like to think I’m getting some of the core basics down (the rolls and bumps). My front bumps could definitely use work, but I feel like I’m making good progress everywhere else.

This week – like last week –  we got out some platforms and took bumps off of them onto the crash mat. This is easily the most fun thing we’ve done there so far. I really don’t mind doing this every time, it’s awesome! As the platform gets high, the kick you get out of doing it increases. No bumps or bruises were sustained, and my confidence is growing. We didn’t really do anything else this week besides rolls and bumps. I guess some members of the beginners class (including myself) could still use some work on them.

However, our warm-up was a little different this week. Rather than doing the sprinting and the high knee drills that we have become accustomed to inside, we ventured out onto the running track next to the building. We train at Hadley Stadium so there is a full 400m track at our disposal. When Pete and Ryan led us out, I didn’t know what to expect. First we went around and did a lap. It wasn’t a competition, but I was still counting – I came in fourth. Then we had to run up and down the steps at the side of the track – that was a killer. The cool breeze was very rewarding though, much nicer than being cooped up inside.

Finally, to finish our outdoor adventure we did another full lap of the track and I came in first. I don’t know if anyone else was really trying (or being competitive about it I mean) but I was so proud! I like to think I’ve really come a long way in the last three months with my cardio. I’ve been working my ass off, and as a smoker, it’s not easy. The last couple of weeks I’ve decided to lean more towards the cardio than weight training – still doing both, but switching emphasis. I think that’s paid off because I doubt I would have even made it around the track three months ago.

Hopefully all the gym cardio, outside running in the park and drills at wrestling practice are paying off for me now. I still need to focus on building muscle, but I really want to make sure I’m not getting easily blown up after 20 seconds. That’s something I can build on. As I said before, I don’t know if the trainers or the advanced guys thought of it as a race (probably not) but I was still really happy to come through first!

So we did the awesome warm-up outside, came back in and did some stretches, then spent the class going over rolls and bumps. We finished off with the promo section as always. The guys asked us to come up with tag team promos this week (which suited me and Johnny, as we had been trying them for the last two weeks anyway). They weren’t too impressed with the showing. None of us really stepped up to the plate, and some flat out refused to do it. Me and Johnny did our best and gave it a good shot, but there is a lot of progress to be made there for sure.

I guess that’s it for this week. I think I’ve covered everything. Cardio is getting better, confidence is growing, hopefully technique is improving, promo fear is slightly going away. Things can only get better. Can’t wait for next Tuesday for more. If you’re in the West Midlands area and are looking to try out training for pro-wrestling, you should check out the Kamikaze Pro Dojo here. It’s a great school with quality trainers and a really cool atmosphere. Check check it!

Peace

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #2

kpro7So I’m finally getting around to putting down my thoughts on this week’s training session. I’ll be tracking my progress on here as I try to make my way into the wrestling business. I do this mostly for my own recollection and perspective, but if you’re reading, I hope you find it mildly interesting.

After another inspirationally good Kamikaze Pro event in Birmingham – which featured a match between the legendary Steve Corino and the man training us Pete Dunne – I was very excited to get back onto the mats and try to improve. For the first time in my budding career, I would be undertaking my second consecutive wrestling lesson. I’m hoping to keep that weekly streak going for as long as I possibly can.

I very much enjoyed the session. Ryan Smile – who also leads the training – couldn’t be there, so Pete had to try to bounce between the experienced class and the beginners. I’m sure you can guess which group I am a part of. The cardio stepped up a little bit, but I just about managed to keep up. I’ve been trying to get in the gym at least three times a week for the last two months, and hopefully that’s paying off. There is still a helluva lot of hard work to be done, and progress to be made, but I’m feeling as good as I have for many years.

As for the actual techniques, I felt we learned so much more than last week. It was a big jump from Week One to Week Two in terms of what we got to try out. I absolutely loved it, and I could tell that all the guys felt the same. It’s hard to speak for the experienced guys/girls and what they were doing, but on our side of the room, we all seemed to be having fun. It was so cool to be doing vertical and back suplexes after only one week. I didn’t exactly perfect all of mine – both in giving and taking – but it felt amazing to be working on that stuff.

We also worked hard drilling some of the more core manoeuvres, like basic forward and back rolls, shoulder tackles and clotheslines. We all bumped the mat countless times, and it’s starting to feel better each time. I really, really need to start tucking my head on the back bumps though, or I’m going to fuck my neck up. It’s already giving me quite a bit of pain. I tend to pick up on things slow. I wasn’t always that way. From what I’m told, I was a “fast learner” as a child. Not so much now, but I’ll get there. You can only snap your head back on the mat so many times before you instinctively tuck it. At least I hope that’s the case.

Pete put us to work and it was by no means a cakewalk, but I left the building with a huge grin on my face once again. I really, really want to make something of this. It’s been my fantasy since I was eight years old. I’m very late to get started, but I’m still no DDP. I think there is time for me, if I put in the hard work and keep showing up. No pain, no gain.

I certainly can’t wait to get back in there on Tuesday for Week 3. Everybody there – the trainers, the students, the organisers – is super nice and I would really recommend this school to anybody in the West Midlands wanting to try out professional wrestling. I’ll be back through with Blog #3 next week.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Welcome to the Dojo

dojotings
Source: Kamikaze Pro

So last week was the opening of the Kamikaze Pro Dojo, and I went along to take part and give active pro-wrestling a second try. The last time I went to a training session like this, I literally struggled to walk for a week, so I was tentative and nervous going in to say the least. One similarity between this school and my first experience is that the two trainers were the same. Looking at my back in the mirror – without the black and blue spine – you wouldn’t have thought that was the case.

One key difference which I think helped me out a lot was that we weren’t in a ring yet. As complete beginners, we were taught how to bump on mats, lock up and apply headlocks. There was no running of the ropes until we puked. I was in a group alongside the other people starting from scratch, and that suited me. I know absolutely nothing and am by no means a premier athlete. Starting from the very bottom is the only way to learn everything on your way to the top. The more experienced guys and gals were put into another group, after we all finished opening up with some cardio. The session was well structured, organised and the segregation between the two levels of expertise was important and effective. We did have loads of fun trying to grapple and pin each other down before getting down to business, but it was good to be learning with people at the same level.

The cardio to start the session was challenging, but not needlessly gruelling. I kind of felt last time that by the end of the start, I had no energy left to do anything else. That made trying to take hip tosses that much harder. Now I’m no authority on this, and I can’t say that any method is right or wrong. I’m just saying what works for me. It was good to warm up properly and get the blood pumping, but this time around I felt much more motivated and inspired to concentrate, try to improve and try to learn from every word the trainer said.

It’s also worth adding that I was in terrible shape back then. I’m no Shawn Michaels now, but with a good six weeks of hitting the gym behind me, I have trimmed the fat and upped my game in terms of cardio a fair bit. There is still a huge amount of progress to be made – I still despise myself, which is crucial – but I found the whole thing a lot more enjoyable this time around. The trainers worked us the perfect amount, and I wasn’t going in quite as cold as I did in the past. That made it a much more productive and pleasant experience for myself.

Everybody was super nice. Ryan and Pete did a great job. We even got to try out a promo at the end of the class. The whole thing was great. Definitely not bad for a fiver, and after watching another amazing Kamikaze show yesterday,  I am very excited to get back in there tomorrow and learn some more stuff. Hopefully if I keep working hard, maybe one day I can live my dream and have a match. To anyone from Birmingham – or the surrounding areas – you can get all the info you need here. The sessions are £5 each and well, well worth it!

Training is provided by Kamikaze Pro’s own “Dynamite” Pete Dunne and Ryan Smile, two excellent performers who have wrestled some of the best in the business. You really couldn’t ask for a better pair to learn from.

Thanks for reading,

Craig [Editor]