Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #11

kpro7Now this should have been Dojo Blog #12 but I missed a week. There was no post after last Tuesday, because unfortunately I couldn’t make training, which brought to an end my epic 10-0 streak. I’m now 11-1 after getting right back on the horse this week.

I recently got a job after about half a year of trying, and that’s thrown my routine a fair bit. I was at an all-day group assessment securing the position on the day of training. By the time I got home, I would have had to leave again immediately to travel all the way over to Hadley Stadium, having barely slept and been out since 7am. It goes without saying that I called a rain check and got some well needed sleep.

It’s not just wrestling practice that I’ve missed. What with going to induction days and sorting everything out for the job and other things, everything is basically up in the air. That’s meant that I’ve trained far less. I’ve barely seen the weight room in the last week or so, and I’ve only gone for a couple of runs. I’m looking forward to getting into the swing of things, building my money up and seeing things take shape in the coming months. I really needed this job and I’m so, so happy to have it. I just need to get everything figured out and stuff.

Anyway, all out of that non-wrestling related bullshit aside, I should be at the dojo every week now for the foreseeable future again. We’ve also been invited to join the trainers in going to this place near Coventry where you can work on epic flips all day. I saw a wicked video and really want to go along, as it looks like a complete blast! So, good times ahead for wrestling and fitness I hope.

As for this week’s practice, it may just have topped Week 10. It was really productive, enjoyable and certainly memorable. The only downside was that we had to do the cardio (as part of our warm-up and stretching) indoors, as opposed to on the running track outside. It had been raining all day sadly, so I hope that doesn’t happen again next time. It’s so nice to just get the fresh air outside. I get blown up a lot less early and disastrously on the track. I get why we didn’t though. I hate running outside when it’s been raining.

After that we were split into two groups to go through some drills. It really made rolling and bumping more interesting. The first was a forward roll into a flip bump, the second a back roll into a flat back bump. It was a bit more challenging having to try and keep that momentum and allow the space to go from roll to bump. After that we had to do a flip bump over this platform thing that was in front of the crash mat. The challenge here was trying not to freak out about possibly smashing your head on the platform. Everyone came through it fine, and this drill definitely helped us all get used to jumping more. You can’t half-arse it with the platform in front of you.

After that, we were separated into three groups, with myself and Johnny once again going into the middle. This week it was us two and three guys who came in from the experienced group. I think they were all new, unless they were there last week. All were bigger and stronger than me, but that’s a regular occurrence :p – we tried some more power-slams and even northern lights suplexes. It turns out I’m real good at the getting slammed side, but not so much at the picking people up. I wonder why that is. I really need to get into a proper gym as soon as I get paid, and buy more protein (which ran out two weeks ago, and I can’t afford to replace)

It was really fun whichever way around we did it and I did actually get the chance to pull off a couple of the power-slams on one of the guys. It always reminds me of me and my childhood best friend doing tombstone piledrivers on each other when we were nine – such a cool guy vibe.

After we were done with all that, we were brought together and told to prepare a promo. Me and Johnny have been working together on them for weeks now and are really trying to build a legitimate tag team gimmick (the details of which I won’t disclose just yet) and that continued this week. I had spent the previous week coming up with some bullet points and gave it a lot of thought. Johnny did his part perfectly as always, and I am also cautiously optimistic about my own improvement. It’s now The One Man Hardcore Division’s turn to come up with some creative for next week – although we may actually be working with a manager at the next practice.

Anyway, we chatted a bit, did our thing and it went down pretty well – positive feedback from both Ryan and Pete, who said we had listened to and implemented their advice. That was the plan! Then two of the younger trainees (Born Ville) went against us, doing their chocolate/dark side thing. They are always good for a pop or two. Sadly there was no Matt Lightning and Marshall X rap battle this week, but everyone did a good job – especially all of the new guys. For a first time, some of them were absolutely brilliant!

To end off the session, we did some more physical activity, which is always good. It was time for ground attack hell! One of the trainees lay on the crash mat and took a myriad of attacks from the whole group, one-by-one, all in good fun. There were epic knee drops, elbow drops, and even a rolling thunder. I went for the splash over and over again. It’s pretty much the only one I have any idea how to do. I definitely have a lot to learn in that area of the game.

When all was said and done: hands were shook, money was paid, and goodbyes were said. Until next week, that’s the latest on my journey to the very top of professional wrestling. I’ll show you! I’ll show you all!

Peace,

Craig [Editor]

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Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #6

It’s time for another qudojotingsick update on my adventure to become a pro wrestler. Pete couldn’t make it this week, so Marshall stepped in to help train us beginners, while Ryan looked after the experienced guys.

It was a very valuable session, despite the loss of Pete. I was well pleased with the additional thirty minutes. I hope that continues going forward. It felt like we had a lot more time to work on the physical stuff, and we only went over by two minutes after finishing the promo part. We are usually way, way over time.

So we put the extra half an hour to good use and worked on a lot of technical wrestling. First we did the usual gruelling warm-up and rolling drills, then we moved on to taking bumps, and then learned some holds. I got a good chance to work on some of the stuff I already know, something you can never do too much of. I also got to try out a few new things. My favourite part of the session was doing flips and taking bumps on the mat. I think that’s the thing I enjoy the most about practice at the moment.

Having said that, I was real happy to learn how to apply a wrist-lock, hammerlock and even work on some reversals. That’s the kind of stuff that I want to use a lot in my style if I ever get the chance to actually wrestle a match in the future – but I’m a long way off that right now. As essential as this basic training is, I couldn’t help but occasionally glance over at the advanced guys and check out the crazy suplexes and throws that they were performing. I’m determined to work hard and keep showing up until one day in the future I can be doing that stuff too.

When it came to promo time, I was as nervous as I am every week. The nerves haunt me. God knows how I would get on in front of a crowd because I can barely speak in front of ten trainees. Nonetheless, despite the nerves, I knew that this week I was prepared. I had spent much of the previous week making notes, practising, recording myself. I took it really seriously. After being probably the worst promo every week up to this Tuesday, I was committed to making an improvement.

Ryan made it clear as we went in that we needed to really try and make some progress with these promos. He stressed the importance of it, and I actually think that helped. I mean, it kind of upped the stakes a little bit, but in the end it seemed to pay off for me. I wasn’t going to stay home. I knew I needed to get better. So I tried my utmost to just forget the nerves and focus on the stuff I’d prepared and practised. What do you know!? It went down well! Ryan said it was “very, very good” and it looks like I’ve made some strides.

I’m still not close to being the best, by a long shot, but I’m getting better. That’s all that matters! For next week, I know I need to focus on keeping those catchphrases that I’ve come up with, and learning how to adapt them around different opponents. I’m going to watch and listen to a few things on improvisation and see if I can pick up some good tips. The promo side of things isn’t what I’m really interested in, but rather than cry about it and stop coming, I’m just going to do the best I possibly can. Who can ask for more?

Hopefully in the coming weeks and months, my performances on the mat and on the “microphone” will continue to improve, and I will edge closer to achieving my dream of wrestling a real match in front of a crowd.

I’m Craig Hanson.
No gimmicks, no thrills. Pure talent and skills.

Thanks for reading :p

Craig [Editor]

Kamikaze Pro: Dojo Blog #3

dynamiteOkay so today is Thursday, and it’s been around a day and a half since my latest wrestling session. This week’s practice was just as good as the last. It was cool to have Ryan back. With the two trainers switching between the experienced and beginner groups, we got to learn some really great stuff from each of them.

A couple of my buddies who had been there last week couldn’t make it. Luckily for them, we mostly tried to go over things that we had already been working on. We spent quite a lot of time going through clotheslines and shoulder tackles, which I enjoyed. Pete encouraged us to hit harder, louder and with more venom. I don’t think I can do too much of anything right now. I just want to learn. If it means I get to take a hundred more bumps and hopefully get a little bit better at doing so, that’s a positive for me.

We did however still venture into some new territory. We began learning how to take our lock-up technique (which we started in the first session) into a full nelson and a snapmare. This part of the class was really fun. I struggled to get the hang of how to roll through it, but it always takes me 10x the amount of time it would for a regular person to take something in. Ryan was patient with us, and I think I was starting to get it at the end.

To finish off what had been another really awesome evening, we had the dreaded promo part. All of us had to pair off and come up with a few things to use when cutting a promo on each other. As long as we put in the key promotional material (date of the show, venue and name), we were on the right track. I forgot the show name, or the venue. I can’t remember. Either way, mine seemed so terrible. It’s really gonna take me a while to get the confidence to do this well. Some of the other dudes came with some hilarious, witty shit. I enjoyed that part of the class for that, but wish I could get better myself. Maybe that will come with time, or maybe not. We shall see.

Anyway, I had a great time once again. I really, really can’t wait for next week.

Craig [Editor]