PRO WRESTLING SCHOOL RED FLAGS
By Damian Slater
Fortunately the old carny training hustle isn’t as prevalent as it once was, but that isn’t to say that countless aspiring Pros aren’t being stung on the regular by their uninformed choices. Sadly, we are an unregulated art-form in most corners of the globe, meaning that there isn’t really a means of quality control. The truth is that anyone can buy a High Spots ring, pay rent in an old warehouse and claim to be a ‘Professional’ Wrestling school.
However, even the most inexperienced novice can make some wise first steps with a few simple tips in mind. Here are my 5 red flags to look out for when selecting a facility to begin your education.
1. EXCLUSIVITY: Schools that don’t allow cross-training and especially don’t allow you to wrestle in a variety of places, set off every alarm bell in my mind. Experiencing a wider variety of education only creates more well-rounded athletes and a more vibrant scene. I am incredibly proud of the quality and detail that goes into our training sessions at the EPW School of Pro Wrestling and even still, I recommend that all of our trainees leave the nest and train elsewhere from time to time. Sometimes that different perspective is all you need to breakthrough a plateau.
2. NO NAME: Trainers with no equity to their name, or at least schools that haven’t produced anyone with equity to their name, are a red flag. I do believe that a great Pro Wrestler isn’t necessarily a great Pro Wrestling trainer, but you at least want your trainers to have vast experience and knowledge of their own, so that they can help to shape you, regardless of your goals. If someone has only trained in one place and has 50 local matches to their name, how can you trust their perspective? At the very least, make sure that their reputation is solid. Having no reputation is just as bad as a terrible reputation.
3. UNPREPARED TRAINERS: Times have changed and Pro Wrestling training shouldn’t just be the same drills on repetition, or a random eclectic mix of whatever comes to a trainers head that day. Do the trainers seem organised and knowledgeable with the content they teach? Are they progressing/scaffolding the learning? Are they teaching you within what you’re capable of? Hot tip – ask about their curriculum and see if they sweat.
4. PROMISES – Ever been to Europe? When the waiter is standing on the street trying way too hard to sell you on their restaurant, you KNOW it’s a tourist trap. The same goes for training schools. All they should promise is a high quality education and potentially some networking opportunities in time. The rest should be on you.
5. CODE OF CONDUCT – Generally every school with have you sign some sort of paperwork when you join up. Usually it’s to protect themselves, but is there anything in there to protect you? If not, look elsewhere.
In addition to this, I could name countless other desirables that may not be make or break, but are still things that I’d be keeping in mind if I was new to the game. Are the facilities clean? Is there a tiered class system based on skill/experience? Do the trainers take responsibility for your progression? At the end of the day, you’re in charge of your own journey. If you believe the place that you are training at is one giant red flag, don’t be afraid to move on and see if the grass is greener on the other side. A few uncomfortable moments transitioning to a new environment can often lead to some incredible things.
Side note, if there just isn’t anywhere for you to gain a quality education or you want to take your progress into your own hands, I have a unique online learning platform at WorldBeaterWrestling.com that could be the answer.