After months of good intentions, I finally made it down to Camberwell in South London to the This Is Progress wrestling school this morning.
There, under the watchful eye Jimmy Havoc, I learned a huge amount about the things I am doing well and the things I am doing badly.
This is just as well, because I have my next match on the 13th of June and I am feeling mighty rusty.
The session itself was great. Of course, I managed to get lost on my way there, so luckily missed the first part of the deck of cards warm-up, which is tough enough without the sweltering heat we were suffering that day. After that, we ran through basic moves in pairs one-by-one, which is what most beginner wrestling training sessions involve.
Normally this is frustrating, because you spend much more time standing around doing nothing than actually practising wrestling. The difference at Progress, however, was that I felt I was learning as much by watching Jimmy tutor the other pairs as I was when I was being advised personally.
For my own sake, here is a list of things I must remember:
- Stand up straighter when giving headlocks
- Try to front bump without cocking a leg, for the sake of your hips
- Don’t grab the top rope when pushed against it
- Feed up more quickly
- Sleep more promptly and with intent
- Step across hip tosses and get in closer for them
- Roll out of drop toe holds
- Check yourself before taking shoulder blocks
- Grab the back of the neck when locking up
- Lighten up, son
Without a doubt, training at Progress will help me develop enormously as a wrestler. It is a huge shame it takes quite so long to get there (at least 1.5 hours of driving or an expensive series of trains). Luckily, it transpires that Simon of the Guild lives mere minutes from the training school, so I can head out and go adventuring with him afterwards too!
Thus is how Saturday ended. After 3 hours of wrestling, we did a few hours of climbing. Then we drank a bottle of rum in the local park and went out drinking at the Intrepid Fox.
I woke up the next day feeling dead. Dead.
Thus, the Guild.