Wrestling: A Re-Discovery

I was born in High Wycombe. I grew up in High Wycombe. Between 2005 and 2009 I lived away, then I came back. Not through choice, I should add.

All my life, I’ve known about Wycombe Judo Centre. When I was a tiny child, my mum took me there to learn gymnastics. (For those who are interested, I also did contemporary dance at that age. I went on to play football, then rugby, rowing, athletics and wrestling – both amateur and American style ‘professional wrestling’).

Yet, since the day I was old enough to form the words “No mum, I don’t want to wear a leotard”, I’ve never returned. Until this week. Whereupon, what do I discover?

Not only does it do judo, as the name suggests, it also does urban gymnastics (free running and parkour) which I have loved FOREVER, it is also the training site for an American style professional wrestling federation. Something I was doing over a decade ago in this very town).

Don’t believe me? Here I am in 2004, in the middle of my school hall:

That was years into my love affair with pro-wrestling – I’d been doing it forever at that point. Granted, there is no wrestling ring in that video, but I learned the techniques ‘properly’ in a ring with British Extreme Champion Wrestling, until a guillotine chokeslam knocked me out and broke a number of my toes. At that point my parents decided they weren’t driving me to London to get beaten up any more.

I mention that because, at that point, I was still too young to drive – that’s how far back this is going! Although I’ve returned to do a Royal Rumble here or a six-man tag match there, I’ve been inactive for years.

Yet, for the last few years at least, these things have been happening under my nose, whilst I hid away in gyms and sweat-boxes, training for no particular goal or reason – other than to clear my mind and keep myself fit. And all at the Wycombe Judo Centre – that innocently named dojo in Cressex.

Perhaps it’s time I dusted off the old kit. Perhaps it’s time I remembered why I even started playing live music in the first place – because, at the heart of it all, I love to perform.

About the Author
Ed Gamester is a silly man who lives in the United Kingdom. He is the harbinger of Ghost Squad, singer of Gay Bum and author of A Rum Run Awry. He fights, kills and dies for TV and films, and gallivants around the place wrestling, drinking and lifting things for glory and profit. Where Ed treads, there stamp the boots of the Guild. Ed does not wear glasses, but feels this photograph makes him look more intelligent and artistically talented than he is. Feel free to contact him: he is disappointingly affable.

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