One of the most unique books about the sport of professional wrestling arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago. A Pro Wrestling Curriculum; Advice, Suggestions And Stories To Help The Aspiring Pro Get To The Next Level is written by former WWE head trainer Dr. Tom Prichard.
Prichard preaches early on his 2012 self-published book that “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way and the only, it does not exist.” That is the mantra for his professional wrestling training guide. He takes you down a week by week journey that covers an entire year of wrestling training.
Early on he points out that this is not the only way to teach people how to wrestle and you should feel free to change things so it fits for you and whomever you are teaching. I found the book to be riveting. Perhaps it is because I am a school teacher and love the process of learning, that I became consumed by the structure of his suggested work week and move sets.
It is evident that this training manual can take a student from zero knowledge to ending up with a suitcase full of moves and know how to put them together to make a match.
At the beginning of the book Prichard provides the frank realities of becoming a wrestler. It is a difficult profession that is not for everybody. But, if you are still interested, Prichard gives sage advice on approaching a wrestling career. Simple advice such as look the part, learn everything you can and don’t accept “no” as an answer.
In some ways this is a self-help book for aspiring wrestlers. Prichard gives fantastic tips about how to make training meaningful even when it starts to be a slog.Each week is laid out with warm-ups, moves to be worked on that week, drills as well as video work and other classes. It is the series of moves that are worked on each week that are intriguing. I had to use Google to remember some of the holds. The move sets are broken down by body parts or move variants. It had me imagining how the weekly moves could be used in a match and would flow one into the other.
Sprinkled throughout the training guide are suggestions to help you maneuver the world of professional wrestling. Some of the sections are backstage etiquette, basics of the wrestling match, 20 rules to remember, and outlines of tag matches (invest in the match even on the ring apron).
By the time you are a few weeks into the training you should be able to put a nice little match together. By the last week you will be doing 60-minute iron man matches.
While Prichard will tell you that his way is not the only way to teach, if you buy his book you will see that it is a darn good way. If you need any reason to buy this book just go back to the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Beth Phoenix went down her list of people to thank and right there was Dr. Tom. Former Mean Street Posse member, Pete Gas, wrote in his own book that he loved being trained by Prichard. Just look at a small list of students: The Rock, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, and Kurt Angle. Not a bad list.
If you are interested in becoming a professional wrestler or are a wrestling trainer then the good Doctor has the book for you. I highly recommend A Pro Wrestling Curriculum; Advice, Suggestions And Stories To Help The Aspiring Pro Get To The Next Level.