This is one of those blogs where “both of my worlds collide”, as I usually put it, as it’s applicable to both MMA and pro wrestling.
Given that I work at the gym that I train at, I meet or talk to at least one person who says they want to be a fighter every day. Given that I used to be the trainer at a wrestling school, I dealt with people who said they wanted to be a wrestler every day. The fact of the matter is that maybe 10% of these people will actually step in to a ring or cage and compete.
The reason why that number is so low in fighting is easier to explain, in my opinion. I feel like most people that come in are in their 20s, done with college and in a decent job with decent pay or younger, not going to college, and looking for a quick come up. When you come in with no experience, it’s going to take a while to get up to speed. You have to learn EVERYTHING from scratch. It’s going to be frustrating, and require a lot of work on your own time(which I don’t think should ever stop). I tell a lot of people that are new to the MMA program that I spent the first 6 months in the just getting my ass kicked every day. I think that’s where a lot of people run in to a problem. It’s easier to focus on excelling at a job that pays you well than something that won’t immediately compensate you, or you probably won’t be willing to put in the time if you’re looking for a quick come up.
As for wrestling, there are a multitude of factors. Putting time in to learn the craft is definitely one as well. I’ve seen plenty of people quit because they weren’t ready to get in a ring within a month or two. I know we all have seen it. I feel I’ve seen quite a few people quit over what’s called “paying your dues”. Paying your dues is what it sounds like, you just don’t pay monetarily. It involves setting up the ring at shows, driving veteran guys to shows, paying for gas etc. Well, I don’t know what changed, but for some reason the new kids in the game don’t want to do this any more. I’ve literally seen some of them quit companies over having to set up and tear down, or their spot within a company. I get so pissed when I see this. These people deserve no respect, in my opinion. What makes you think you’re too good for that? What makes you think you’re better than putting someone over in a squash match? Unfortunately these people will often get booked elsewhere, because that’s that nature of the business(and the subject for another blog at another time).
Another problem that fits in to both is that people want to be babysat now a days. Everybody has a sense of entitlement, because they’re paying to be taught a craft. What they fail to understand is that both are very dangerous, and nobody should be allowed to practice either without proper preparation. Especially in wrestling, since it’s not just their safety at stake.
My personal stance is that I’m willing to help anybody willing to help themselves. I would stay hours after wrestling practice was over, just answering questions and helping people. I’ll do the same for people at the gym when I have time, as long as they come to me to set up times to get it done(I don’t drive, so can’t always stay spur of the moment). I think that’s how things should work. If you won’t help yourself, then you shouldn’t expect it from others…