What Qualities Separate a Good Wrestling School from a Bad Wrestling School?

Dory Funk Jr. Photo used courtesy of Dory Funk Jr.

The question I get asked more than anything else is about becoming a professional wrestler. Like with any industry you want to work in, you have to go to school to learn the craft.

Many years ago, finding a wrestling school was a process shrouded in secrecy. Now that the kayfabe era of the sport is over, there are more wrestling schools out there than there are contracted wrestlers in the WWE. However, not all schools are created equally.

Some schools have built a great reputation and have had many graduates go on to perform in the WWE. If you pick a bad school, not only are you throwing away your money, you could also die (note: the giant wrestler mentioned in this article is The Great Khali).

I recently asked Dory Funk Jr. what a prospective student should look for in a wrestling school before signing up for the school. Dory and his wife, Marti, were kind enough to reply to my request and have provided me with a list questions you should ask before signing up with a school. Not only do they provide the questions, they explain what their school offers. While this might seem like an infomercial for the school, it really is something that shows why their school made my list of top wrestling schools.

For those that don't know, Dory is a former NWA World Champion and his school, The Funking Conservatory, is one of the most respect schools in both America and Japan.

In response to your question, "What should a person look for before they give their money to someone for a wrestling school?", here are some of the questions that should be asked before giving money to someone for a wrestling school:

1 - Does the Coach have experience for working main events and drawing money for a Federation or Company?

In regard to the Funking Conservatory, Dory Funk Jr. has sold out arena's throughout the world as a young wrestler working the Amarillo Territory, As NWA World Champion for 4 and 1/2 years and as booker/wrestler for the Florida Territory, Mid Atlantic Territory and All Japan Pro Wrestling and most recently March 1st drawing 12,000 capacity crowd in Tokyo's Sumo Hall.

2 - Who is in the business earning a living after training with the Coach of the wrestling school?
In recent years after training with Coach Funk many of today's modern era Stars are: Osamu Nishimura, Kurt Angle, Christian Cage, Taiyo Kea, Masanobu Fuchi, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Lita, Mickie James, Rhino, Chris "The Bambi Killer" Raaber, Christopher Daniels, Gene Snitski, Edge, Val Venis, Mark Henry, Steve Corino, Chris Sabin and more, have all had successful careers in professional wrestling. Shane Chung, Elvis Sharp, Antonio Thomas have made successful trips to Japan this year. Shane and Elvis return to America tomorrow (11/4/08).

3 - What do I get in return for the money?
Promotion and Marketing through press releases and participation on our internet television show, !BANG! TV. Your work will be presented to officials of All Japan Pro Wrestling and when ready you will receive a try out for a tour to Japan as well as TNA and WWE along with other wrestling promotions on request.

Your Coach Funk brings the experience of working for major companies as booker, wrestler and promoter.

4 - Is there a safety program associated with the wrestling training?
We are proud of our safety program, unmatched in the wrestling industry that has resulted in no serious injuries since the inception of our program as WWE Funking Dojo from 1998-1999 and continued as the Funking Conservatory beginning in 1999.

5 - Does the program include training for television?
It is routine for our wrestlers to do television interviews and mini movies on a daily basis at the Funking Conservatory.

6 - How often will I have a wrestling match?
You will have a wrestling match every day of practice plus you will wrestle before a live audience at our !BANG! TV Tapings.

7 -What is Coach Funk's educational background?

BS in Physical Education and Speech Radio / Television from West Texas A&M University.

8 - Is the Funking Conservatory a Modern Facility?
We broadcast from our new facility and have finished construction on our new wrestling television sound stage and dressing room.

9 - What is the intent of the training program?
Before entering the Funking Conservatory we will speak with you and find out what your personal goals are in professional wrestling. Our intent is to help you take your goals in pro wrestling and make them accomplishments.

10 - Does your wrestling school have an affiliation with a major wrestling promotion?
The Funking Conservatory is the official American Training Center for All Japan Pro Wrestling. Osamu Nishimura represents his company conducting tryouts for All Japan Pro Wrestling on a regular schedule at the Funking Conservatory, the next tryout is scheduled for January 24 and 25, 2009.

11 - Can the Coach get into the ring and demonstrate physically what he is teaching?
At the Funking Conservatory Dory teaches from the ring working with his students and stands ready to demonstrate pro wrestling moves, holds and style and it has proven the key to much of their personal success in the "Dory Funk Method of Pro Wrestling" training.