If you’ve delved in to the past of Dean Ambrose you’ll know he came in to the wrestling world through the doors of Heartland Wrestling Association in Cincinnati Ohio, where he was trained by Les Thatcher and veteran Cody Hawk. We receive a lot of questions in our inbox regarding Deans roots and training, which prompted an affiliation between us and Cody himself, as a further to this we’re excited to announce the opening of Cody’s Official Website CodyHawk.Net! Here you’ll find all the information you need if you’re looking at getting in to wrestling and following in Deans footsteps. You’ll also find an Exclusive Video from Cody’s days in HWA alongside Dean – an all out arena brawl between the two! So make sure you head on over to check it out, as well as take a look around, learn a little more history and keep up with Cody’s upcoming seminar and appearance dates.
Now on to something a little special. Cody sat down with us to answer a few questions on getting in to the wrestling business, what it takes and even a little of what Dean himself went through under Codys tutelage. Enjoy!
Is there any particular sports background someone should have before getting in to pro wrestling, or can anyone do it?
To be successful in pro wrestling, you need to be in decent physical condition with no serious health issues. You also need to be somewhat athletic. While you do not need to have a particular sports background to successfully compete on a national level, an amateur wrestling or MMA background would be the most beneficial in preparing you for a career as a Pro Wrestler.
But is it really for everyone?
Definitely not!!! The pro wrestling lifestyle can be very difficult with training, shows and travel schedules. You have to be a hard worker with a strong desire to improve. You have to be self motivated and dedicated. If you do not have an absolute love for all things pro wrestling then you need not apply.
What can someone expect from training with you?
Training with me requires an open mind, open ears and a closed mouth. I will push you to your breaking point and then some. Once I feel you have enough respect for our great business, I will then start filling your head with knowledge and start honing your skills in the ring. I can and will teach you everything you need to know to succeed. While I CANNOT get you a job, I CAN give you the tools and the direction you need to do it yourself!
Do you train women any differently to men or are they in for the exact same treatment?
Actually, I might train women harder than men. I am a huge fan of ladies wrestling. Not divas or cat fighting, but kick butt, in your face, smash mouth lady wrestling. Men and women do receive the same basics wrestling fundamentals though. After initially learning our business, women and men do vary some, but not much. I want the girls I train to be able to mix it up with anyone they get in the ring with.
Do you focus on the physical/psychological aspect of it alone or do you work on things like promo skills etc as well?
I am full service. We train on the basics of everything: History, backstage etiquette, promos, wrestling, psychology, character development, mental fortitude, physical conditioning and more. In order to be successful in this industry, you have to be the complete package so it is important to focus attention on every aspect as each piece alone is just that, one piece.
Is there any solid formula to the process? Times per week, should diet be taken in to account, gym etc.
Diet and gym time are as important as anything you can do in the wrestling business. Do you look like a wrestler or do you look like a plumber?? As for the amount of time to train, well you get out of it what you put into it. The more you train the better you will be. What made Jon/Dean so special for me was his dedication and love for all things wrestling. Even at a very young age (18), he started taking care of his look and developing himself. He spent hours in the gym, and hours at my gym in the ring learning from anyone he could.
What do you think it takes to really make a successful career out of wrestling?
To make a successful career out of wrestling, it takes a no quit attitude. It’s a long hard road and most will not make it out of the Independent scene. Very few of us are fortunate enough to make it to the level of the WWE, TnA, RoH or overseas. It requires a dedication and an understanding that the business comes before any other thing in your life. You will miss birthdays, weddings, reunions, family functions, and other events because being on the road all the time will be a normal thing, and it is fundamental to your success in the industry.
Jon’s repeatedly said in interviews he thinks he was one of the last to be trained the ‘oldschool’ way, have things really changed a lot since then or do you still use the same methods?
I use the exact same methods on my students today that I have always used. The business has changed a lot, but the basic fundamentals are still the same: Look the part, Act the part, and Know what you are doing at all times whether backstage or in the ring. It’s all about selling yourself and selling tickets. To me, the “old School” way just means that we focus on making you the entire package. We prepare you to be able to wrestle anywhere, anytime, with anyone and have a five star match.
Did you put him through as much hell as he makes out, any funny stories to share?
I put Jon through as much crap as I possibly could. I knew from the first day I met him he was going to go far. I pushed him in our company farther and faster than anyone else I have ever trained. Some people you just know they have it, and you become obsessed with helping them achieve their goals.
As for stories, I have plenty but that’s for a different venue. I can tell you this, Jon lived with me for a few years, and we trained together daily. We were bitter rivals on our local Independent show (HWA), and some of my best matches were against him. I will give you one funny story. Once, while prepping for a match, we were standing in this dimly lit room. Jon was talking and apparently decided he needed a drink. He reached for a bottle of water and began to chug. Suddenly, with a disgusted look in his face, he stops chugging as he was realizing it wasn’t water, but rather a random bottle of dip spit. Needless to say it wasn’t what he was expecting. He raced out the door and immediately threw it up. However, approximately five minutes after that, he still climbed in the ring with me and we kicked the crap out of each other in one of our epic battles. Sign of a true professional wrestler: Five Star performance no matter what!!
Finally, how can people interested in training with you contact you and do you have any seminars/future plans/etc?
Future wrestling hopefuls can reach me on my Facebook page, by e-mail, or via the website. I am available for training sessions, seminars and one-on-one classes. Contact me direct for prices and availability.