Stiff vs. Snug vs. Smooth

Stiff vs. Snug vs. Smooth


in today’s video let’s define the difference between stiff snug and smooth and what happens when you go too far to the extreme end of that spectrum [Music] I’m like wagon this is till we make it and today I want to try and break down three terms that you will no doubt hear along your journey as a professional wrestler stiff snug and smooth in my opinion the magic trick of professional wrestling is that we create the illusion of conflict where there should not be actual conflict it should look as if two people are fighting they are wrestling one another when in reality we are not fighting we are working together to create a performance which is exciting and dynamic and awesome and to resort to actually fighting each other takes no skill whatsoever if for some reason you’ve gotten involved in professional wrestling however what you’re really interested to do is legitimately beat people up you might want to explore this fascinating thing that’s happening called mixed martial arts and as insane as this is going to sound in this day and age there are people who are still drawn to professional wrestling as a pursuit as a craft they want to learn because they are most interested in inflicting pain on other people even though that has nothing to do with our craft any drunk fool can get into a bar fight if they really want to smash somebody up and if the viral videos i’ve seen sometimes maybe they can even get off a powerbomb if they’re really lucky but that is not what we’re doing in professional wrestling we wanted to appear as real as possible to the audience that’s seeing it whether they’re watching a long live or they’re experiencing it through the magic of a screen but while we do that the objective is that we should never ever injure our opponent and when our performance our work in the ring is stiff we are hitting way too hard we’re coming in like a cement block the likelihood that we could injure someone he’s far greater than when our work is not stiff getting good at making your wrestling look stiff well in fact it is not takes years of practice it is a skill that has to be honed to a sharpness that can easily go dull over time without practice I’m gonna offer two examples to help my argument along imagine that you learn how to play a very intricate guitar solo and then you pack up your guitar and put it away for a couple of years the first time that you pull that guitar back out of its case and sit down chances are you will not replicate that guitar solo with the exact precision as when you were well practiced or imagine that you’ve learned a really elegant magic trick that requires a lot of great prestidigitation you might be very adroit at replicating that while you are well practiced but if you would have put that away and not think about it for a decade and then pull that thing back out of a drawer and imagine that you would be able to replicate the exact precision of the prestidigitation when you were better practiced my tendency is to believe it will not be quite as smooth any of the related performance art fields that are analogous with professional wrestling whether you’re a musician a magician an acrobat a dancer or anything else requires constant practice to make sure that you are on top of your game and so – is this true of professional wrestling we are constantly resharpening our blades so to speak because over time those skills and techniques can go dull when I am in the midst of a match and someone’s coming at me a little too stiff I am never afraid to tell them as much I will ask them please lighten up and if it continues I’ll let them know you’re kind of murdering me here I need you to lighten up a little bit because sometimes people are not aware of house if their work is think of it like this if you are willing to trust this person with your health and life they’re gonna pick you up and throw you down on the mat possibly even dropping you on your head and neck you’ve got to trust them enough to be able to have the conversation in the midst of the match about how stiff they are working and the reverse of this is true as well you’ve got to be able to receive that feedback from someone live in the moment and adjust your work sliding it up and down on that spectrum between being really smooth and being really stiff and in the middle of all of that is what I call snug as a personal preference I like all of my holds in that to be snug the grips are solid they are firmly secured but at no point in time am I going to attempt to hyperextend somebody’s limbs or stress their joints or break their bones because all of us have this responsibility to one another that when the match is over we have left our opponent in the same physical condition as when we met them so that they can go on to the next town the next night and the next booking and continue to earn a living and put food on their tables and while it is true that the overwhelming majority of the hold I happen to know could probably be very dangerous if I exploited them by their design I never do I want them to be snugly applied so they can’t fall off they don’t slip off when we are sweaty they couldn’t simply fall apart because I am being too light on the other hand I don’t want to drift toward the stiff end of the spectrum where I could hurt the person who has trusted me with their safety and though I like my holds to be snug I like all of my transitions to be smooth and smooth is not the same as light in my opinion smooth means very well-rehearsed there is a level of expertise behind its delivery and its execution and I like all of my transitions in a wrestling match to be as smooth as a yacht rock playlist but I don’t mind telling you that light is not smooth or to think of it a different way soft rock is not Yacht rock when things drift toward the light end of the spectrum they start to look a little loosey-goosey it might look more like two kids playing wrestling and less like an actual performance and you’ve got to be able to dial in to those differences and understand how that’s being received by the audience if the performance trends toward being too light or too loosey-goosey we lose the illusion of conflict it no longer appears as if these are two opponents it looks as if these are two dancers moving together through a series of choreographed steps if you spend enough time honing your craft you will be able to at times work very lightly without making much contact whatsoever and what’s a scenario where that might be necessary well imagine that the person you were booked on with he’s coming in injured or they have some other kind of medical malady that you’ve got to compensate for so that the advertised card goes on in front of the audience as promised they thought they were going to see this match the promoter has an obligation to present that match but one of the performers is turning up at less than 100 percent so it’s going to fall to you to make sure they get through that entire performance safely while still making good on the promotional promise made to those paying customers but in most cases you do not want to find yourself all the way down at that end of the spectrum you do want your transitions to be smooth and you want your holds and your movements and your strikes to be snug but you do not want them to trend toward being stiff because accidents and injuries happen all the time even to very well-rehearsed professional wrestlers and we are only increasing the chances of that happening during a performance when we are out there delivering Smash Mouth hard as a rock stiff wrestling moves a couple of the people that mentored me very early on in my professional wrestling career had counseled me about this if I was in the ring with somebody working too stiff they said to me that if I got stiff I was meant to deliver a receipt that was every bit as stiff right back to the person who did it or else they would not respect me and I want you to know that never actually worked for me in the ring ever ever ever six more Evers what does end up happening is an escalation we’re then that person thinking that you’re being stiff decides to stiff you back because quite possibly they don’t realize that they’ve landed one of those potatoes on you before things started getting crazy and then they get stiffer and then you think well I’m gonna stiff you right back and then that gets even stiffer and then before you know it one of you gets knocked out now I’m not saying that there is a 0% chance that throughout your entire wrestling career you might not once be in the ring with somebody who needs some sense knocked into him that’s about what I’m saying what I’m saying is tread very carefully if you imagine that the only appropriate response to getting stiffed in the ring is to stiff that person back at an equal level because of an escalation game starts to happen in the middle of the ring the result is always stupid and just thinking about this makes me realize we should probably talk about this for a moment what would happen if the person you are booked on with ends up injured at the end of the performance whether because things escalated or because an accident happened or whatever the case might be if the person you were booked on with is so injured that they have to go for emergency treatment they’re going to the hospital and urgent care some other late-night ER type setup whatever the case might be if the situation is so dire that they require emergency medical treatment I’m of the opinion it is your responsibility to go with them and yeah that might mean you are sitting out in the waiting room with them in your gear it’s gonna be a great story that you’re gonna laugh about at some point in the future you might go get them food or coffee but you’re gonna make sure that they have somebody with them throughout that entire ordeal and for any extenuating circumstance like you’ve got to get on a flight to go to the other side of the globe and it’s simply impossible you’ve got to check in with that person as often as possible to make sure that they’re doing all right and it doesn’t matter under what conditions this injury happened that is your responsibility as someone in the greater fraternity of professional wrestling and one final footnote before your hitting subscribe and like and that notification bell there is that rare occasion when the match the performance necessitates something to be delivered very stiffly like you can only achieve a corkscrew bump if someone puts a little extra mustard on the end of a clothesline and you both mutually agree beforehand that that thing is coming in way stiffer than it ordinarily would as long as all parties are on the same page and are in agreement about that then it’s all good in the hood

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