Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

June 23, 2013

School teaches wannabes all the moves

CENTER LINE (AP) — The guy standing in the wrestling ring jumped straight up in the air, did a somersault and landed hard on his back.

Slam! It sounded like a bomb went off.

Troy Alexander was attending a weeknight class at the House of Truth Wrestling School, where he and other students were practicing what’s called a back bump — when someone’s full weight is thrown onto the mat, usually with the forceful help of an opponent.

But first, students were getting a feel for the fall by themselves. Alexander jumped up and did another midair somersault. His whole weight crashed to the mat, and he leaped up again.

You’d never know that just a few weeks ago, he was hesitant to even try it.

“The first time I heard a back bump, I was like, ‘Wow, I gotta do that?’ “ the 30-year-old Highland resident told the Detroit Free Press ( http://on.freep.com/12Qbc77 ). “It was like an explosion.”

You’d also never know that he was nursing cracked ribs that night as he sent himself crashing onto the mat over and over. Or that both of his wrapped elbows were drained of fluid in a hospital just days before.

At House of Truth, guys who grew up watching Hulk Hogan, (Stone Cold) Steve Austin and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson have the rare opportunity to go from being wrestling fans to wrestling superstars.

And little inconveniences like painful injuries don’t get in the way of their determination.

“It’s common to have cracked ribs during training,” said Truth Martini, the gravel-voiced 38-year-old founder of the school. “I let them know on day one there are going to be the days when you don’t want to come in. But how bad do you want to do this?”

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