Nicole Matthews on Working at Lion’s Gate Dojo, What Differentiates It From Other Schools

Nicole Matthews was a guest on the latest Conversations With Love podcast with Spencer Love, and discussed her work as a trainer for Lion’s Gate Dojo. The school is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Matthews talked about operating a school during the pandemic and more. You can check out some highlights as provided by Spencer below, along with the full audio:

On working with the Lion’s Gate Dojo: NM: “Yeah, so there’s a group of four of us. Me, Artemis Spencer, Billy Suede and Tony Baroni. And yeah, we’re running the school. We’ve been training for a while. In particular, like Artemis has been training for 14 years … I’ve been training for the past eight years, about, on and off, and yeah, same with Tony and Suede. We just decided instead of training for other people, we’re gonna start a school ourselves and train that way. It’s been awesome. It’s been a really good experience. You know, not everyone’s like back to training quite yet. Just like with, you know, 2020 the whole thing.”

On the dojo’s upcoming tryouts: “We haven’t had any new students yet. We’re gonna do tryouts in approximately three weeks. That’ll be our first new class. In the meantime, we’ve just been, you know, training the people who’ve been coming to training. The wrestlers who are wrestling already. I think we’re all torn. Like, we don’t have much left to teach them at this point because they’re all so good, but you know, they still come so that’s good I guess!”

On what differentiates the dojo from other schools: “You know, I think the four of us a are pretty good mix because we all have very similar fundamentals. We all have similar philosophies on training, but we all like doing different things and different aspects of wrestling. So, you know, Tony Baroni is really good about talking about psychology, and doing that type of – you know, [we] kind of keep taking him there. I’m not much of a talker at training honestly, which might shock some people because, like, I can talk all the time. So, I don’t really love talking about that, and so that’s great that Tony loves talking about it.Suede’s great at the fundamentals and kind of focusing – and he kind of has that like 80s, 90s style of wrestling a little more so. I love just like doing spots at training, like go-go-go kind of chain wrestling, roll off-type of spots. I just like doing a lot of action in my training. And, you know, Artemis does all the hard stuff like lucha techniques and like catch wrestling techniques. I’m a student when I go to his classes still, because, like, lucha wrestling is not my specialty, but it’s a really good – he’s a great trainer, and it’s good to learn from him.”

On the training staff: “We’re all rooted in the same fundamental principles. But, we all enjoy different parts of those kind of fundamentals. All our classes are much different than each other. So I feel like we offer a really good variety. And, I think for the most part, we’re, you know, BC style. We’re all very laid back for the most part, and we try to create a positive, fun environment. But, you know, also making sure people are working hard and stuff, but it’s less military, you know, gogo- go. [It’s] more like people want to work hard because they want to work hard.”

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