Santino Marella Reveals His Goals In Wrestling, Talks Battle Arts Academy, Return To WWE, The Cobra

Santino Marella Reveals His Goals In Wrestling, Talks Battle Arts Academy, Return To WWE, The Cobra Photo: Evan Hoffman
Former WWE Intercontinental, United States Champion and Tag Team Champion Santino Marella joined "2012 Award Winning Best New Show" the Rack Thursday Night. In a nearly 15 minute interview, he discussed his newly opened Battle Arts Academy and some of the goals he have for the complex as a whole, how he came to use the Cobra and its background, where he favorite place to work is, his goals within wrestling, what the weirdest thing a fan has done for him, if he ever discovered who was following him of Friday the 13th (on Twitter) and much more. To listen to the interview, click here. Highlights from the interview are as follows:

His Battle Arts Academy: "It's a hybrid place, and what I mean by that is multiple facilities all under one roof. We have a full MMA training center; we have striking and grappling every day at both the recreational levels and the professional levels. We have professional wrestling, strength and conditioning programs. We have a smoothie bar and retail store in the front; we have nutritionists and professional trainers, everything really. And also with kids classes and after school programs, it's awesome.

It was a little bit delayed, construction was delayed. I wanted to open in July and thought I had ironed out all the bugs, before I went back out on the road with the WWE, but you know everything takes a little longer than it's supposed to so just as I was scheduled to go back out on the road is when we opened. So, I went home for a couple of days and tried to catch up and just implement our policies and procedures and made sure everyone was following the procedures put in place. So that's the kind of stuff; I'm in touch when I'm on the road with everybody here, making sure everything is running smoothly and that people are happy.

One thing we did is that we have awesome trainers, so I know that the quality of our coaching and training is going to be top-notch. We have Mr. Ishikawa, from Japan, who came here just to be an instructor here; he's amazing. We have an awesome women's kickboxing instructor names Nichelle Laus, who has competed for 13 years and was a police office and mother of 4. We didn't just get a kettlebell instructor, we got Tony Wallace who is called 'The King of Kettlebells'. Everybody we have here is just top-notch and the facility is absolutely beautiful; it came out just brand new and it's well thought out and designed. There's very little wasted space and it's bright and open; the reviews that people give when they come in is that they love it. So, we're happy."

His goals for the Battle Arts Academy: "We have a lot of goals, that's one of our things here. We want to produce top fighters, but we also want to have an awesome kids program and what is equally important to us is just recreational level fitness; we want people to come here and get into the best shape of their lives and be the most confident they've ever been. We want our high school level athletes to improve their performance with Olympic weight lifting and boot camps and strength and conditioning. We're doing a reality show here; we want people to break that barrier and have their first ever amateur fight in the octagon and prepare for it. It's a lot of mental and spiritual training here and what I mean by that is the fighting spirit has to be trained so that when you reach your limit, you reach your plateau, to dig deep and embrace that plateau and that is what it's all about. That's when you can go home and say 'Man I did something today that I couldn't do before'. You just improve right in from of your own eyes and that's when you realize anything is possible with super hard work and really good mentor and stuff like that. We do, we have world champions, national champions from all various martial arts and wrestling, giving all this incredible knowledge to the fortunate community; I always say I wish I had this place when I was growing up.

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