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Meet Our Instructors

Dylan Spicer

Owner, the Academy of Combat Arts

Mr. Spicer Started training in 1999 after watching the first UFC events and began training a mix of Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Muay Thai, Catch-Wrestling, Dumog and Escrima in Grand Forks at Progressive Martial Arts in 2000. Dylan soon began making the drive to the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy in Brooklyn Center to train with legendary coach Greg Nelson. Dylan was recently awarded his black belt under Professor Greg Nelson on Sept. 28, 2013.

Training under the direct tutelage of Greg Nelson and Sean Sherk led to many great travel and training experiences with many top level coaches and athletes. Mr. Spicer is also a Coach Level III in Sensei Erik Paulson’s Combat Submission Wrestling. Spicer was also the main training partner for UFC World Champion Sean Sherk and BoDog World Champion Nick “The Goat” Thompson and has been cornering fighters in the UFC since UFC 59.

As a competitor, Spicer has put his skills to the test on the mats, in the ring, and in the cage. He is a multiple time medalist in the Fargo Open, The Midwest Sub Hunt, NAGA, and US Grappling Association. He was also an invitee to the Tournament of Pros in Long Beach, CA. on April 15, 2006.

In the cage Mr. Spicer is undefeated with a record of 7 wins and no losses.

Some highlights of Spicer’s training in  the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy include working with Jacob Volkmann, Paul Bradley, Nik Lentz, Brock Lesnar and Brock Larson.

Spicer cites his greatest influences as his instructors Greg Nelson, Tom Schmitz, Ishmael Bentley, and Jared Feirerabend.

Joe Trottier

Coach - Boxing, Wrestling, and Muay Thai

Coming from a wrestling family, Coach Joe had his first competitive wrestling match at the age of 4. 

-Received Bachelors Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Health Education in 2011 From North Dakota State University

-NCAA Division 1 Wrestler (NDSU Bison)

-Blue Belt in BJJ under Black Belt Dylan Spicer

-Copper Certified USA Wrestling Coach

-Minnesota Martial Arts Academy Certified Instructor

-Member of North Dakota National Wrestling Team

-Cornered 5 MMA champions

-Cornered in 3 UFC events

-3 time North Dakota Place winner in wrestling