I live over four hours away on the Iron Range of MN. There are more than a handful of MMA gyms that are closer and believe me I have trained at pretty much every one. I’ve been a professional fighter for 8 years. I am also a Juvenile Probation Officer and pride myself on my sportsmanship and class both inside and outside the cage. I only surround myself with people of the same quality. I have had the honor of fighting opposite the cage of ACA and have been treated with respect, honor, dignity, sportsmanship, and class. Which is what drew me to ACA. Like I said, I drive four hours to train here on my days off when I’m preparing for a fight. Truth be told, I’d drive 12.
Tat Romero, Professional Fighter and Juvenile Probation Officer
From amateur to a professional, ACA gives everyone something more than other gyms. Playing collegiate DIII hockey, this is exactly the type of workout I was looking for–enhancing my endurance and explosiveness while having fun. The ACA guys are such beauties and are really willing to work with anyone. – David Velich, senior ice hockey player, Concordia College, Moorhead
David Velich, Ice Hockey Player - Concordia College
I started my first class at ACA at 55, fifty-friggin’-five years old. I’d never trained, never been in a fight, just loved watching the fights and really wanted to learn and try to get into the kind of shape “those fighter guys” were in. I am NOT a jock. I’m a music teacher who loves challenges. When I first started, I was so bad that it was all I could do to summon the courage to get out of my car, go in and try/suck again…….. NOW, TWO YEARS LATER …….. I’ve learned and grown so much it can’t be measured and the reason is simple. GREAT teaching in an AMAZING environment. I train with guys who are at the top of the MMA world and they have embraced me as a friend and fellow martial artist (notice I didn’t say “fighter”). At the head of it all is an amazing martial artist/teacher named Dylan Spicer who refuses to have anything other than the right kind of supportive “team” environment going on in his gym; NO ATTITUDES, NO EGOS (Trust me, if you have one, someone in the room will beat it out of you). I’ve held pads for and taken Muay Thai instruction from Pablo Garza; yeah, THAT Pablo Garza. The one who’s won both of his last 2 UFC fights in the first round. And he doesn’t treat me like a guy they need to hang on to just to get his dues. He makes me ACCOUNTABLE when I’m training and he (and Dylan and Jason and Joe and every teacher there) does everything he/they can to make me all I can be. If these guys have accepted and become supportive of me, it’s proof that ANYONE who is SINCERE about becoming a martial artist will show up at ACA. I don’t want to sound too much like Dr. Phil, but if you’re training somewhere else, what the hell are you thinkin’?
Allen Carter, Professor of Music - Minnesota State University Moorhead