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Learning the art of M.M.A. fighting

Joe Jasicki (standing) goes over a jiu-jitsu training session inside his S.T.O.M.P. Gym in Wadena. Brian Wierima/Tribune

Joe Jasicki has seen plenty of the world as a sponsor of Mixed Martial Arts fighters internationally as the founder of Pussout Fight Gear.

     He’s met and trained under some of the most renowned fighters in jiu-jitsu, which started out as a way for self-defense during his fulltime job of process bounty hunting, which he runs throughout the three-state area of Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

     Names such as Ken Shamrock, Brock Larson, Greg Olson and Chris Johnson decorate Jasicki’s training resume’.

     With that in hand, Jasicki has turned to training others and thus far, it’s been a good success.

     For the last two years, Jasicki has run his S.T.O.M.P. gym in Wadena and aspiring fighters have trained with him from all over the area.

     His experience in the MMA ring, as well as his training and exposure internationally through his Pussout gear, has enabled Jasicki to be a well-respected trainer in the area.

     “It’s intense training,” said 38-year-old Wadena resident Jeff Randall, who is looking to compete in his first fight in June 15. “Joe concentrates on the basics before he gets you into more complicated training. Joe’s fighting background is phenomenal and I am very honored to be training under him.”

     Jasicki’s road to opening S.T.O.M.P gym in Wadena started with his time at Brock Larson’s gym. Larson is also a renowned MMA fighter, who has had plenty of success in the ring.

     “The gym was originally started to train people in jiu-jitsu and the closest gyms in the area which had that was either in Brainerd or Alexandria,” Jasicki said. “There was an SFX event held in Alexandria a few years ago and it basically sucked. The fighters had no skills, so I asked Brock Larson if I should start up a gym somewhere up in northern Minnesota to teach these kids something in the cage.

     “He thought it was a good idea, so I started one in Wadena.”

     The centralized location was the attraction for Jasicki, as S.T.O.M.P. started out in the basement of the Main Street Mall in Wadena.

     Larson is also affiliated with S.T.O.M.P. and visits the gym on a monthly basis to help train the students.

Joe Jasicki

     The gym also blossomed as Jasicki offered different styles of training besides jiu-jitsu, including cardio-vascular, wrestling and boxing.

     Jasicki went from having four to five people per class, to 10-20 trainees now. His classes offer training for potential fighters, but also for individuals who are just looking to get in shape or work on a better body.

     “We are open four to five days a week and have an age range from five to 76 years old,” Jasicki said. “Some have no desire to fight and are just looking for that good workout. “

     One of Jasicki’s students, as well as his boxing coach, is Fergus Falls’ Jesse Wannemacher, who instantly saw the benefits of his jiu-jitsu training.

     Wannemacher is fresh into MMA fighting with a 5-1 record, but came into it as a very seasoned boxer. He is a four-time Golden Gloves champion and entered his first MMA fight using strictly boxing.

     He lost.

     “I didn’t have a coach and I fought straight boxing,” Wannemacher said. “I lost by decision, so I started to look for a gym to train in.”

     Wannemacher has trained at S.T.O.M.P. for eight months and has done quite well since in his MMA fights.

     “I’m undefeated since starting here in five fights,” Wannemacher said. “My goal is just that I don’t want to lose, I want to win every fight.”

     Overall, Jasicki’s gym has over tripled in numbers and he is still looking to expand to adding two more rings, including a cage, while doubling his mat space.

     S.T.O.M.P. will be hosting a show June 15, at the Wadena Armory, while several of his fighters have competed all over the state the last year.

     With his MMA fighting experience and the addition of other fighting styles offered at S.T.O.M.P., Jasicki has the ability to develop a well-rounded fighter.

     It’s an attraction which is making the gym in Wadena a popular one.

     “It’s impressive to be involved with Joe and his gym,” Randall added.

     With MMA consistently gaining ground in the mainstream media and popularity, Jasicki has solid grounding in Wadena.

     The way it looks, it will only be getting better as more successful fighters are produced from his gym.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.