The Fargo-Moorhead Academy of Combat Arts (ACA) is the first legitimate and official mixed martial arts (MMA) school in North Dakota and Northern Minnesota to offer professional instruction in Brazilian (Gracie) jiu-jitsu, muay Thai kickboxing, Erik Paulsons' Combat Submission Wrestling (which includes; C.S.W., a combination of Greco Roman and freestyle wrestling, Shoot Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)/and S.T.X. (a combination of Muay Thai, savate, boxing). ACA is also a proud affiliate of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy/Team X-Factor. Due to this special affiliation we become part of a team long associated with winning, integrity, world champions and renowned instructors. ACA will cater to anyone seeking a committed interest in exercise, fitness and self defense. The value of this academy will be unrivaled in the area due to its individuality in the local market. With the rising popularity of sport Brazilian jiu-jitsu and that of the Ultimate Fighting Championships (M.M.A. mixed martial arts) this academy will have an obvious lead in the local market of combat sports and martial arts.

The ACA is the home of Pablo "The Scarecrow" Garza (UFC Featherweight), Chris “Crowbar” Tuchscherer (UFC Heavyweight), as well as Dane "Redhorse" Sayers (TUF Alumni).

Past guest instructors include: Greg Nelson, Sean Sherk, Nick "The Goat" Thompson, Jacob "Christmas" Volkmann, as well as many others.

The Head Instructor is Dylan Spicer who trained/taught under Greg Nelson at The Academy in Minneapolis, MN for many years.


10: This is a professional MMA gym. The MMA class sparring is all out, and when guys are getting ready for fights, it gets serious.


8: The equipment is great. The gym is kind of small, but for the size it has everything you need but a full cage. Top of the line mats cover the entire area, heavy bags like crazy (all varieties), as well as gloves and pads galore. Most guys bring their own stuff, but for the most part there is anything a guy could need.

Gym Size:

6: There is an actual gym. Full mats and a quarter cage. It's an industrial garage type of building. Office, entryway, bathroom, and equipment/changing area. It is a bit small, but even with a packed house, guys will be able to participate in class. We had 50 people at a Greg Nelson seminar one afternoon and it worked out just fine... a little cramped, but fine.

Instructor/Student Ratio

7-8: The head instructor/owner is Dylan Spicer. His accomplishments/credentials list is a mile long and can be found here:

The classes aren't huge and Dylan oversees each and every class. Pablo Garza often times will instruct the Muay Thai class and he is great. Plus guest instructors from The Academy drop in from time to time. Anywhere from Jacob Volkmann for a grappling class to Kaitlyn Young/Nat Mcintyre for a Muay Thai class.


10: There are no hippy ass beatings, but regardless of what brings someone into the gym, it's the atmosphere that keeps them there. The fighters are all great. I would like to share a testimonial from a gentleman I've had the pleasure of training with over the past couple years:

"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 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'?

Striking Instruction

8: The majority of what Dylan teaches comes from the head of his teacher, Greg Nelson. There is no BS involved. His teaching and methodologies work as you can see from the success of his students. How else did two fun-loving guys from Nort' Dakoooda make it to the big show?

Grappling Instruction

9: Dylan Spicers forte is grappling. He is a Brazilian (Gracie) Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt under Greg Nelson ( and Pedro Sauer ( If you know anything about Greg, you'll know that fast promotions aren't something he does, so don't be put off by the lack of a Black Belt. He has been training for well over 10 years and has competed and won grappling competitions at the regional as well as national levels.
Assisting Dylan is Division 1 wrestler Joe Trottier. Joe is a great wrestling coach and has adapted his wrestling style to the MMA scene with great results.

For more information on the gym please visit the website at: