Why he decided to open a youth only MMA Academy
Dylan Atkinson Grew up in the Portland Metro Area, just outside of Gresham. While Attending Sam Barlow high School he used sports as a way to connect and build friendships with new people. Trying football in the fall gained him little success, next he decided to try out for the wrestling team. Being intimidated at first but eventually finding his stride. Dylan found a passion and love for the sport and teammates. Turning practice into training and work into fun. Building bonds with coaches and teammates that still exist today. At the end of wrestling season his first year, Dylan was hooked and started searching for a place where he could continue to wrestle year round. He came across an MMA Gym that offered Submission Wrestling classes and asked his parents for a membership for his 15th birthday.
Submission wrestling is different than wrestling in high school. Take the person down, get superior positions, find a way to finish the match. He loved Submission Wrestling just as much, learning submissions and techniques in a different rule set and getting to practice year round did wonders for his confidence. However, there was a huge issue, it was an adult class that allowed children as young as 13 years old to participate. Dylan was usually the only teen in class because of this he would rarely have like a good training partner to drill with and wrestle.
As he trained hard he was eventually able to “out wrestle” the larger opponents, but this provided its own set of issues. A greater risk for injury. Nobody likes to lose, especially to a teenager. Sometimes “Muscling or Wrenching” a movement in order to ensure victory. Resulting in tears of Dylan’s shoulder, knee, and hip joints that affect him still today. These injuries could have been avoided by being in a room of people similar sizes and weight. Furthermore, something else was missing. He didn’t experience the same team building and comradery that he did with his team in high school, a vital reason he fell in love with the sport. Dylan decided to become the change that he wished to see in the world by helping the next generation of passionate athletes on a better path to reach their goals and build bonds on the mat. Giving children and teens the opportunity to be the priority of an MMA Academy.

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