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Mixed Martial Arts: Feierabend working on MMA image makeover

It was time to start over.

At least that’s what Jared Feierabend thought.

The 1995 Brainerd High School graduate didn’t like the direction the image of mixed martial arts was going in the lakes area so he wanted to do something positive to change it.

Enter M-IQ Martial Arts, a new training facility on Washington Street across from Northwest Pizza and Boardwalk Bread and Bagel. With the closing of Brock Larson’s Warrior Alliance, and the recent bad publicity of another MMA group, Feierabend wanted to set a new standard.

“We want to bring back the old adage that knowledge is power and we want to expose people to Brazilian jiujitsu and the fluidity of it,” said Feierabend. “Martial arts has always been about overcoming the brute and the aggressor. We want to bring back that element into the Brainerd area. We want to teach our students how to defend against the bully, not become the bully.”

Feierabend said his ultimate goal is to assist his students to reach their full potential, while encouraging them to achieve their individual goals. He said martial arts is a great way to improve self-confidence, discipline, coordination and to get in shape.

“M-IQ specializes in developing complete martial artists through a professional, comprehensive martial arts system,” Feierabend said. “We offer training combining the technicality of jiujitsu, the explosiveness and timing of judo and the persistent mentality of mixed martial arts, all while holding true to the essential function of martial arts — self defense.”

Of all the tissue in the human body, Feierabend said he wants to work the brain of his students the most. He said with quick, proper thinking his students will be better prepared for whatever comes their way.

“When people come into our dojo it’s all about producing thinking and getting their frontal lobes activated to use their brain and get them downloading information and when the brute encounters them they are referencing what they learn and they can go,” Feierabend said. “Our students will seem quicker because their brain will work quicker. That was the whole concept behind starting this up. We wanted to offer MMA in a format that was clean, fun and productive for the students in the area.

“MMA has gotten a bad reputation in this area and there is no reason for that. In other cities that doesn’t happen. We wanted to bring back a nice, clean image and pay respect to the thousands of people who have put their lives into the arts and brought them to their current state.”

M-IQ is open to ages 3 and older starting with Tiny Tigers, which is ages 3-7, and moving up through the ranks. Each age group has designated times, including the popular women’s kickboxing which has numerous time slots.

Feierabend, a Camarillo Black Belt who earned his distinction in 2006 and was inducted into a select team called Guerrilla Jiujitsu, placing him at the highest levels of jiujitsu instruction, will be the head instructor at M-IQ with help from Jessica McShane with kids instruction, Lisa Fiebiger in women’s kickboxing and Larson in MMA training.

“We hope to overcome the bad reputation that MMA has gotten in this area, not necessarily by what we do, but by what we don’t do,” Feierabend said. “We’re big on using our ears, not our mouths until we fully understand the situation. We do not allow outbursts in the training room. There is no fighting or bullying tolerated at M-IQ.

“Our students, our entire program, is about defending ourselves and protecting ourselves. We have a pollution-free environment here. We push for good moral attitude and develop a will to strive. There is no point where we stop and say we have arrived. The arts are always evolving and we want to stay on the cutting edge of that.

“We are light and fun, but we work hard.”

JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
(218) 855-5856