Askren Wrestling Academy Opens in Hartland, High Expectations Begin
Initiative. Discipline. Persistence. Innovation. Character. Mental Toughness. Focus. Work Ethic. Commitment. These pillars of success are posted across the walls of the Askren Wrestling Academy in Hartland, which was on display Saturday afternoon during the Wisconsin facility's grand opening and public unveiling.
Headed by the well accomplished triumvirate of John Mesenbrink, Ben Askren, and Max Askren, Saturday's festivities included two-hours of clinics, discussions from the three instructors, and an open house to showcase the academy's facilities. The turnout was better than expected.
"I couldn't have imagined it going this well or having this many people here right now who are as excited as we are," Max Askren said with a wide smile. "But if you're from around the community and are lucky enough to know Coach Mesenbrink and what he stands for and the type of person he is then it all makes sense."
Mesenbrink, who recently just finished up his historic career as the Arrowhead High School head coach, will serve as the head instructor of the newly opened facility. He said that the opportunity to coach outside of a school system will allow him to even further progress the area's wrestling community.
"Our goal is to take these guys to the mountain top and accomplish some amazing goals that they may not even think are possible at this point," Mesenbrink told US Combat Sports. "It's a little bit different coming from a high school program and I'm really excited because without restrictions I'll be able to work with guys year round who are motivated and really want to bring their wrestling to the next level."
The 2011 Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association State Coach of the Year said that the Askren Wrestling Academy will allow its students to train with more skilled teammates than ever before.
"The training opportunities that we are going to provide will help our members performances skyrocket. One of the reasons for that is we are going to be able to draw in some of the best athletes as training partners and it will help to make everyone that much better. I'm really looking forward to bringing some of the area's best kids together and training them as a team."
While still in the process of moving back to Wisconsin to train under Duke Roufus, Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren said that he is extremely excited to be able to continue furthering his ground game alongside Mesenbrink. The former Olympian told USCS that a wrestling for mixed martial arts program is currently in the works.
"We're going to start a wrestling for MMA thing here that will help out a lot because Duke (Roufus) has a lot of guys at his academy with a lot of different disciplines, but one thing they are missing is a high level wrestling program. So hopefully we can fill that gap and make his school and the whole Milwaukee a more well-rounded mixed martial arts community."
The grand opening of the Askren Wrestling Academy in Hartland just further solidifies the strength of Wisconsin's combative community. As the world-class wrestler has previously stated, the new facility grants Wisconsin an opportunity to emerge as one of the country's strongest states for amateur wrestling.