Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Rothwell MMA different from other gyms?

Family. We are all here to help one another progress as martial artists, not prove how tough we are. You will not get hit or be “fighting” another member. When you walk in the door, all your worries and stress should dissolve.  Our main goal is for everyone to have fun while safely learn self-defense.  Frequently, we hold tournaments, celebrations, and picnics for all members to get to know one another better.  We cheer for each other at competitions, and get together to watch Big Ben Rothwell fight in the UFC.

Our world-class instructors will show you why we are one of the top martial arts gyms in the world. Whether you are looking to learn self-defense, get fit, have fun, or compete – we have a class for you.  We offer self-defense and martial arts for the entire family:

  • Kid’s Kickboxing
  • Kid’s Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu
  • Adult Kickboxing
  • Adult Kick Fit
  • Adult Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu
  • Adult Mixed Martial Arts
  • Adult MMA Competition Team
  • Private Lessons

Rothwell MMA coaches are professional athletes with years of experience, victories, and reputable certifications.  Learn from the Best of the Midwest!

Ben Rothwell:

  • Heavyweight Fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
  • Currently ranked Top Ten MMA Heavyweights of the world.
  • MMA and Kickboxing Coach with over 15 years of experience.

Gilmar Ferreira:

  • Second degree Rickson Gracie Black Belt, over 16 years of experience.
  • Enthusiastic Coach of “The Gentle Art,” Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Rothwell MMA welcomes members of all ages and abilities, and forges them into athletes with the confidence, discipline, and skills of a true marital artist.  We use state-of-the-art equipment, bag systems, and Zebra mats which cannot be found in any other gym. With the help of Defense Soap, our gym is the cleanest in the country. The pro shop offers a wide variety of high-quality equipment and clothing at competitive prices. Our memberships are the best value in the greater Milwaukee/Gurnee area since they include unlimited morning and evening classes taught by our elite level instructors.  Once you try a class, you’ll quickly realize why we were voted “MMA Gym of the Month” by  Don’t just take our word for it, read about some of our members in the Member Spotlight posts.

When can I start?

We don’t have “sessions” so you can begin your membership anytime.   No need to begin on a Monday or the first of the month.  Please review our Schedule for class times.

Do you offer a Free Trial?

YES!  The best way to learn more about our programs is to experience it first hand. Our world-class instructors will show you why we are one of the top martial arts gyms in the world. Whether you are looking to learn self-defense, get fit, or compete – we have a class for you. Fill out the form on the FREE TRIAL page to schedule your orientation & trial class (a $20 value for local residents only- Kenosha, Racine, Waugegan, etc.) We can’t wait for you to join our martial arts family!

What should I bring to my trial class?

Wear something comfortable such as long shorts/capris/sweatpants and a t-shirt.  Bring a bottle of water or sports drink. We have extra equipment to lend you for your Free Trial.  For your safety, only Rothwell MMA approved equipment is allowed.  A signed waiver of liability must be completed prior to participation. Students under 18 years old must have parent/guardian signature. Parent/guardian must also be present upon first visit/trial class.

I have no experience. Can I still join?

Yes! All classes are designed with beginners in mind. Most members join without any experience or prior fitness training. You will not get hit in the head or be “fighting” another member.


Is your gym for professional fighters only?

No.  Our gym welcomes all ages and abilities and the majority of our members have no interest in competing professionally.  Most members join to learn martial arts while having fun and getting a great workout.  We do offer a MMA Competition Team for those interested.

What if I haven’t exercised in years (or ever)?

You have come to the right place!  You will get a good sweat in any of our classes but can participate at your own pace.  We encourage you to start out slow and gradually increase your intensity over time.  At any time during class, you can slow down or stop and take a break.  Starting out easy will help reduce soreness, prevent injury, and keep you motivated to keep reaching for your goals.  There is always an alternate movement/exercise that can be substituted in order to increase/decrease intensity.

Do you offer private lessons or personal training?

We offer private lessons in Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Yoga, or Strength & Conditioning.   Personalized instruction will help you achieve any of your fitness or martial arts goals.  These lesson are also great for those who prefer one-on-one instruction or have specialized needs.  Private lessons will dramatically, and quickly, increase your technique.  Small group lessons are also available.  Call or stop by to set up your next lesson.

Do you have a MMA/Competition team?

Yes, we have a MMA Competition Team, by invite only. Please talk to Ben for more information.

We also travel as a team to local/national competitions and tournaments.

Are the classes co-ed?

Yes, all of our classes are co-ed.

When are the MMA Classes?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) combines Kickboxing, Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Wrestling, and Judo into one sport. MMA is the sport displayed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as well as other local and national MMA events such as WI Xtreme Cage Fighting.  Since MMA is so complex, it is necessary to focus on one specific style at a time. Rothwell MMA breaks down MMA into separate classes of:

A variety of techniques and skills are taught, then practiced during grappling, dutch-style kickboxing, and light sparring.  Strength & conditioning is practiced throughout all classes- you will get a good workout in every class. Participating in these classes will give you all the tools a mixed martial artists needs.

If you are looking to take your training to the next level, our MMA Competition Team may be right for you. Rothwell Mixed Martial Arts offers competition team training for members seeking advanced instruction/preparation for amateur or professional MMA competitions. All competition team members are required to participate in regular classes as well as the (private) competition team training.  Competition team is by invitation only.  If interested, please talk to Ben Rothwell.

What is the difference between Kickboxing and Cardio Kickboxing?

Kickboxing focuses the details of techniques such as punches, kicks, elbows, and knees.  You often work with a partner using focus mitts, Thai pads, kick shields, and 16 oz boxing gloves.  Kickboxing teaches the “stand-up” portion of Mixed Martial Arts and is useful in competition and self-defense situations.

Cardio Kickboxing is an aerobic workout in which punches and kicks are put together into sequences.  The movements are repeated in a rhythmic fashion, set to music, and require no partner or equipment.  There is less emphasis on self-defense; more emphasis on fitness.

Will I be hit in the head during Kickboxing?

NO.  The Kickboxing class is taught “Dutch style,” where partners wear 16 oz. gloves and catch each others punches with the gloves.  They also use kick shields, Thai pads, and focus mitts with their partners. There are no strikes directly to the head.  For experienced members, we offer light sparring while using full protective gear.

Dress Code

Dress Code will be strictly enforced for the safety and enjoyment of all club members:

  • Kickboxing uniform includes Rothwell MMA Uniform Shirt to be worn with choice of shorts/pants, and Kickboxing belt (to be earned in time).  Shorts/pants must be in length to your fingertips.
  • BJJ gi uniform includes Rothwell MMA Uniform Shirt, gi jacket, gi pants, gi belt.
  • All uniforms must be clean and free of tears, holes, cuts, fraying, body odor.
  • Remove all jewelry and hats.
  • This is a barefoot gym; please remove shoes before entering training area.  Defense Soap Foot Baths are required for entry to all classes.
  • Proper hygiene is of utmost importance.  Please be free of personal body odor, pull long hair back, trim nails, etc.

For your safety, only equipment approved and offered by Rothwell MMA is allowed.  A variety of equipment packages are available in the pro shop.

What hours are you open?


4:00  –  8:00 pm


11:00 am – 1:00 pm

4:00 – 8:00 pm


4:00 – 8:00 pm


11:00 am – 1:00 pm

4:00 – 8:00 pm


4:00  –  7:00 pm


9:30  –  11:00 am