There are pairs in this world that just seem to fit together better than others. Peanut butter and jelly, Bonnie and Clyde, peaches and cream are just a few.
But have you ever considered mixed martial arts (MMA) and tattoos?
Two businesses are teaming up to offer this pairing of services under one roof in the Colonial Plaza shopping center on Appleton Avenue. Team Knockout LLC, which is located in the basement of , is beginning the transition to its new gym at N89W16863 Appleton Ave. Immortal Tattoo Co., which will operate in a separate room, will join Team Knockout in the same space.
Although it may be rare to find a one-stop-shop for your all your physical training and body modification needs, Rowell said the pairing of MMA fighting and tattoos is like the bond between forged between yin and yang.
“If anyone has watched some of the fights, almost every one of the fighters has tattoos. Our guys like the tattoos and they like to get their own tattoos,” Rowell said. “It’s kind of like how Pizza Hut and Taco Bell are incorporated in the same building.”
Immortal Tattoo owner Tabitha Brown is a banking industry professional by day, but a tattooing and piercing artist at heart. She’s also a member of Team Knockout. The partnership between Rowell and herself was essentially a brainstorm that became reality.
“It was an idea that we tossed around a while back, but it’s been fun to see this become reality now,” Brown said.
Brown said the unique partnership will not only be beneficial to her clients and Team Knockout members, but also to the artistic process involved with creating a tattoo for someone. Seeing Team Knockout members regularly forge personal relationships that are essential to Brown’s process.
“Going into an MMA gym, it opens it up to a new realm. It kind of gives you a sense of the type of person they are already. You get a better sense of who they are,” Brown said. “That’s very important, because you are putting something on someone’s body that will last forever. I would only get a tattoo from someone who wants to know me as a person.”
Since 2008, Rowell and his staff have been training amateur and professional fighters in his gym in the basement of J. Riley’s. In just a few years, Rowell has seen interest in MMA training at his gym grow from about five to 100 members. Rowell has quickly outgrown his current gym, and began transitioning to the new 12,000-square-foot space Colonial Plaza for more room and a more family-friendly location.
“The sky is the limit for the number of people that can come into the new facility,” Rowell said.
Brown has been in the body modification industry since 1998, and has owned a tattoo studio in Richfield for two years. More than half of her current clients live in Menomonee Falls or the immediate area.
A Rowell and Brown plan to hold a grand opening celebration for their two businesses on Aug. 6.