Meet Our Team
of Trainers

Call Us Today: (612) 355-2259

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Chris Cichon

Owner | Head Trainer | Fight Team Trainer

Chris has taught martial arts for more than 15 years and has trained/competed in a variety of styles including: Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, and Karate. He is an active fighter and has competed around the U.S. and overseas.

Chris began his martial arts training in 1988 and is the current IKF Light Middleweight World Kickboxing Champion. He is also a 4x National Champion and is an active member of Team USA Kickboixng having competed in Poland, England, Ireland, Italy, and Brazil. Chris also holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt in American Karate and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Chris has worked as the head striking coach for several UFC, Bellator, Lion Fight, and Legacy veterans. He has trained several amateur fighters to win Kickboxing and Muay Thai championship titles and was recently named Assistant Coach for the WAKO U.S. National Kickboxing team. Chris teaches the majority of the striking classes at The Cellar and is also available for private training.

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Jen Cichon

Owner | Program Director | Kickboxing

Jen began training kickboxing at The Cellar in 2006. She studied architecture at the University of Minnesota and received her Masters Degree in architecture in 2009. In 2011 Jen decided to switch careers and joined her husband Chris working full-time at The Cellar. Jen manages all of the programs and staff at The Cellar as well as our sister gym, Knockout Bodies. Jen instructs kickboxing classes from time to time and competes in amateur Muay Thai. She is a certified instructor under Ajarn Chai & the Thai Boxing Association and in 2014 she won the Novice Strawweight division at the TBA-SA Muay Thai Classic tournament.

Mauricio Carra

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu | No-Gi Jiu Jitsu | Mixed Martial Arts

Originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil; Mauricio has been teaching Jiu-Jitsu since 2001. He received his black belt in 2007 under Leo Vieira and currently holds a 3rd degree black belt under the Checkmat Affiliation. Mauricio has an extensive competition resume dating back to 1999, most recently taking double Gold in the both the Gi and No-Gi Black Belt division at the 2016 IBJJF Austin International Open World Championships and winning gold at the NABJJF Los Angeles Itnernational Jiu Jitsu Open Championship.  He also has an MMA record of 1-0 and has worked with many professional MMA fighters.

Mauricio moved to the U.S. with his wife, Vanessa, and 8 year old son. Mauricio was named head instructor of the Jiu Jitus program at The Cellar Gym in spring 2017.

 

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Justin Whiley

Kickboxing | Boxing | Fight Team Trainer

Under Justin Whiley’s leadership, The Cellar Fight Team has won 6 world titles, 12 national titles, and 2 regional titles since being started in 2005. He is a K-1 Veteran Trainer and has traveled to England, Portugal, Ireland, Poland, Italy, Brazil, and Russia as a coach for the USA Kickboxing Team.

Justin is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in karate and has competition experience in point karate, full contact rules kickboxing, and international rules kickboxing.

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Ben Locken

Muay Thai | Kickboxing | MMA | Personal Training

Ben started his fitness and martial arts journey in 2009. He is now a Professional Mixed Martial artist with a combined 15 fights in kickboxing and MMA. In addition to being a seasoned fighter, Ben has over 7 years of experience as a personal trainer and has worked with UFC veterans, professional fighters, top BJJ black belts, Minneapolis Police Officers, AFL football players, the elderly and children with autism. Ben is regarded as one of the area’s leading strength & conditioning coaches and weight cutting experts for combative athletes.

In 2016, Ben earned his Apprentice Instructor Black belt in Muay Thai under Ajarn Chai and the World Thai Boxing Association. In addition to his martial arts background, Ben is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) and Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Nutritionist (CNE) through NASM. Ben continues to actively train in Muay Thai, kickboxing, wrestling and holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

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John Dunham “Mr. Bravo”

Kid’s Karate | Pre-School Karate | Birthday Parties

John Dunham, or as the kids call him, “Mr. Bravo”, is the head instructor of the youth martial arts program at The Cellar. Mr. Bravo started training at the age of six and is currently a second degree Black Belt in karate under Terry Norbloom; he also has a background in Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Youth students are very receptive to Mr. Bravo’s energetic teaching style and he has helped countless kids improve their focus and listening through martial arts lessons.

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Aidan Donovan

Kid’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu | Beginner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Aidan Donovan began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2006 while looking for a way to get into better shape. After two years of training and feeling that his progression had stalled, he made the decision to switch to The Cellar Gym. He earned his blue belt in 2009 and in 2014 he was promoted to purple belt by Marcelo Nunes. After taking some time off for the birth of his son, Aidan was able to resume his training at The Cellar and he began teaching the Kid’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program and the Beginner Adult BJJ classes. With a background as a youth worker, he has experience working with kids of all ages and being a father himself has taught him the patience and understanding required to work closely with children. His goal is to help kids and beginners develop and grow in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu while having fun.

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Aaron Rydeen

Kickboxing | Boxing

Aaron Rydeen began kickboxing in 1997 at the American Kickboxing Downtown Gym in St. Cloud, MN. He started teaching kickboxing in 1999. In addition to his martial arts experience, he has also trained and competed in Golden Gloves boxing. Aaron “Chainsaw” Rydeen has competed in amateur full contact rules, international rules, and muay thai rules kickboxing.

 

Ryan Sternberg

Fight Team | Muay Thai

In addition to being a patient instructor and trainer, Ryan is also an active fighter, having competed in Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing, and MMA. Ryan started martial arts in 2010 when he began training Kung Fu, he joined The Cellar Gym in July 2012 and competed in his first fight in May 2013. Ryan is constantly honing his techniques, and is eager to pass them on to his students. Training with Ryan, you can count on a great work out and take comfort in the fact that you’re learning combat-tested techniques. What Ryan most enjoys about teaching is to witness the growth that martial arts can ignite. He draws a great deal of pride through the passing of knowledge and helping to spur the growth of mind and body in others. Ryan teaches Muay Thai at The Cellar Gym and is available for private instruction.

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