New martial arts training center hits Prairie Village

Wes Wasmer (in white shirt) and brother Ward grappled during the Welcome Mat Elite grand opening Sunday.

Hey, Villagers, let me ask you something: Do you ever feel the need to just rear back and punch something?

Well, you’re in luck!

Four fitness and martial arts pros have recently opened up a new martial arts training center in Prairie Village. Welcome Mat Elite, in the Somerset Plaza shopping strip at 90th Street and Roe Avenue, offers training space and instruction in a variety of disciplines, including kodokan judo, shingitai jujitsu, submission grappling, muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing and wrestling.

The owners, Derrick Darling, Jason Buford, Louis Pena and Wes Wasmer, had been running training classes out of a fitness center at 95th Street and Nall Avenue before deciding to strike out on their own.

“We felt we had a good following in the area, and didn’t want to go too far away,” Wasmer said of the decision to move to Prairie Village.

Typical classes last between an hour and a half and two hours. The space features punching bags, some weightlifting equipment and a large mat to house the various forms of tusslin’.

Welcome Mat opened its doors earlier this month and had a grand opening event last Sunday. A full list of classes is available on the company’s website.

The new training center is in the Somerset Plaza shopping center next to Tatsu’s restaurant.