MOSES LAKE — Beneath the Desert Plaza in downtown Moses Lake lies a different kind of gym.
The walls are lined with championship belts and pictures from cookouts and other get-togethers. Instead of rows of treadmills, a giant mat takes up about half the space where children and adults come to grapple.
Atnip’s Rough House, located on Alder Street, is where mixed martial arts hopefuls come to hone their skills with the owner, Daniel Atnip.
Daniel runs the gym with the help of his wife, Brandie Atnip.
Daniel is a recently retired fighter who now focuses on his construction work, coaching his daughters’ soccer team and training his team.
Daniel has never shied away from a challenge, even competing in his first fight the same week he had his wisdom teeth removed.
Without any training and fresh off dental surgery, Daniel was able to win his first fight.
Brandie explained she was shouting words of encouragement from the sideline.
“I was screaming at him during the fight ‘swallow your blood’ because they’ll call the fight,” she said. “Amateurs, they don’t like a lot of blood.”
Daniel decided to open up his own gym in Moses Lake when his old coach moved away.
“I never did this to make a career out of it or anything,” he said. “But then when I got into it enough and I met a lot of these guys and then, like (Brandie) said, when my coach left town there was a lot of guys here that were training at the time and wanted to make a career out of it so that’s the reason why I actually opened the gym was to help everybody else.”
The name Atnip’s Rough House may be misleading with such a familial environment.
“I got a lot of people I’m really close with because of this place,” Daniel said.
His wife, Brandie, helps run the gym, and both of their daughters are constantly in the gym.
The families of other fighters are also welcome to show support during training sessions.
To him, Brandie is unlike other wives or girlfriends of fighters.
“I think she likes seeing me get hit,” Daniel said.