Stay Safe with Local Self-Defense Training

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Like this article? Support us by subscribing here. Your donation will help us continue to provide quality-of-life news and make local impact possible.By Colleen Kilday

When it comes to self-defense, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. The best methods and techniques for a person depends on their strength, skill level, and abilities. Luckily, Prince William residents have a wide array of classes to choose from to determine what works best for them. No one should be in a position that forces them to call upon these skills but having them accessible does more than prepare one to protect

R.A.D. Basic Physical Defense Program

Practicing potentially life-saving skills need not break the bank.

Many localities’ police and sheriff departments offer free or low-cost 12-hour self-defense courses for women using the Rape Aggression Defense, or R.A.D. Basic Physical Defense Program for Women. The program is nationally recognized and endorsed by multiple organizations including the National Self Defense Institute.

This method incorporates classroom instruction by certified course instructors as well as hands-on learning. Topics covered include risk reduction, personal safety, and physical defense strategies. The program is completable in just one 12-hour session; however, attendees are encouraged to take part in
additional sessions to further refine their skills. To sign up or learn more, contact the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office at 703-792-6070, the Manassas City Police Department at 703-257-8064, or visit to find a course near you.

Underground Krav Maga and Fitness

Gainesville-based Underground Krav Maga and Fitness specializes in Krav Maga, an Israeli-based style of self-defense that emphasizes personal protection strategies in both confronting and avoiding dangerous situations. The center also offers courses in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and fitness training — an important aspect in holistic self-defense.

“Being physically fit increases your chances of successful self-defense,” said Director Ronald Villamar. “Our programs incorporate drills and exercise to mimic the stress and exhaustion you would feel during an attack to train you in defending yourself while under stress. This benefits cardio fitness and builds strength as well.”

The center’s instructors receive training and certifications from Israel-based Krav Maga Federation of Alain Cohen, who has direct lineage to the creator of the martial art, Imi Lichtenfeld. Villamar is the Southeast U.S. Regional Director of the Krava Maga Federation – Alain Cohen and holds a 4th Degree Black Belt as well as an Expert Level Instructor Certification.

Prospective students can choose from multiple class times organized by age group and available six days a week. New students may also take advantage of the center’s six-week trial program which includes six weeks of unlimited classes, a free one-on-one lesson with an instructor to prepare, and a free t-shirt here.

Premier Martial Arts

Premier Martial Arts has multiple locations in Woodbridge, Gainesville, Manassas, and Ashburn and teaches students skills that go beyond just the physical skills needed to master self-defense.

“We are teaching our youth, teens, and adults how to set and communicate boundaries and situational awareness to recognize the signs that someone is escalating or targeting them for violence,” said Tim Rook, Owner. “We teach them the physical responses to understanding how to survive and escape an encounter.”

While the center specializes in Israeli Krav Maga, kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, students can gain much more than a well-rounded approach to self-defense.

“Our classes are really fun and packed with exciting drills, team building, and leadership development,” said Rook. In addition to the center’s course offerings, they provide free community seminars at local schools, churches, and daycares covering topics such as women’s self-defense, active threat responses, knife defense tactics, kid-safe anti-abduction, kid’s fitness and nutrition, and bullying prevention workshops.

Gainesville-based Underground Krav Maga and Fitness specializes in Krav Maga, but also offers courses in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and fitness training.

To book a free community event, contact Tim Rook at 571-330-9359. Prospective students can book a two-class introductory course at

American Drengr Krav Maga

American Drengr Krav maga

American Drengr Krav Maga works with children to build

Located in Hastings Marketplace in Manassas, American Drengr Krav Maga is a community-oriented martial arts studio and family self-defense center that emphasizes the importance of personal safety, well-being, self-discipline, and confidence.

“One of our goals is to help children stand up to bullying, become accountable for their actions and learn life lessons that promote confidence, integrity, and respect,” said Co-owner Joe Fontanella. “We also help adults become more confident, more focused, and more self-assured through the discipline and exceptional training that practicing martial arts provides.”

The center emphasizes community spirit as Krav Maga, a modern and dynamic self-defense system, is not a traditional martial art. Though it incorporates techniques from a variety of related disciplines, its emphasis is on personal protection rather than competition.

“Our promise is that everyone who trains with us will learn and improve regardless of age, gender, size, level of fitness, athleticism, or experience through positivity, encouragement, and collaborative training,” said Fontanella.

The center offers a variety of classes tailored to specific age groups as well as women and college students. To get started, visit

Colleen Kilday is a journalist and technical writer who has written for a variety of local publications as well as aviation and financial journals.


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