A new martial arts studio in Manassas aims to help victims of assault overcome insecurities and vulnerabilities and move on with their lives.

American Drengr Krav Maga, at 10079 #7 Market Circle, Manassas, will open at Hastings Marketplace on May 28, 2022. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., followed by self-defense demonstrations for women and children and a firearm defense seminar.

According to the company, Krav Maga is not a traditional martial art. Originating in pre-World War II Europe and developed for the training of Israeli defense and security forces, Krav Maga is a self-defense and striking system.

The company will provide self-defense training for children ages three and up. “We help children learn to focus, listen, be aware and defend themselves against bullies or other types of potential threats. Adults learn mindset, situational awareness and self-defense techniques,” said Sharon K Fontanella, the company’s founder. “Our motto is ‘Come home safe’. Honor, courage and respect are embedded in everything we teach and do.

Fontanella and her husband are coaches and stress that this is not an athletic competition but only self-defense. Both are in their 60s and have been practicing Krav Maga for over three years. The couple provide training to groups like real estate agents, homeschooling and church groups.

First-time business owners, the couple have used the help of their local students who specialize in specific areas. One is a marketing professional. Another is a photographer, another is a computer scientist and salesman. “We couldn’t do this without a team of people who are passionate about who we are,” Fontanella told Potomac Local News.

The company has hosted more than 70 students, including more than 20 women who recently participated in a self-defense seminar. The studio aims to enroll 100 students within 100 days of its grand opening celebration later this month. By June 2023, the company hopes to have over 200 students.

The school will be open Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and will be closed on Sunday.

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