CFA Self-Defense Instruction

Maryland self-defense classes

Sammy Franco Teaching Self DefensePlease read the following information before contacting us:

  1. We are not a commercial martial arts or self-defense school; we do not offer introductory lessons or trial self-defense classes. If you are uncertain about training with Mr. Franco, we strongly encourage you to do more research before contacting us.
  2. Because of the graphic subject matter, Mr. Franco does not teach children! "Mature" teenagers will be accepted on a case by case basis.
  3. You don't have to be in great shape to learn Contemporary Fighting Arts. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to learn!
  4. Sammy Franco is the only person qualified to teach the Contemporary Fighting Arts (CFA) system of self-defense. Anyone who claims to teach his unique system of self-defense is a fraud and should be immediately reported to us.



All CFA Instruction courses are tailored to meet your individual needs and personal goals. For more information or to set up your own CFA training course, please use our Contact Us Page.

Contemporary Fighting Arts

Contemporary Fighting Arts (CFA) is a unique martial art that stands on the cutting edge of self-defense and personal protection. Our self-defense programs are designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to make you "Street Smart". While other martial art schools cling to impractical traditions, CFA faces up to today's unthinkable violence.

Contemporary Fighting Arts is a dynamic self-defense system that integrates all of the essential ingredients of the martial arts with practical, life-saving techniques. It also draws upon the knowledge and wisdom of military and police science, criminology and human psychology. 

This unique martial art has been taught to military personnel, police officers, federal agents, martial arts instructors, black belts, college professors, lawyers, doctors, airline pilots and homemakers. Its broad appeal results from simplicity and reliance on no-nonsense practicality.

Contemporary Fighting Arts provides self-defense training in a positive, safe atmosphere utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and time-proven techniques. A variety of comprehensive programs are offered to men and women. Each lesson is carefully designed to capitalize upon the abilities and needs of each student. Best of all, each and every class is taught exclusively by Sammy Franco.

Our Studio Location

Our Self Defense Academy is conveniently located in upper Montgomery County in Gaithersburg, Maryland. As a matter of fact, we are just minutes away from:

  • DamascusMartial Arts Training at Sammy Francos Academy
  • Germantown
  • Clarksburg
  • Mt. Airy

What makes us so different!

  • We are not a commercial or franchised cookie-cutter school.
  • No contacts to sign.
  • Classes are small and individualized.
  • Flexibile lesson schedules available.
  • Lessons are tailored to your personal goals.
  • Lessons are taught exclusively by Sammy Franco.

What We Offer!

Sammy Franco offers a wide variety of self-defense programs to meet your personal goals and needs. Some include:

Street Self-Defense Training
We are the worlds leading experts for reality based self defense instruction and street fighting training. Our goal is to provide you with the most practical martial arts and self defense training in the world. Each and every lesson is taught exclusively by Sammy Franco.
self defense in action learn how to really fight
Knife and Stick Fighting
We offer some of the most innovative and practical knife and stick fighting training in the world.  Our stick fighting curriculum includes both single and double stick training for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. Or Knife Fighting programs range from beginner level all the way to expert. Special military knife fighting training is also available. 
escrima arnis stick fighting kali instruction
Full Size Training Studio
Conditioning and fitness is a very important component of self defense and martial arts training. At Contemporary Fighting Arts, we have a complete studio gym that will get you into the best shape of your life. We only use the highest quality workout equipment, including: Century Martial Arts, Ringside, Combat Sports, Ivanko, Iron Grip, Hammer Strength, Icarion and Rouge Fitness.
self-defense gym equipment gaithersburg fitness center
Gun Training
Sammy Franco is a a nationally certified firearms instructor who specializes offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date instruction about firearms as used for personal protection and home security. Specific guidelines are provided for handgun purchasing, operation, ammunition, shooting fundamentals, cleaning and safe storage. His programs also focus on owner responsibility, the legal ramifications regarding the use of deadly force, and, above all else….safety!
gun training in maryland how to use a gun safely
Military and LEO Training
Contemporary Fighting Arts also provides training for both our military and law enforcement community. Our mission is to provide today's modern soldier with the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to survive a wide variety of real world combat scenarios. For more information, please visit our Military Combat Training page and our Police Self-Defense Training page.
military combat training police self defense maryland

Read what our students have to say:

"Sammy Franco offers a "no nonsense" framework for defending ourselves and our families. If I can feel comfortable, anyone can."    

- Eric Marx (Bank Vice President)

"At last someone has developed a martial art form applicable for today's violence-prone society."

- William Hendricks (Emergency Medicine Physician) 

"Mr. Franco delivers the true and valuable essence: practical skills, proven self defense techniques, and the confidence to use them. He is a rare, consummate professional capable of both developing self-defense concepts and teaching their applications - a real master!"

- Corbett Michael Flannery (LTC U.S. Army Military Intelligence)

"Sammy Franco has taken the mystique and complexity out of the martial arts and created a self-defense system that is both practical and easy to learn."

- Pete Kitner (Commercial Airline Pilot)

"Sammy Franco's self-defense system is a timely and extremely worthwhile martial art which provides very practical instruction in self-defense. The lessons are provided in a supportive environment by a skilled and caring instructor. I highly recommend the training."    

- Mary Green (Speech Language Pathologist)

"I have studied martial arts my entire life and Sammy Franco is, by far, the best teacher out there! I only wish I discovered him sooner."

- Robert Lew (Aerospace Engineer)

"Sammy Franco is one of the few martial arts instructors who genuinely care about the welfare of his students. He's a true asset to our Maryland community."

- Jeremy Stockton (Business Owner)

"As a Correctional Officer, I just wanted to say that Sammy Franco's training is right on spot. In the course of my 12 years in the Department of Corrections, I have been lucky that I have only been assaulted on a couple occasions. Thanks to Sammy and CFA, I was able to block and deflect blows thrown at me. After taking the assilant to the ground, Sammy's wrist lock techniques came in very handy. In today's world, inmates are becoming stronger and faster. If is wasn't for the practical, effective and instinctual self-defense methods taught by Sammy, I feel the tables could have been turned. I have been lucky, but in a 6 by 9 cell, I am not trying to do anything but survive. A special thanks to Sammy for his methods and dedication."

- Henry Dennison (Corrections Officer)

"I'm lucky to live in the Gaithersburg area as this the headquarters for Sammy Franco and his Contemporary Fighting Arts system. I have learned more from Mr. Franco in one lesson than training for months in another martial arts school. Don't walk, run to train from this man!"

- Thomas Higgins (Black Belt Instructor)