Self-Defense Programs

World Class "Reality Based" Self-Defense Instruction

We offer a wide variety of reality based self-defense programs to meet your personal goals and needs. Our programs are for both men and women from all walks of life, from novice to expert level of training experience. All skill and fitness levels are welcome to join. In fact, you don't need previous martial arts or self-defense training to start. Our programs include:

Reality-Based Martial Arts 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. We teach close-quarter hand-to-hand combat (CQC), ground fighting, submission and joint locks, boxing, kickboxing, combat psychology, makeshift weapons, weapon disarming skills, de-escalation skills, escapes from chokes, locks and holds, tactile sensitivity, speed training, threat assessment, situational awareness, combat conditioning, and much much more.
self defense in action learn how to really fight
Knife Fighting,  Stick Combat, Cane Fighting and More!
We offer some of the most innovative and practical weapons training program in the world. Our stick fighting curriculum includes both single and double stick training for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. We also offer beginner to advanced levels of tactical cane fighting and kubotan/tactical flashlight training. Knife Fighting programs are also available from beginner level all the way to expert. Special military knife fighting training is also available. Please contact us for more information.
escrima arnis stick fighting kali instruction
Full-Size Martial Arts 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

What makes us different from other martial arts schools?

  • We are a professional martial arts school looking for serious and dedicated students who want to learn a one-of-a-kind martial art.
  • We are not a commercial, cookie-cutter school looking for a large number of students. In fact, to provide you with the best martial arts training, we intentionally keep our student enrollmement low and manageable.
  • Our classes are very affordable.
  • There are no contracts to sign.
  • No high-pressure sales people.
  • No mandatory equipment or uniform purchases.
  • Classes are always small and individualized.
  • Lessons are tailored to meet your personal goals.
  • Lessons are taught exclusively by Sammy Franco, founder of Contemporary Fighting Arts.

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)