Martial arts seminar to benefit military academy

A martial arts fundraiser at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock this weekend will benefit the athletic department and teach the community some new moves.

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar, taught by academy alumnus and mixed martial arts fighter Dave Rosenmarkle, will invite the public to participate on campus beginning at 10 a.m. today. The two-day class at 614 S. Main St., Woodstock, ends at 3 p.m. Sunday, but Saturday’s class might run longer depending on the number of participants.

The cost for one day is $30 and both days is $50, with all proceeds going to the school, said CSM Suzanne Rubenstein, interim director of communications.

“He’s not just throwing money at us, he’s actually doing a service,” she said.

Rosenmarkle, a 1996 graduate of Massanutten Military Academy, now lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he’s head instructor at martial arts academy Gracie Barra Veneration. He’s also a first-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a black belt in Pankration and a competitor in mixed martial arts.

Rubenstein lauded Rosenmarkle’s commitment to returning to Woodstock for the second year to offer the seminar to cadets and other interested area residents.

“He suggested it,” she said. “He pays his own way here.”

“I think it’s a great idea,” she added.

In the four years she’s taught at the school, she’s never seen another program like this.

“On Thursday nights, they’ve been doing a little bit of mixed martial arts,” she said.

But she said it’s a big deal for a mixed martial arts instructor to bring his skills to Woodstock.

“The closest thing around here is Winchester,” she said.

There’s no specific goal for how much the school would like to raise, but, according to Rubenstein, having a goal wouldn’t matter that much anyway.

“‘Cause we don’t have money, period,” she said.

Last year’s event funded athletic programs and cadet activities, and she expects it to fund the athletic department again this year.

But she said she hopes this year’s fundraiser will be even bigger.

“The cadets loved it,” she said. “I know that it was well received.”

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com