Former MA cadet to host martial arts seminar

By Jeff Nations

Dave Rosenmarkle considers his time spent as a cadet at Massanutten Academy as a major foundation in his life.

Rosenmarkle spent six years attending the Woodstock school before graduating in 1996, and he’s only rarely made it back since. Now living in Kenosha, Wis., Rosenmarkle is planning on one of those rare trips back this weekend when he hosts his first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts seminar on campus.

It’s not a money-making venture, at least not for Rosenmarkle — all proceeds from the two-day seminar will go directly to Massanutten Academy’s athletics programs and cadet activities.

At Massanutten, Rosenmarkle was a multi-sport athlete who played football, ran cross country, played tennis, wrestled, was a member of the power lifting team and even dabbled in basketball.

“Massanutten Academy changed my life,” Rosenmarkle said. “The six years I spent there from seventh through 12th grade helped prepare me academically for college and then the military. I had 14 or 15 varsity letters. I loved the varsity athletic aspect of it.”

A first degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a black belt in Pankration and also a competitor in both those disciplines as well as Mixed Martial Arts, Rosenmarkle is the head instructor at Gracie Barra Veneration, a Kenosha, Wis., based-martial arts academy. Through his work, he’s taught Brazilian Jiu Jitsu around the world with clinics in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Kuwait and Iraq with students ranging from military and law enforcement to civilians. On Saturday and Sunday, he’s planning to welcome anyone ages 12 and up who wants a crash course in basic self-defense.

“I can guarantee if they stay the full two days, students will be able to defend themselves and be able to defend themselves under real-life conditions,” Rosenmarkle said.

Each day will feature more than six hours of intense instruction on the basic techniques of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. Cost is $40 for a single day or $60 for both days.

Rosenmarkle said students will see a blend of both disciplines over the two-day seminar.

“We’re going to start with the most basic techniques that they can do over and over, just repetition until they’re sick of it,” Rosenmarkle said. “What that’s doing is building muscle memory. The key to it is repetition.”

Rosenmarkle is bringing fellow Gracie Barra instructor and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA competitor Megan Paradise and well-known Virginia MMA instructor Rick McCoy to help teach what he hopes will be an enthusiastic group of students from Massanutten and also the surrounding community. Chris Gilliland, the school’s director of cadet life, hopes the seminar will be a true community event hosted by the school.

Rosenmarkle sees the clinic as an opportunity to support the school that gave him so much when he was a cadet there.

“I spent the formative years of my life at Massanutten,” Rosenmarkle said. “It was the best thing that could have happened for me and really prepared me for the rest of my life.”

For more information, call Massanutten Academy at 540-459-2167 or email Chris Gilliland at

Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or>