Potomac Kempo in Kingstowne teaches the art of Shaolin karate kempo and students of all ages are welcome to enroll. Nicole D'Arcangelo, chief instructor, said the dojo has more than 100 students enrolled and they take classes for a variety of reasons.
"Some parents sign their kids up for classes if they're a little shy and they want to help the kids build their confidence. Other students have a lot of energy and need an outlet, and some parents just want their kids to have something fun to do," she said.
Other students sign up so they can feel comfortable protecting themselves in certain situatons. D'Arcangelo said Potomac Kempo has quite a few female students who enroll with this purpose in mind.
"I have a few dads who bring in the teenage daughters and say, 'I want her to be able to defend herself,'" D'Arcangelo said. "Some female students have had something happen to them like on the subway and they just want to learn how to protect themselves."
Potomac Kempo has three locations: Kingstowne, Foxchase and Old Town Alexandria. The Kingstowne dojo is located around the corner from HomeGoods where the last Springfield serial assault occurred the afternoon of March 28.
D'Arcangelo said they haven't had people enroll because they're concerned specifically about the serial groper.
"We're usually out on the sidewalks handing out flyers to people, but that day we weren't out there," she said.
This Sunday, Potomac Kempo Kingstowne students will compete against students from the two other locations at the Crowne Plaza in Old Town Alexandria. The all-day event will include adult and kid participants. D'Arcangelo said for spectators who don't plan to stay the whole day, she recommends watching the creative weapon form portion of the event.
"Creative weapon form will be interesting, and these are advanced students. It should make for a good show," she said.
Potomac Kempo has a tournament every six months. Throughout the year, they have different enrollment specials. Right now, they are offering a two-week special for $20. The special includes unlimited group classes for two weeks at any of the three locations, two personal training sessions and a T-shirt.
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