Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What makes Cuong Nhu different?

A. In 1965, the first school of Cuong Nhu was founded in the city of Hue, Vietnam by Master Ngo Dong. Cuong Nhu was more than just another style of martial art. It provided an ideological foundation for its students, young people who had grown up in a sadly disjointed and war-torn society, who were hard-pressed to meet their spiritual needs. Master Dong taught martial art techniques to help his students improve themselves, develop themselves physically, perfect their personalities, and use these attributes to achieve higher meanings in daily life and to serve society.

Cuong Nhu shares the principles and concepts of the hard/soft styles to create a unique blend that focuses on evolving techniques while understanding and appreciating the foundation of the techniques.What are classes like?

Q. I have no martial arts experience, can I join?

A. Of Course! No prior martial arts experience is necessary. The only requirement is that you have a willingness to learn. Cuong Nhu, like anything in life may be learned quicker for those who have spent years studying similar styles. However it is often the case that students who have prior experience must unlearn what they have learned in order to conform to the Cuong Nhu curriculum.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. While all of our instructors teach for free, our students must pay two separate dues. $40 per year to the Cuong Nhu Martial Arts Association (CNMAA) to be registered in the style and $40 per semester to the Sports Club. The Sports Club dues go towards social events, travel, equipment and other shared expenses within the club. Testing fees are $25 which must be paid at the time of test.

Q. What kind of gear do I need?

A. New students are not expected to bring anything to class other than comfortable gym clothes. At some point before their first test, they are expected to have a white karate gi complete with the Cuong Nhu patch sowed on. Good uniforms can be found on online retailers such as and As students’ progress they will want to buy their own sparing gear set (hands and feet) and eventually they will purchase their own Tambos (short sticks) and Bo (staff)

Q. How long does it take to get a black belt in Cuong Nhu?

A. As with any style, there are a number of factors that may speed up or slow down the journey to a Cuong Nhu black belt: attendance, exertion, spirit and leadership, physical ability, and previous experience in martial arts. On average, it takes about five or six years to earn a Cuong Nhu black belt for students who apply themselves and attend about three times per week. Our black belts (sensei’s) are the teachers, mentors, and leaders of our close-knit community. Becoming a sensei implies not only accomplishment, but responsibility and the trust of senior sensei’s in Cuong Nhu. It is unwise to rush toward black belt too quickly.

Q. I’ve taken another martial art and have rank in it. Can I wear my rank in Cuong Nhu?

A. When teachers and masters visit our schools to train us or to study alongside us, they and all of their students are welcome to wear their rank and will be recognized. However, if a student, teacher or master of another style begins training in Cuong Nhu, he or she will wear a white belt to indicate unfamiliarity with the Cuong Nhu curriculum.

Q. Is Cuong Nhu good for fitness?

A. Absolutely. Cuong Nhu practice greatly increases flexibility, balance, strength, speed, and endurance. In addition to our practice of self-defense techniques, every class includes stretching, strengthening and endurance exercises.