Absolutely. Martial arts practice increases flexibility, balance, strength, speed, and endurance. In addition to our practice of self-defense techniques, every class includes stretching, strengthening and endurance exercises. Many students shed pounds and gain muscle tone as they progress.

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 six years to earn a Cuong Nhu black belt for students who apply themselves and attend about three times per week.  Our black belts (senseis) 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 senseis in Cuong Nhu. It is unwise to rush toward black belt too quickly. Read more about rank.

No. Even for “extra-mature” kids, important developmental shifts happen in the 6 months after a child turns 4. Our classes are more productive and fun for kids and instructors when parents wait. Really, it’s worth it!

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. Students with prior experience in a martial art with similar principles as Cuong Nhu generally move faster through the ranks.

No. As you start out, we provide all equipment for you to train with. For Cuong Nhu, you will need protective gear for sparring after you have progressed several ranks. Advanced adults will need a long wood stick (bo) and a short wood stick (tambo). For Kickboxing, you will need protective sparring gear after you have progressed. You can pay very little or a whole lot for these items and get the same effect. Coach Davis will let you know when you are ready. For Tai Chi, gear is not used.

Tai Chi and Kickboxing students do not test. For Cuong Nhu, we have chosen to keep test fees low and infrequent in comparison to other styles. Kids are promoted in class without any fees based on their demonstrated knowledge of the curriculum, their attitude, and their effort. When they reach ranks that match the adult curriculum (Purple and Blue Belts), they will join in the adult testing. Test fees are $35 (These are waived for members on the Unlimited plan). In the first year, most students are promoted two or three times, but ranking slows down after that as the curriculum becomes more challenging. We ask that students who test join Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts Association, the non-profit that supports Unity with curriculum, mentorship, and teacher training. Their dues, which count as charitable giving, are $45/yr/individual or $60/yr/family (These fees are also paid for you if you are on our Unlimited plan). If you will have trouble paying for tests, please let us know, as scholarships may be available.

Yes. You can book private lessons for self defense and fitness training. Individual sessions are purchased by the month. Sessions are purchased in advance with discounts offered for multiple sessions purchased in a single month.

Putting beginners in competitive sparring situations reinforces bad habits. Adults begin partner drills that improve their sparring skills almost immediately but do not engage in free-sparring until they have progressed. Kids begin controlled sparring drills once they advance to purple belt. Before they are allowed to spar, they must consistently demonstrate proper respect for their instructors and classmates and controlled techniques that will not injure a partner. Then, sparring becomes a super developmental activity!

Our code of ethics echoes the call for self-control and service to others found in religion, but religion is not taught in any of our classes. Participants of many faiths find that martial arts training complements their spiritual practice. The brief period of silent meditation at the start of each session serves to mentally signal a transition into the training period. This time may be appropriated as a prayer or simply a clearing of the mind.