Janet Nelson

Preferred Title:


Began training: 1974


Cuong Nhu Martial Arts - Yondan
Everyday Self Defense - Founder

Hall of Fame Award:

2019 - 40 years

Other Awards:




Tallahassee, FL




Janet NelsonIn 1974, I attended the University of Florida in Gainesville and began training in the Cuong Nhu Karate Intramural Club. I quickly discovered I loved martial arts. It challenged me to overcome my orthopedic disability, opening my world to body, mind and spiritual practice.
The Founder, Dong Ngo, had black belts who provided rigorous training and a great community of martial artists. I began training non-stop and volunteering for activities, integrating martial arts and community service, following the code of ethic to improve oneself in the martial arts “in order to serve the people.”  In 1980, I started self-defense for women community courses after designing my first self-defense course for the City of Gainesville in 1979.
As I entered social work, I naturally combined body-mind and self-defense skills to provide safe practice for my colleagues and give people practical resources for personal growth, health and healing to better cope with life’s challenges.

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