Cuong Nhu - Philosophy

Cuong Nhu founder, O'Sensei Ngo Dong, taught that without a foundation in philosophy martial arts is simply physical training or sport. O'Sensei was both a scientist and an artist - and trained his mind with the same rigorous discipline as he trained his body. Our philosophy provides Cuong Nhu students with a means of overall self-improvement. It is based on a simple concept - Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Arms. The Three O's Principle invites the student to challenge themselves Mentally, to show Love and Compassion, and to Welcome Learning.

In application, the philosophy is organized to share knowledge in three main areas. 1. Practical - for training (e.g. Five S's for Warmup). 2. Functional - (e.g. the Five A's for Self Defense) - and 3. Emotional - for personal growth (e.g. the 5 Firsts for Friendship). And, it is important to note that Cuong Nhu is one of the few martial arts that has a written Code of Moral Conduct and Ethics. These are eight guiding principles that may be best summed up by the eighth code: Self-confidence, self-control, modesty and a non-defeatist attitude are the mental keynotes for students of Cuong Nhu.

Code of Moral Conduct and Ethics of Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts

Your conduct as a member of Cuong Nhu should be governed by these eight principles.

  • 1. The student should strive to improve themselves and their abilities in the martial arts in order to serve the people.
  • 2. The student should remain faithful to the ideals of Cuong Nhu. They should attempt to spread and develop these beliefs in the younger generations so that they too will be morally and physically fit.
  • 3. All members of Cuong Nhu are unified in spirit and respect each other and their instructors.
  • 4. Only by absolute discipline of mind, body and spirit do students maintain honor in Cuong Nhu.
  • 5. The Cuong Nhu student should respect all other branches of the martial arts and should only use martial arts techniques for self defense and to protect truth and reason.
  • 6. Cuong Nhu students through dedicated daily practice increase their spirit, stamina and moral character.
  • 7. The goal of the Cuong Nhu student is to maintain a pure, simple, sincere and noble life.
  • 8. Self confidence, self control, modesty and a non-defeatist attitude are the mental keynotes for students of Cuong Nhu.

Useful Tools

Adult Curriculum >> This is a multi-page file detailing the current rank requirements for adults from beginner to Black Belt. Including Philosophy requirements.
Green Belt Written
Test Study Sheet >>
This document covers the Philosophy, Code of Ethics, and History that are required to pass the Green Belt Written Exam.
Philosophy Review >> This is a multi-page file listing all philosophy lists required from Beginner to Black Belt.