Cuong Nhu is a system that aims to develop good character as well as physical ability. It is founded on what O'Sensei Dong called the "Three O's Principle:"
Open Mind - Open Heart - Open Arms
Open Mind. As in the famous Zen story about the tea master and the philosopher, you must "empty your cup" to make way for new understanding and stimulate your thirst for learning. Do not let preconceptions cloud your ability to receive new ideas.
Open Heart. Make the effort to show understanding, caring, and compassion toward others. Dissolve your ego.
Open Arms. Reach out to take action, work and share with others, and achieve your visions for the world.
What do the Three O's have to do with martial arts? Everything! The dojo is a microcosm of society, and of daily life. In the dojo (training hall) we strive, we struggle, and we learn to depend on each other in practicing difficult skills. We must have trust and understanding with our training partners, who may be people very different from ourselves. We cannot learn without opening our minds, and we cannot practice together without learning patience and compassion for others. In turn, the skills we practice in the dojo translate into skills for work, school, and community.
Cuong Nhu students should strive to improve themselves and their abilities in the martial arts in order to serve the people.
All students should be faithful to the ideals of Cuong Nhu and attempt to spread and develop these beliefs within the younger generation so that they, too, may be morally and physically fit.
All members of Cuong Nhu are unified in spirit and respect each other and their instructors.
Only by absolute discipline of mind, body and spirit do students maintain honor in Cuong Nhu.
All members should respect all other styles of martial arts and only use martial arts techniques for self-defense and to protect truth and reason.
Cuong Nhu students, through dedicated daily practice, increase their spirit, stamina, and moral character.
The goal of Cuong Nhu students is to maintain a pure, simple, sincere, and noble life.
Self-confidence, self-control, modesty, and a non-defeatist attitude are the mental keynotes for students of Cuong Nhu.