Cuong Nhu was founded in 1965 by Grand Master Ngo Dong in Vietnam. Cuong Nhu combines the hard-style blocks, punches, and kicks of Japanese Shotokan karate with the softer, more circular movements of arts such as Judo, Aikido, Wing Chun, Tai Chi Chuan, and Vovinam (a Vietnamese art). A few of the elements of Boxing can also be found in Cuong Nhu. It is this blending of hard and soft styles from which Cuong Nhu derives its name, which is Vietnamese for Hard (Cuong) - Soft (Nhu).
In 1971, Grand Master Dong came to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in entomology at the University of Florida. In September 1971, he opened the first Cuong Nhu Karate club in the United States. Within two years, this club grew into the largest intramural club on campus, with over two hundred students participating. Many of those early students went on to establish their own Cuong Nhu schools after leaving the University of Florida, thus spreading the style all over the United States and around the world.
Am Duong (Yin-Yang in Vietnamese) club was formed in 1987 at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Classes are held on Mondays and Thursdays. The Am Duong dojo (training place) is located in the Building 28 Atrium. Practice sessions are from 5:15 pm to 7:00 pm. Twice a year, Am Duong club starts a new beginners class.
In addition to learning empty-hand techniques, students train with weapons such as Tambo (short stick) and Bo (long stick).