Master Terri Giamartino
TERRI GIAMARTINO, owner and 6th degree black belt has been training in the martial arts since 1978. In addition to Cuong Nhu, she has studied Shotokan Karate and Jujitsu. Her energetic and enthusiastic style is contagious to those who train with her. She believes that proper training can not only build stronger and more confident individuals, but provides a background for deeper self-realization.
Her community service activities stretch back to 1980, becoming one of the founding mothers of the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artist (PAWMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women and girls in the martial arts.
Starting as their first President, she continued to serve in various executive capacities from 1980 through 1989. She has served on the board of the Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts Association (CNOMAA), is a member of the American Teachers Association of Martial Artists (ATAMA) and The Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors (AWMAI). She has coordinated and taught at a variety of regional and national martial arts camps. Master Terri currently sits on the Board of AWMAI.
Recognized as a leader in her field, she has worked for national corporations teaching self defense and safety programs and has been influential in both the public and private school sector teaching martial arts and bully prevention to children.
In 1993, Master Terri began Skills for Safe Living, a company dedicated to teaching safety and self-defense skills and opened her school, Emeryville Martial Arts, located in Emeryville, California.
In 1999, Master Terri was voted Martial Artist of the Year by the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists. She has been a guest on both radio and television including segments on KPFA, KISS FM and SF Live. She was promoted to Master Level (6th dan) at the Cuong Nhu International Association Training Camp 2011. In 2013 Master Terri was inducted into the AWMAI Hall of Fame. In October of 2016, Master Terri will be featured in the upcoming book: Modern Masters of the Martial Arts: Actions and Insights of the World's Classical Fighting Styles.
A mother and wife of over 38 years, she continue to train and volunteer her time for various martial arts organizations.
Sensei Pam Boyle
PAM BOYLE, a third-degree black belt, began training at Karate Women in Los Angeles as part of her work with the Los Angeles County Assaults Against Women rape crisis center in 1987. She moved to Oakland in 1988 and was referred to Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate where she trained for two years and gained the rank of brown belt. In 1991 she was assigned with the Peace Corps to work in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. For five years she trained with teachers from a variety of styles and opened two karate schools. In May 1995 Pam returned to Berkeley Cuong Nhu and began training for her black belt test. After black belt she trained for one year in Aikido until formal education took precedence. In January 2005, Sensei Pam moved to Emeryville Martial Arts. Sensei Pam is a invaluable instructor with the children’s program teaching ages four and up. Currently she also trains in Seibukan Jujitsu and holds the rank of black belt. When not teaching and training, Sensei Pam works as an accountant.
Sensei Annie Johnston
ANNIE JOHNSTON has been training in the martial arts for over 30 years and holds the rank of sandan or third-degree black belt. Although her primary style is Cuong Nhu, she achieved her first black belt in Shorin Ryu and has also studied Judo, Kung Fu and Kenpo. Her community work has included providing self-defense classes for low income women and the initiation of a self-defense program at Berkeley High School.
Sensei Annie supports the teen and adult program. Recently retired from a full-time social studies teacher and coordinator for small schools at Berkeley High, she went back to school to get her PhD and is now employed by the State of California, advising school districts on how to implement the small school model in their districts. She is the mother of two with her partner Judy. Her daughter, JoHanna, is her best training buddy.
Benny Varon is a first-degree black belt. Born in Paris, France he practiced judo as a child for a few years and transitioned to Shotokan Karate during his teenage years. Trained by the famed Jean-Pierre Lavorato, he reached brown belt but gave up to focus on tennis and win the team Paris Championship in 1975. After moving to the US in 1985, his 5 year old son brought him back to Karate, Emeryville Martial Arts and the Cuong Nhu Family. He regularly assists in teaching and is usually eager to share the engrained judo moves and off-balancing mechanics, still fresh from childhood...