national Women's
Martial Arts Federation

Meet the NWMAF Board of Directors

Lissette Delgado-Fitzgerald: Chair

(Serving 2021–2023)

Primary practice: Aikido, Filipino Kali, Jeet Kune Do, and Tae Kwon Do
Home: Nashville, TN 

KSA Martial Academy * 2013 Aug - Present - Chief Instructor, Owner
Liz and her partner founded KSA Martial Academy in Nashville, TN back in 2013. She teaches daily classes in Aikido, Filipino Kali, Jeet Kune Do, and Tae Kwon Do.
ASSERT Empowerment Self Defense * 2004 - Present - President, Executive Director
ASSERT Empowerment Self Defense is a US-based nonprofit founded by Liz and her husband Cat.
They co-created the ASSERT Program, a liability-conscious, scalable, empowerment self-defense-based system for Civilian, LEO/ Security Pros, and Military/ Mission Critical Teams. The multi-tasking Liz wears many hats in her leadership of this nonprofit, including curriculum design, business management, and marketing duties; design of defensive tactics programs, trainable progressions with reproduceable results, and policies for a variety of groups; research and development of the program; design and maintenance of Instructor Certification Curriculum; and she still manages to teach regularly scheduled workshops.

  *   5th Dan Tae Kwon Do
  *   Sandan in Aikido
  *   Instructor Jeet Kune Do
  *   Apprentice Instructor - Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association
  *   Military/Spec Ops JKD Tactics Instructor - Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association
  *   Elite PFS Edged Weapons Tactics Instructor for Civilian, LEO, and Special Ops - Progressive Fighting Systems
  *   Apprentice Instructor - Progressive Fighting Systems
  *   Law Enforcement Edged Weapons defensive Tactics Instructor - Sigung Paul Vunak
  *   Rapid Assault Tactics Instructor - Sigung Paul Vunak
  *   Expandable Baton Tactics Instructor
  *   Chemical Spray Tactics Instructor
  *   FAST Combatives Instructor l FAST Defense
  *   ASIST Suicide First Aid Intervention Certification l Lifeworks
  *   Empowerment Self Defense Instructor l ESD Global, Inc.

Volunteer Experience and Leadership

Our organization, as well as me personally, volunteer services, classes, and workshops with various at-risk youth groups, previously victimized groups, public schools, and several social organizations.

  *   ASSERT Empowerment Self Defense | President, Interim Executive Director
  *   National Women's Martial Arts Federation | Board Chair
  *   International Women's Day Nashville l Co-Chair
  *   Girl, unKnown, Inc | Board Member
  *   ESD Global, Inc. l Former Board Member

For general questions about the NWMAF, including policies, please send an email to

Cheryl VanHoosen: Treasurer

(Serving 2019-2021)Cheryl VanHoosen

Primary practice: Jun Fan
Home: Roanoke, VA
Personal pronouns: she/her/hers

Cheryl VanHoosen is a third-degree black belt in Sho Shin Do, a first-degree black belt in TAOS Cielo y Tierra Arnis, and a first-degree black belt in Jun Fan/PMA/Kali with 20 years of martial arts training. Cheryl is a lifetime member of the NWMAF and has been a trainer at two NWMAF training camps.

Cheryl is a former instructor for the children’s program at Global Martial Arts in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she developed a program focused on basic life skills, character development, and martial skills. While there, she also implemented school’s Kindness Ninja program.

For questions about payment, donations, and other financial issues, please send an email to

Corrin Eckert-Chu: Secretary

(Serving 2020–2022)

Primary Practice: Goju Karate
Home: Brooklyn, NY 
Personal pronouns: she/her/hers

Corrin began training in Goju Karate at Brooklyn Women’s Martial Arts in 2000. She also holds a 6th degree lineage in Northern Wu Tai Ji, and 8th in Hubei Xing Yi through her training in tai chi and sword at the Wu Tang Physical Culture Association, having had an interest in other styles sparked by Special Training 2002.

She teaches karate at Brooklyn Goju, the successor school to BWMA, and is currently most interested in continuing with her training in Xing Yi and Wu sword styles. In her professional life, she is a senior Project Manager for a technology company.

To submit newsletter articles or contributions to the NWMAF archives, please send an email to

Lauren M. Bailey: Membership Coordinator

(Serving 2019–2021)

"Gateway" practice: Combat Hapkido
Home: Fort Mitchell, KY
Personal pronouns: she/her/hers

Lauren Bailey has been an NWMAF member since 2017, attending Super Saturday in 2018 and Special Training in 2019. She is a first-degree black belt in combat hapkido and holds rank in kali and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She trains with Jeff Robison (Club MMA, Cincinnati, Ohio; Rister International Kali and Will-Machado Jiu-Jitsu) and Larry Zickefoose (International Combat Hapkido Federation).

When she’s not on the mats, Lauren is a book editor and a co-founder of Thrive Empowerment Center, which offers Empowerment Self-Defense classes in the metro Cincinnati area. She’s mom to Finn (age 10) and Sloane (age 8)—both martial artists themselves.

For questions about your membership, regional activities, and opportunities to serve on committees, send an email to

Martha Thompson:  Self-Defense Coordinator

(Serving 2020–2022)

Primary practice: IMPACT Self-Defense & Seido Karate
Home: Chicago IL/Fort Collins CO
Personal pronouns: she/her/hers

Martha Thompson has been an IMPACT Chicago Lead Instructor since 1988, a member of NWMAF since 1991, and an NWMAF certified self-defense instructor since 2002. Martha has been a trainer at several NWMAF Conferences, including co-teaching the Empowerment Self-Defense Model Course in 2015, and is a co-author of the NWMAF Empowerment Model for Teaching Women’s Self-Defense.

Inspired by attendance at the 1991 NWMAF Special Training, Martha started training in Seido Karate in the fall of 1991 with the hosts of that conference Nancy Lanoue and Sarah Ludden, Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center. Martha is now a fifth-degree black belt in Seido Karate.

Martha served as the IMPACT Chicago Director and Admin Team Leader from 1988-2020, has served on the IMPACT International Board of Directors, is a co-founder of the Empowerment Self-Defense Alliance, and co-coordinates the ESD Research Committee. She is retired from Northeastern Illinois as Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies and in December 2020 retired from IMPACT Chicago (still serving on the Retired Instructors Council and as an Admin consultant).

She has written articles on self-defense, such “The Power of NO” in Feminist Teacher and “Empowering Self-Defense Training” in Violence Against Women.

For questions about your self-defense training and certification, and opportunities to serve on committees, please send an email to

Natalie DeMaioribus: Events Coordinator

(Serving 2018–2020)Natalie DeMaioribus

Primary Practice: Empowerment Self-Defense
Home: Madison, Wisconsin
Person pronouns: she/her/hers

Natalie DeMaioribus found the NWMAF only a couple years ago. She has practiced mixed martial arts including muay thai, kali, and panantukan with Minnesota Kali Group schools in two states. In 2015 she became an instructor with Chimera Self-Defense in Madison, Wisconsin, and has developed curricula for a variety of audiences including teen survivors of sexual violence, English language learner tutors, and Human Resources professionals.

Natalie enjoys writing fiction, learning languages, and singing, and is still considering becoming a hydrologist or a structural geologist.

Do you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding NWMAF events? Send an email to

Lindsey Ross: Development Coordinator and Fundraiser

(Serving 2019-2021)

Lindsey Faeth

Primary Practice: Brazilian Jiujitsu
Home: Cincinnati, OH
Personal pronouns: she, her, hers

Lindsey is a 90-degree black belt and a master street fighter, and she dabbles in 15,000 different forms of martial arts. When Lindsey is not making jokes, you will find her rolling around on the floor with friends. (She thinks they call it jiujitsu.) Some times you'll find her dabbling in Muay Thai. Off the mats, she spends her time as a professional sex coach, educating and empowering people through sexual health. Lindsey also has a background in working with children recovering from trauma.

Lindsey has a huge passion for teaching self-defense and empowering women. This led her to co-found Thrive Empowerment Center, which offers Empowerment Self-Defense classes in the metro Cincinnati area.

Do you have an idea for raising money for the scholarship, archives, or general operating funds? Have questions about merchandise availability and suggestions for new merchandise? Please send to

Jes McAlear: Youth Coordinator

(Serving 2019-2021)

Jessica McAlearPrimary Practice: Shotokan Karate-do and Ng Jing Kuen Kung Fu (Kempo)
Home: Borden, Ontario, Canada
Personal pronouns: she/her/hers or they/theirs

Jessica McAlear started her path in martial arts and self-defense in 1999, attending her first National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) conference in 2012. Jes obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University.

A fourth-degree black belt in both Shotokan Karate-Do and Ng Ying Kuen Kung Fu, Jes has taught youth and adults various martial arts skills for the past 17 years, primarily leading youth programs, most recently at 3 Fires Martial Arts Academy in North Bay, ON. Jes has also taught Empowerment Self-Defence for the past 9 years primarily through the co-founded Personal Defense Program with Francesca Morabito at 3 Fires. With a passion for advocating for and empowering youth, Jes wants to ensure that their voices are heard.

Outside of the Kwoon/Dojo, Jes is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, specifically the Royal Canadian Air Force. As part of her security background, Jes has received use-of-force and de-escalation training for various emergency situations. Her past academic research includes 'Fear of Crime and Self-Defense' and 'The Role of the Physical Environment in Learning Martial Arts,' and current work is focused on child abuse prevention.

Do you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding improving the NWMAF’s youth program? Would you like to get more involved? Whether you’re a student, parent/guardian, or instructor, the NWMAF would love to hear from you. If you’re under the age of 18 years old, please write an email (with your parent/guardian or instructor) and send it from their email address to

Janis Freeman: Healing Arts Coordinator

(Serving 2021–2023)

Hometown: Amsterdam, NY

Primary Practice:  Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Janis is fairly new to NWMAF but excited to be a part of this enthusiastic and talented group of women. Janis practices Judo (shodan) and Jiu Jitsu (blue belt). She started Judo as a child and practiced through about age 20, achieving the rank of Ikkyu. After many years away, she eventually found her way back to the mats and reconnected with her childhood sensei, assisting him in teaching an after school Judo program for children in grades 1 through 8. Janis was promoted to shodan in December 2018. She started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2017 and currently holds the rank of blue belt.  

Off the mat, Janis works as a Family Nurse Practitioner in a primary care practice.  She was recently board certified in Lifestyle Medicine (through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine) and has begun designing programs to help people improve the quality of their lives and prevent (and in some cases reverse chronic illness) with lifestyle change.  She meditates daily, has practiced yoga for over 20 years and took advantage of the "down time" and schedule changes of 2020 to finally complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training.  Most of her yoga classes are by donation with proceeds benefiting local charities and nonprofits.  

Her goal as healing arts coordinator is to support wellness (emotional and physical) and longevity in the women’s martial arts community. Awareness of the benefits of healing arts can help support martial arts as a lifelong practice. 

Leaders of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) are everyday martial artists and self-defense and healing arts practitioners, just like the majority of the organization’s members. Get to know them, and consider becoming a leader yourself. As a member-driven organization, we need you. Your leadership and voice are important!

Serving on the NWMAF Board of Directors is a rewarding and fulfilling job. 

  • Meet and collaborate with your  peers.
  • Gain organizational skills at the national and even international level.
  • Learn to think and plan nationally and globally.
  • Provide a service not found anywhere else in the world.

For complete job descriptions, view the NWMAF Bylaws.

To apply for any board position, send an email to

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The National Women's Martial Arts Federation is a non-profit organization.
Mail: NWMAF, 304 S Jones Blvd #2929, Las Vegas, NV 89107
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