national Women's
Martial Arts Federation

Meet the NWMAF Board of Directors

Cathy Chapaty: Chair

(Serving 2018–2020)

Primary practice: Taekwondo
Home: Austin, Texas
Personal pronouns: she/her/hers

Cathy Chapaty is a fourth-degree Taekwondo black belt with more than 25 years of martial arts training. An NWMAF member since the mid-1990s, Cathy has been a trainer at two NWMAF Special Training camps; she was named NWMAF Member of the Year in 2011.

In 2006, Chapaty founded Tao of Texas Martial Arts Institute in Austin, Texas, where she specialized in teaching a character development-focused children’s program. She is currently on a teaching sabbatical.

She is the author of No Pouting in the Dojo: Life Lessons through Martial Arts, Sports Planet: Sports Played Around the World, and the forthcoming Searching for Grasshopper: A Martial Artist’s Quest for Peace. In 2012, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea honored Chapaty for her essay on the transformational power of Taekwondo. She has also had dozens of essays and articles published in newspapers, magazines, and newsletters on topics as integrity in sports, anger management, and mentorship through martial arts.

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

Darla BolonDarla Bolon:  Self-Defense Coordinator

(Serving 2018–2020)

Primary practice: Empowerment Self-Defense
Home: Columbus, Ohio
Personal pronouns: she/her/hers

Darla Bolon has been an NWMAF member since the mid-1980s. Darla began studying martial arts and self-defense in 1982. She holds a black belt in Taekwondo. After 15 years training in Taekwondo and Aikido, Darla chose to focus primarily on developing skills in Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD).

As an NWMAF-certified self-defense instructor, Darla has been a co-coordinator of the NWMAF’s Self-Defense Instructor’s Conference. She helped lead the model course for the conference in 2009, and today is one of several reviewers of applications for NWMAF self-defense instructor certification.

Darla teaches a 14-week Self-Defense for Women class as an adjunct professor at Ohio State University, and also teaches self-defense and personal safety classes all over Ohio for caseworkers and other employees of child welfare agencies.

Darla is a clinical social worker, helping trauma survivors, people experiencing anxiety and depression, and those impacted by other life stresses. She has found that there are many points of intersection and harmony between social work and ESD.

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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