Student Testimonials

2005_10310057edited“Bob, congratulations on your new school. If anyone wants to learn what really works for self-defense, The Charles Nelson Self-Defense System is it. Continuing the the legendary teaching of Charles Nelson, one of the WWII-H2H close combat pioneers who’s goal it was to bring practical self-defense to the streets of New York City. Self-defense system for the street:-Robert Spiegel who is now the sole representative of the Charles Nelson Self-Defense System has a new school in Edison, NJ. Charles Nelson an ex-U.S Marine Corp hand-to-hand combat instructor taught his method of Self-defense in New York City for more than fifty years. What he taught was made up of ju-jitsu, boxing, Self-defense system for the street:-Robert Spiegel who is now the sole representative of the Charles Nelson Self-Defense System has a new school in Edison, NJ. Charles Nelson an ex-U.S Marine Corp hand-to-hand combat instructor taught his method of Self-defense in New York City for more than fifty years. What he taught was made up of ju-jitsu, boxing, aikido, Mongolian wrestling, and what Charlie called “dirty fighting”. The Charles Nelson System is one of a few that can trace its roots to the practice of authentic World War II Hand to Hand Combat. Robert Spiegel has trained intensely with Charlie since 1987 right up until he passed on in 2003. In December 2000 Chares Nelson designated Mr. Spiegel as the successor to his street proven system.”

— Tom Miuccio

IMG_1364.JPGedited“In just one seminar, I learned how to defend myself in almost any situation.  The Charles Nelson Self Defense School is an excellent course for women because it teaches them to quickly react if someone tried to mug or grab you.  Each move that I learned was easy, yet works very effectively when done correctly.  Not only were the techniques simple to learn, but it offered a great workout at the same time!

— Dana Patterson

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“Other centers offer women’s self defense, but it’s little more than glorified ballet.  CNSDS gave me real self defense skills that I feel like I can use anytime anywhere to protect myself and my loved ones.  I highly recommend this for  anyone – from ages 8 to 80 years old.”

— Vanessa Buron 

cnsds“I was first introduced to Robert Spiegel and the C.N.S.D.S. program about 5 years ago.  A friend who is a NJ State Trooper asked if I’d be interested in seeing what the program was about and I accepted.  Upon meeting Robert and seeing the program hands on, I was hooked.  He asked if I was interested in continuing to take classes and I immediately said “Yes!”  Being an Auxiliary Police Officer, my duties are that of a regular full time officer.  However, I am not permitted to carry a weapon which means taking on the task of defending myself lies solely on training.  The program provided me with the well needed training for me to do that successfully on the street and in any situation.  It gives me the confidence that my partner and I will be at an advantage in protecting ourselves in all situations whether it be a punch-grab or the use of any weaponry.  With that said, I have now committed to the program by working hand in hand with Robert to get the program out to the public.  I am currently in the process of becoming a Tier I Instructor.  I believe the program is successful and when trained and executed properly is a benefit to both male and female participants.” 

Richard Yuhas

“I had become aware of Charlie Nelson and his teachings through my own research.  Everything that I read, mentioned how the techniques were easy to learn and retain to memory.  This basic concept impressed me, so I set out to find an instructor who taught Nelson’s methods.  Thus, I found Mr. Robert Spiegel in New Jersey who has done a great job in showing me the fundamentals of the Nelson system.  I look forward to each training session. I come from a boxing background. Footwork, evasion, speed, balance, are core components of both boxing and Charlie’s method’s, so the techniques compliment each other nicely.  Also, a big highlight of the CNSDS is that it is efficient, no wasted movements, just react and get the job done.  Great!  My goals are to really master the fundamentals of the Nelson System and teach these concepts one day.”

— Freddy M., 35 yrs old, Boxing Teacher, Philadelphia, PA 

“I first met Charles Nelson in 1983 when I was a rookie cop in the NYPD. At that time the NYPD like most police departments did not teach effective self-defense.  Realizing the need to augment my training, I began to study with Charles Nelson. After a short time, I acquired basic easily learned skills. Since my training group consisted of several police officers, Mr. Nelson modified his techniques to accommodate our specific needs. Mr. Nelson instilled in his students sound basic concepts of survival and self-defense. The simple techniques I learned from Charles Nelson served me often and well for over twenty years of police work.  In 2009, I discovered that Bob Spiegel was teaching Charles Nelson’s self defense methods, and I was interested.  As a man in his mid fifties, and frankly, not in the best of physical condition, I was somewhat apprehensive about starting a physically intensive self-defense program. I went through Basic Training with the U.S. Army once, and I had no interest in doing it again. I was however, pleasantly surprised to find that Bob Spiegel had adopted both Charles Nelson’s methodology and philosophy. In essence, that is, self defense for the average person with skills acquired in a relatively short period of time. Bob has remained faithful to Mr. Nelson’s system while refining and modifying the form.  I found Bob and his assistants to be thoughtful and patient instructors. The atmosphere in the school is relaxed and friendly. The intensity of the training was not beyond my physical capabilities. Eventually, I began to bring my wife for lessons from which she greatly benefited.  If you’re looking for a place with a bunch of guys doing push-ups on their knuckles and breaking boards over their heads, this is not the place for you. If you want to learn basic self-defense skills based on proven techniques in an environment respectful of your physical limitations, then I highly recommend the Charles Nelson Self Defense System.”

— Louis V. Panarella, Sergeant, NYPD – Retired, Staten Island, NY

Here’s what Lee Morrison has to say about Robert Spiegel and the Charles Nelson Self  Defense System:  Click here to continue to the Urban Combatives Site.