Chief Master Von Schmeling
President and Founder of Victory School of Life
8th Degree Black Belt
Chief Master Von Schmeling was born in Paraguay, South America. He received his Black Belt at the age of 18. At 19 he opened his first martial arts school. Later, he opened a total of 5 schools in Paraguay.
- He was a national and South American champion on repeated occasions.
- In 1987, he was named ”the Best Instructor of the Year” in all of South America.
- He immigrated to the United States in 1989.
- He was a Chief Instructor in Chief Master Clark Schools in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
- In 1993, Master Von Schmeling opened his own school in the city of Winter Park, Florida.
- In 1996 the school was named “School of the year” by the American Taekwondo Association.
- He was four time World Champion from 1994 to 1998.
- He was also Technical Director for the United States Martial Arts Demo Team.
- He received his American Citizenship in 1999 and the year 2000 received the title of Master by the American Taekwondo Association.
Today, he is the leader of more 27 Martial Arts Schools in Central Florida, Texas, California, Michigan and Wisconsin, U.S. with over 6000 active members.
His capacity as a leader and an excellent administrator has given him the knowledge to create a team to manage the most professional martial arts schools in the country.
His staff consists of over 150 instructors and a support staff of ten administrative assistants which Chief Master Von Schmeling leads with extraordinary enthusiasm and with excellent results.
His company, VICTORY MARTIAL ARTS, like no other in America, has positioned itself to be a school of leadership. Each studio teaches an exclusive curriculum which emphasizes life skill that perfectly compliments the martial arts programs.
His system reinforces the human values and principles. Which have permitted Victory Martial Arts to be known as the SCHOOL OF LIFE.
The school that has positively transformed the lives of thousands of families.
Sr. Master Casco
The first time I saw a martial arts demonstration, I lived in a little town with no electricity, in the country side of Paraguay. The person who would be eventually be my first instructor, took a demo team to where I lived, and I was so impacted by the show that I thought they were untouchable and super-human. I was completely hooked and wanted to be one of them.
The next year I went to live with my sister in Asuncion, the capital, and the first thing I looked for was the address of the martial arts school to see where how far it was from where i lived.
The journey was very hard, and full of sacrifice. In order to pay for my tuition, I had to clean the school after classes were finished, sometimes without having eaten any food all day. Most days, I did not have enough money for a bus ticket back home, so I would walk about 8 miles there, and 8 miles back. This was my routine every day.
My first martial arts class I was put in with the adults and sparred higher ranked students. In these days, there was no such thing as protective sparring gear. Being bruised, sore, and hurt could have stopped anyone, but I came back for more the next day, and never looked back. To start the day, practices were 2 hours every single day, eventually when I earned my yellow belt with a green tip, my Instructor left me by myself to teach my first class.
This is not to put myself as a victim, these are just some of the few challenges I faced. I just want to show that even when one comes from very humble beginnings, achieving your dreams is still possible through force of will. And when one has passion, the challenges don’t matter, they only make you stronger.
In 1980, I was part of the ITF style of martial arts, during that time Paraguay was run by a dictatorship, did not accept how ITF was being run and banned that style. The state then decided to give them scholarships to travel to Seoul, South Korea, where they would begin to learn a new style which was WTF (World Taekwondo Federation).
I earned my Black belt in 1984, and in 1985 I joined the STF (Songham Taekwondo Federation). Chief Master Cesar Ozuna was the person who introduced STF to South America. He was the instructor of Chief Master Von Schmeling who through him, I would join the STF with them.
Throughout this time, I won various national and international tournaments in forms and sparring. It was also through Chief Master Von Schmeling that I began my teaching skill training, and I began to see an opportunity in martial arts to use as a career that was also my passion.
I trained to be an Instructor, and since that moment to this today I keep teaching helping our community to change for the better, and to help each student that comes to my school become leaders and winners of life.
In 1989, Chief Master Von Schmeling moved to the U.S, working with Chief Master Clark, so he sold his school in Paraguay to me. Ten years later, I asked him if he had an opening for me in the U.S; he said yes, and I began all over again in America. The U.S. was a completely different planet to me without the language, or anyone I knew. After two years, I was able to move my family with me from Paraguay.
Today, I own my own Taekwondo school, and my own home. My daughter is a recent college graduate, and my son is a college student; both on their ways to professional careers. I am a 7th degree Black Belt, with a Senior Master title, a very prestigious level of martial arts.
I encourage all my students that without any sacrifice there is no reward. I am sure that martial arts changed people’s lives, and definitely changed my life forever.
The philosophy of martial arts is not to fight with others, the true challenge is fighting within yourself every day to become a better human being through consistency, persistency, strong discipline and never giving up. That is where the Victory comes from, and you are a champion of life.
MASTERSHIP IN SPARRING/SELF DEFENSE
Master Leonardo Nery was born in Brazil and began his training in the world of martial arts when
he was only 5 years of age. At age 11 he achieved First Degree Black Belt and was the first recipient
of the Junior Leader Instructor award at age 12 for being the top student.
TRAINING IN MARTIAL ARTS
During his early years from 1989 and on, he achieved the titles of Brazillian and South
American Champion. In 1995, he came to the US as a competitor winning several years in a
row in many tournament events.
INSPIRED BY OTHERS
Through the connection of Chief Master Ozuna, Master Nery was introduced to Chief
Master Sergio Von Schmeling, Owner and Founder of Victory Martial Arts. He invited
Master Nery to the United States in 1996 through a student exchange program so that he
could train in the Certified Instructor Training (CIT) program under his supervision. As a
result of this training experience he was invited to stay in the United States with Chief
Master Sergio Von Schmeling and to continue his training with him.
WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES!
In 1997, at the age of 17, he officially immigrated to the United States. Upon his arrival to
this country, he then became Chief Instructor at the first Victory Martial Arts school located
in Winter Park for Chief Master Von Schmeling. Soon after this achievement he opened the
Waterford Lakes and then Windermere school locations in Florida. Master Nery has been
named Instructor of the Year on several occasions throughout his career.
TAKING ON A NEW POSITION
From 2006-2008 he was nominated into the position of “President” of the Victory Martial
Arts Central Florida schools. During this time he opened many schools utilizing the
Victory Martial Arts system.
BECOMING A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES!
In 2009 Master Leonardo Nery become a United States Citizen!
BECOMING A MASTER!
Soon after he became a US Citizen, he began to prepare for his Mastership which he
achieved in 2010 through the American Taekwondo Association (ATA)!
MOVING FORWARD AS A LEADER IN THE MARTIAL ARTS BUSINESS
Today, Master Nery still partners with Chief Master Sergio Von Schmeling as a Chief
Instructor and Chief of Operations for all Nationwide Victory Martial Arts schools.
CERTIFICATIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
In 2001 he achieved his Certified Chief Instructor status from World Wide Krav Maga,
Warrior Krav Maga and Victory Martial Arts.
In 2012 he earned the status of wearing a Gold Collar from Chief Master Von Schmeling,
which is awarded for having over 1000 students under his tutelage.
Today Master Nery runs one of the most successful martial arts school in the country along
with overseeing the business operations aspects for Victory Martial Arts Nationwide,
motivating and guiding the other instructors and their schools to help them achieve
success in the martial arts business.
- Born in Caxias do Sul, Brazil
- Began Taekwondo training in 1989 Iguassu Falls, Brazil with Master Samaniego.
- Met Chief Master Von Schmeling in 1991.
- First visit to US world championship in 1995.
- Immigrated to US with wife and daughter in 1999 .
- Victory staff member since 2008 where I had the opportunity to become a partner with Victory.
- Became a US citizen in 2012.
- Master of Songahm Taekwondo .
- 2013 current partner and director of Wekiva school .
- Proud member of Victory and ATA family.