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VOVINAM Việt Võ Đạo Danmark

History of VOVINAM

(kilde: www.vovinamUS.com)

On May 24, 1912, Nguyen Loc was born to Nguyen Dinh Xuyen and Nguyen Thi Hoa as the oldest of the 5 brothers and sisters (Nguyen Thi Thai, Nguyen Dan, Nguyen Ngo, and Nguyen Thi Bich Ha). His father's family had settled in Huu Bang Village, Thach That County, Son Tay Province, North Vietnam, for generations. Later, his family moves to Hanoi. When Nguyen Loc starts going to school, his father askes an old master to teach Nguyen Loc the traditional martial arts and wrestling techniques for health and self-defense reasons.

Nguyen Loc grows up in the period which Vietnam is still under the French colonial rule. At that time, young men either are seduced by the French into the lusty lives or join the revolutionary war against the French. Master Nguyen Loc believes that the only way to free Vietnam from the colonial rule is to train the Vietnamese young men to have a strong, invincible will for liberty and independence. That would must be produced by a strong body and a rational mind. Therefore, he begin his missions to train the Vietnamese youth to have a moral and invincible spirit: "Live, Help others live, and Live for others."

Carrying on that belief, he diligently practices and researched many Vietnamese traditional martial arts as well as many foreign martial arts. He also examines tirelessly many archives about Philosophy, Literature, History,... even Anatomy and Medicine. In addition, he always attends many tournaments and competitions or discusses martial arts with many famous masters. After his research, he founds a new discipline of martial arts, which he names "VOVINAM", understood as the "MARTIAL ARTS OF VIETNAM."

In the fall of 1938, he begins to teach Vovinam to several friends. During this time, he continues to research and improves Vovinam's techniques. In 1940, He and his disciples demonstrates publicly for the first time in the Great Theater of Hanoi. The demonstration is very successful and attracted many spectators.

After the demonstration, he is invited by Doctor Dang Vu Hy, President of the Sport Friendship Association to teach Vovinam. The first Vovinam lessons began in the spring of 1940 in the Hanoi University of Education (E'cole Normal).

Many Vovinam disciples in the period of 1938-1940 often tell of the tale of the "invincible spirit" of Founder Nguyen Loc. In the first demonstration, there is a high ranking French offical, Colonel Maurice Ducoroy, attending. Because Col. Maurice Ducoroy, who represents the French colonial rule, is sitting in the audience, Founder Nguyen Loc doesn't let his disciples to bow to the audience. Instead he takes his disciples to the backstage to bow to the ancestor's altar. During the demonstration, Dr. Dang Vu Hy invites Founder Nguyen Loc to Durocoy's seat so Ducoroy could award him a medal. Knowing that he could not refuse, Founder Nguyen Loc has to accept. But when he returns to the stage, he calmly puts the medal into his pocket. His conduct has touched the patriotic feelings of the audience, espescially his disciples.

Since then, Vovinam always leads the demonstrations against the French and its rule, including the demonstration in the University of Hanoi and the Ministry of Agriculture. Consequently, French closes all the Vovinam classes and prohibits Founder from teaching Vovinam. This is a challenging period for Vovinam during its early time. However, Founder still seretly teaches many loyal disciples at home, and continues to lead many public demonstrations.

Soon later, Vovinam cooperates with many patrioting organization to host many events commemorating King Hung (first King of Vietnam), Two Queens Trung as well as many charitable events... At the same time, many self-defense classes have opened and recruit tens of thousands of disciples. The enthusiasm for Vovinam in the public is indicated by the slogans: "Vietnamese practice Vietnamese martial arts", "Not a Vovinam disciple, not a Vietnamese patriot"...

At this time, since the independence war is necessary, many Vovinam techniques are very simple but practical. The training focuses on the endurance, speed, and strength. Most of the training sessions last about 3 months. In April 1945, many Vovinam instructors are sent to remote places to promote Vovinam.

After winning World War II, France returns to Vietnam in 1946 to reclaim its former colony. On December 19, 1946, the war against France breaks out in North Vietnam. Founder Nguyen Loc leads his disciples to join the war. Some disciples become famous and courageous commanders while some have fallen for the freedom of Vietnam. When Viet Minh (the predecessor of the Vietnamese Communist Party) begins to consolidate their power by recruiting non-communist Vietnamese and murdering those who refuse, Founder Nguyen Loc immediately halts all his involvements with Viet Minh and urges his disciples to leave the Viet Minh. Knowing that, Viet Minh orders the capture of Founder Nguyen Loc with the purpose to force Vovinam disciples to join the Viet Minh. Upon the dangerous situation: being wanted by both the Viet Minh and the French, Founder Nguyen Loc tell his disciples to return to their hometowns to wait for an opportunity. He then takes the remaining disciples back to his hometown, Huu Bang village. In his hometown, he helps organize the young men into militias as well as train the new militias in combative techniques. He also assigns instructors to the Military Academy of Tran Quoc Tuan. After his responsibilities are fullfilled, he then continues his journey and train the Militia Officers of villages of Che Luu, Am Thuong, Thanh Huong, Dan Ha, Dan Phu along the way... In March 1948, He comes to The Catholic District of Phat Diem and assigns instructors to train Jesuit Militias under Chief Commander Tran Thien.

In August 1948, He returns to Hanoi and opens many Vovinam classes for the young men and women. In 1951, He works with many dignitaries to found the Vietnamese Martial Artist Federation which offers many martial art classes for the public in the schoolyard of Hang Than, Hanoi.

In July 20, 1954, the Geneva Treaty divides Vietnam into two countries: the North Communist and the South Nationalist. This event poses a great challenge to Vovinam in general and the Founder in particular. If Founder decides to stay in the North, Vovinam would be falling into the hand of the Communists. If He decides to head to the South, many disciples would leave their families and hometowns behind, and Vovinam would lose many able disciples who decides to stay. On the other hand, the South is still a unknown land, and the Founder would risk losing everything he builds from 1938 and would start from scratch; and no one really knows what is awaiting.

Finally, Founder Nguyen Loc decides to migrate to the South and start Vovinam once again under unfavorable conditions. In July 1954, Founder and loyal disciples arrive in Saigon, and open new Vovinam school here. Soon later, Vovinam is invited to train the South Vietnamese police in Saigon and Thu Duc.

In the middle of 1954, Founder fall sick and has to take a break from teaching. He authorizes the oldest disciple, Master Le Sang to take over the Vovinam classes temporarily. Although Founder is not physically teaching Vovinam, He is still doing researches, and analyzing Vovinam techniques as well as essential archives in order to refine Vovinam. Founder still looks after the disciples who are following his mission.

Relying on the Founder's teachings upon the Mind-Body Revolution, Master Le Sang systemizes the martial arts' techniques and finalizes the philosophical knowledge, missions, policies... Master Le Sang also gathers many disciples of the early classes to help develop Vovinam. Among the disciples are the two most active, Masters Tran Huy Phong and Nguyen Van Thu.

In 1958, Master Le Sang is elected to be the General Secretary of the Vietnamese Martial Arts Federation; he holds this position until 1968. During this time, he researches many traditional Vietnamese martial arts to revise Vovinam's techniques and originate the "one develops into three" method.

While the progress of Vovinam discipline has just begun and there are still many tasks to overcome, Founder Nguyen Loc unexpectedly passes away on April 29, 1960 (April 4, 1960, year of the Rat, according to Lunar Calendar). Before passing away, Founder Nguyen Loc appoints his most senior disciple, Le Sang, to continue his missions. Founder Nguyen Loc is then buried in the Mac Dinh Chi cemetery, Saigon. Then on every April 4 (lunar calendar), all the disciples gather in front of his tomb to pay respect to him.

On 11-11-1960, since Master Pham Loi of Judo participates in the coupe led by General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the Ngo administration prohibits many martial art disciplines, including Vovinam from functioning. All the training centers are banned. All the masters either disperses or are drafted into the army. In general, Vovinam almost disappears due to lack of leadership. However, despite of the hardships, Master Tran Huy Phong still continues the missions set forth by the Founder. He secretly trains many disciples in schools where he teach such as Thang Long, Ho Vu, St. Thomas. Therefore, he has created a task force of young, courageous instructors who become the foundation of Vovinam in the future.

On November 1, 1963, the Ngo Dinh Diem administration has fallen after a coup led by the military. Then a military government is established, and the ban of martial arts is annulled. All martial art disciplines are no longer being restricted, and starts to appear. In 1964, all the leading Vovinam Masters has met and formed the new discipline of martial arts. "VIET VO DAO" ("THE PHILOSOPHY OF VIETNAMESE MARTIAL ARTS") is added to become "VOVINAM-VIET VO DAO." The Council of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao is also formed.

The Council of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao has two structures:

Training Commission directed by Grand Master Le Sang is responsible to develop the training curriculum and to certify masters and instructors
Viet Vo Dao Youth Association led by Master Tran Huy Phong is responsible for youth and social activities
The hierarchy of the Council of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao:

Grand Master: Master Le Sang
Assistant Grand Master and Director of Planning Commission: Master Tran Huy Phong
General Secretary: Master Phan Quynh
Treasurer: Master Nguyen Van Cuong
Director of Public Relation Commission: Master Phung Manh Chu
Director of General Management Commission: Master Nguyen Van Thu
Director of Justice Commission: Master Ngo Huu Lien
Director of Ceremony Commission: Master Tran Ban Que
Director of the Treasury Commission: Master NguyenVan Thong
Training Commission: Master Tran Huy Phong (Director), Nguyen Van Thu, Tran Duc Hop, NguyenVan Thong, Tran The Phuong
The Council of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao also establishes the rank hierarchy and uniforms as well as a training curiculum according to the rank

The ranks of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao is as follow:

White Belt: Grand Master Le Sang
Red Belt:
Red Belt II: Master Tran Huy Phong
Red Belt I: Masters Nguyen Van Thu
Yellow-Stripe Red Belt: Masters Nguyen Van Thong, Tran Duc Hop, Phung Manh Chu, Tran Ban Que, Phan Quynh, Ngo Huu Lien, Nguyen Van Cuong, Tran The Phu
Yellow Belt:
Yellow Belt II: Senior Instructors Trinh Ngoc Minh, Cao Van Cat
Yellow Belt I: Instructors Nguyen Duc Quynh Ky, Nguyen Van Le, Lien Quoc, To Cam Minh
Yellow Belt: Assistant Instructor Nguyen Van Thai
The first training center is opened in 61 Vinh Vien (Eternal) Street, Saigon; then numerous training centers are also opened in Saigon such as Tran Hung Dao, Hoa Lu... The philosophical knowledge is also researched and published

In 1965, Master Phung Manh Chu, Director of Public Relations Committee, is successful in bringing Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao to the "New School Deal" program of the Education Department. The program starts first in four public high schools: Chu Van An, Petrus Truong Vinh Ky, Trung Vuong, and Gia Long; then followed by other pulic shools such as Nguyen Trai, Vo Truong Toan, Le Van Duyet, Tran Luc, Ho Ngoc Can, Mac Dinh Chi... as well as private schools in Saigon - Gia Dinh. During this time, the new training curiculum is developed from Self-Defense to Master levels. The philosophical knowledge of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao is also taught during class.

Because of his good public relations and communication skills, Master Manh Hoang manages to secure two large centers for Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao from 1965 to April 1975. Those are the Hoa Lu stadium (later named the Youth Training Center by Master Tran Huy Phong), 2 Bis Dinh Tien Hoang street, and the Lam Son stadium, Tran Binh Trong street, behind the Petrus Truong Vinh Ky high school

Since the number of students practicing Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao increases rapidly after a short period of time, hundreds of classes are opened and admit thousands of students in Saigon and provinces. There is a serious need for instructors. Many masters and instructors have to teach 10-11 hours a day, seven days a week; even the third-degree blue belt students are required to teach. Finally, because of high demand and low supply, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao have to refuse to open new classes

In early 1966, Master Manh Hoang persuades the National Police Department to allow Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao to be taught for the police officers. First many instructor-training classes are initiated in the National Police Headquarter, and the newly instructors are sent to the regional police departments to start Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao there. Even Grand Master Le Sang and the masters like Nguyen Van Thong, Phan Quynh, Trinh Ngoc Minh, Le Cong Danh, Tran Van Be... teach these classes. In the same time, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao collects a financial grant from the police funds

In 1966, South Korea persuades the Central Military Command of the Republic of Vietnam to allow Taekwondo to be taught solely in the army. Upon hearing that decision, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao declares that this is a shame to the Vietnamese matial arts of more than 4000 years. On the National Sorrow Day, July 20, 1966, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao organizes a vigil attended by thousands of disciples in the Plant-Animal Park (Thao Cam Vien), Saigon to protest the army's use of foreign martial arts. This vigil, widely supported by the media, touches the Vietnamese nationwide. Even the Military Intelligence Agency and the Presidental Political Bureau starts to investigate this event and the organizers. Even master Manh Hoang, Tran Huy Phong, Phan Quynh... are personally interrogated by Colonel Thang, Director of the Military Intelligence Agency. However, because of the persistence and the just cause, the Central Military Command issues a second order to allow Vovinam, Judo and Taekwondo to be taught in the military

In early 1967, Master Manh Hoang convinces Lieutenant Colonel Thuy of the Military Police of the III Corps to open many training sessions for the Military Police in Bien Hoa

In late 1967, Master Manh Hoang passes away unexpectedly because of advanced diabetes. Only 29, Master Manh Hoang makes many great contributions to the growth of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in the 60s

From 1968, Vovinamization of Armed Forces is initiated in the Central Military Command, the 18th Army Division, the Military Police of the III Corps, the Air Force and Naval Academy of Nha Trang, the IV Corps, the IV Reinforcement Corps, the 16th Armor Division, the 81th Airborne Brigade, the 21st Army Division, the 9th Army Division Academy, the Navy of Long Xuyen, the Navy of Binh Thuy, the 3rd Army Division... In the same year, Vovinamization of Rural Development Officials is initiated with the participation of tens of thousands of Rural Development Officials in Saigon and other provinces and villages

In early 1968, during the Tet Offensive event, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao helps many victims of war in Saigon. This touches the hearts of many people

In 1968, the Chief Instruction Commission is established in 30 Tran Hoang Quan Street, Saigon, together with the formation of Viet Vo Dao Association and Viet Vo Dao Youth Association. The Grand Master also appointed Master Tran Huy Phong as head of Viet Vo Dao Youth Association

After that, many masters and instructors are sent to many provinces to promote Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao: Trinh Ngoc Minh (Nha Trang), Tran Tan Vu (Phu Yen), Ngo Kim Tuyen (Binh Duong), Nguyen Van Chieu (Quy Nhon), Nguyen Van Nhan and Nguyen Van Sen (Can Tho), Tran Van My (Hau Giang), Duong Minh Nhon (Kien Giang), Nguyen Ton Khoa (An Giang), Nguyen Van Vang (Vinh Long), Nguyen Van it (My Tho)..

Soon later, the Eastern Instruction Comission is established in the province of Long Khanh under Master Tran Duc Hop and Central Instruction Commision is established in the province of Khanh Hoa under Master Trinh Ngoc Minh. In 1969, the Western Instruction Commission is established in the province of Long Xuyen (then moved to Can Tho) under Master Nguyen Van Nhan. In 1970, the Northwestern Instruction Commission is established in the province of Binh Duonng under Master Ngo Kim Tuyen

Every year, on the occassion of the Commemorating Day of the late Founder, many masters everywhere return to Saigon to attend the Commemorating Ceremony as well as attend the special training sesssions and promotion examinations. This creates a good tradition within Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao. The Grand Master and many high-level masters frequently visit many provinces, cities, and towns to support and examine the progress of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao nationwide. Beside martial arts training and character building, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao also encourages its disciples to participate in many community and social services

In early 1970, Master Tran Huy Phong establishes the Community Village of Viet Vo Dao in Tan Tao village, Binh Chanh disctrict, Gia Dinh province with 3 kilometer square area. The project creates more than 1000 residence unit to be sold to the disciples and friends. Besides, he and some friends form the Viet Vo Dao Agricultural Plant to harvest the agricultural produce for the village. After April 30, 1975, the Vietnamese Communist regime tich thu this property and changes it into the New Economic Zone of Duong Minh Xuan

In late 1970, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao and many cultural, religious, and political organizations as well as many celebrities to found the Steering Committee for the Establishing of King Hung's Altar, and finally the altar is placed in the Hoa Lu Center. Every year, the National Founder's Ceremony, attended by the President, legislators, government officials as well as many organizations and citizens lasts for many days

In 1973, the Vovinamization of National Officials is initiated with many training sessions in Chi Linh Center, Vung Tau

In 1974, a group of Vietnamese masters in France requests permission to join Vovinam because they like the ideals of Vovinam. As a result, the Grand Master and the Council of Vovinam approve their request and entrust them to form Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Federation of France. The first Executive Committe includes Prof. Phan Hoang (President), Pham Xuan Tong, Nguyen Dan, Phu, Hoang Nam, Nguyen Trung Hoa, Bui Van Thinh, Tran Phuoc Tastayre. The Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Federation of France is also responsible for promoting Vovinam in Europe

Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao also follows many exchange students such as Tran Nguyen Dao, Nguyen Thi Hue, Tran Dai Chieu, Duong Quan Viet, Ha Chi Thanh... to France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland..

In July 1974, the Grand Master appoints Master Tran Huy Phong as head of the Chief Instruction Commission and Master Nguyen Van Thong as the new head of the Viet Vo Dao Youth Association

On April 30, 1975, Saigon fell, and South Vietnam came under the rule of the Communist North Vietnam. Since early May 1975, seeing the fall of South Vietnam, Grand Master officially proposed the blueprint to bring Vovinam overseas because he feared that the 50-year achievement of Vovinam would be destroyed

Having many opportunities to leave Vietnam, the Grand Master and other senior masters are willing to stay in order to face the new challenges endangering Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao. On May 27, 1975, the Grand Master was detained; and shortly after Master Tran Huy Phong was also detained. While in prison, Grand Master Le Sang secretly appointed Master Tran Huy Phong to be the next Grand Master in case Grand Master Le Sang passed away in prison. During this period, Vovinam was almost disbanded; the other Masters either were imprisoned or halted teaching. Some escaped overseas to the United States, Europe, Africa, and Austraulia

In 1976, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao is present in Houston, Texas (U.S.A.) in the training centers directed by instructors Nguyen Quan and Nguyen Chinh

On December 15, 1978, the Vietnamese regime allows Masters Nguyen Van Ky and Do Van Phuong to open a Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao's training center in District 8 (Saigon) after 3-year ban. Since this time, many other training centers are re-opened in other provinces such as Can Tho, Nha Trang, Binh Dinh..

In June 1980, Vovinam is invited to train the Southern Martial Arts Research of the Security Agency of the Interior Ministry (Vietnam)

In Germany, senior master Nguyen Van Nhan and other masters (of the former Western Instruction Commission) are assigned to promote Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in Europe. Every year, the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Federation of Europe holds many special training sessions during the summer and winter. Vovinam Europe is noted for its valuable publications such as Forward, the Light, the Fire of Our Generations, Green Bamboo...

Also in 1980, instructors Ly Hoang Cat Long and Do Anh Tuan begin to establish the foundation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in Washington D.C. (U.S.A.)

Late 1980, Master Tran Huy Phong is released, but still under house arrest.

In 1981, senior instructor Nguyen Minh Hai arrives in San Jose, California (U.S.A.), and opens classes for many Vietnamese youth nearby. Until 1983, instructor Nguyen Thi Cam Binh opens a new branch with the assistance of instructor Tran Binh from South Carolina (U.S.A.)

In July 1981, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao is present in Boston, Massachusetts (U.S.A.) with instructor Tran My Duc. The Vo Dao Training Center is located within the YMCA Center which attracts many Vietnamese as well as local residents

In 1982, Master Nguyen Tien Hoa arrives in the United States, and is assigned to promote Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in Los Angeles, California with Master Duong Viet Hung. A year later, Master Nguyen Tien Hoa departs for York, Pennsylvania, bearing the responsibility to promote Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao. Year after year, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Pensylvania contributes many valuable human and financial resouses to the Vietnamese community here

In August 1983, the Mac Dinh Chi cemetery is dissolved by the Vietnamese regime. Master Tran Huy Phong as well as some masters, instructors, disciples as well as one of the daughters of the late Founder collect and return his remains to the Altar Hall of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao (King Hung Training Center), 31 Su Van Hanh street, Disctrict 10, Saigon until now

On May 1985, the 25th Commemorating Ceremony in tribute of the late Founder is held in San Jose (California). Numerous masters, instructors, and disciples gather here to bow to the photo of the late Founder to honor his priceless effort and vow to contribute to the betterment of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao

In 1986, Senior Master Tran Van Be is sent to lead Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in the United States. He and Instructor Ly Hoang Cat Long settle in Chicago, Illinois. Since then many special training sessions are held in Chicago for many masters and instructors from different states within the United States

On September 14, 1986, the Australian Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Conferrence is organized by Masters Le Cong Danh, Tran Huy Quyen, Nguyen Van Thong, Le Linh Thao, Le Quang, Diep Khoi, Do Chanh Tam... at the Springvale Community Center (Victoria). The success of the conferrence marks the achievements of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in Australia.

In 1988, the Grand Master is released from labor camp. He returns to Saigon to lead Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao through its darkest time

In Vietnam, in 1989, the Viet Vo Dao Association of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon before 1975) was founded with Master Nguyen Van Chieu as President. As Vovinam became popular again in Vietnam, Vovinam disciples were allowed to compete in the Technical Tournament of the Third Region in 1990. Then Master Nguyen Van Chieu and Nguyen Anh Dung are invited to the northern provinces such as Quang Binh, Thanh Hoa, Ha Noi, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Yen Bai, Lang Son, Phu Tho... to promote Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao here

In 1990, the Grand Master instructs Master Nguyen Dan (younger brother of Founder Nguyen Loc) and Master Ly Phuc Thai to host the International Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Conference from June 30 to July 1, 1990 in California, U.S.A. This conference is attended by many masters and instructors representing Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao from different countries. During the conference, the International Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Federation is founded with the Executive Committe as followed

Master Nguyen Dan, President
Master Ly Phuc Thai, Director for America's affairs
Master Le Cong Danh, Director for Australia's affairs
Master Ha Kim Khanh, Director for Europe's affairs (in additions, the President of Vovinam Europe is Master Duong Quang Viet)
Master Nguyen Ngoc My, Director for Africa's affairs
In 1992, 178 Vovinam athletes participated in the first National Vovinam Tournament (from December 4 to 6, 1992) in Vietnam

On December 3, 1993, Master Tran Huy Phong is successful in completing one of his childhood's dreams: founds the college of martial arts and philosophy (the first in 7 centuries). Master Tran Huy Phong and other professors found the King Hung University with 3 departments: Information Technology, Medicine, and Mind-Body Education. Master Trang Huy Phong is the director as well as the professor of Mind-Body Education department which will train Vovinam's instructors and research new techniques

In 1991, Master Nguyen Anh Dung is officially sent to Russia to promote Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao here as well as the Easter European countries. After a short period of time, a workshop is opened to train new Vovinam's assistant instructors in Minsk, Russia. After the workshop, many new assistant instructors return to their hometowns to start new training centers

On April 29, 1994, the Vietnamese regime establishes the Viet Vo Dao Commission to control Vovinam, and assigns a government official (who is not a Vovinam disciple) as the Commissioner. Because of this matter, all Vovinam Federations overseas declares that they would not comply to the puppet Viet Vo Dao Commission. Also in 1994, the Viet-Vo-Dao Commission bans all the "unauthorized" Vovinam training centers in Vietnam, including Master Tran Huy Phong's training centers. It also prohibits Master Tran Huy Phong from teaching Vovinam

In 1996, being encouraged by Master Tran Huy Phong, Master Tran Nguyen Dao hosted the Second International Conference of Masters on August 16 and 17, 1996, in Paris, France. The Conference decided to form the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao World Federation; Master Ngo Huu Lien was elected to be the President and Master Nguyen Van Cuong was the General Secretary of the World Council of Masters

In September 1996, a young man named Patricl Level arrived in Vietnam to practice Vovinam in the 8th District Center with Master Nguyen Van Chieu. Then he returned to Canari, Spain, to promote Vovinam there. On February 10, 1997, Patrick Level founded the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Federation of Spain with himself as President and Sergio Mora Hernandez as General Secretary. On April 1997, Master Nguyen Van Chieu arrived in Canari to open workshops for the new instructors

In December 1996, the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao demonstration team from Vietnam attends the annual 2nd World Cultural Festival and Games in Thailand. Their performance is praised by the audience as well as their competition counterparts

On February 16, 1997, the California Council of Masters and Instructors met and formed the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Federation of California with Master Nguyen Van Dong as President

On December 13, 1997, Master Tran Huy Phong passed away because of Kaler's Disease (cancer of the bone marrow). His priceless contributions to Vovinam were remembered by all disciples. He was a significant figure of the Vietnamese youth and cultural movement in the late 20th century

On July 20, 1998, Vietnam hosted the First International Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Tournament in Phan Dinh Phung Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City, with the participation of 4 countries: Vietnam, France, Italy, and Spain

On May 30, 1999, the first Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Championship of North America is held in the Roosevelt Community Center, San Jose, California with the participation of more than 40 athletes from California, Washington, and Vancouver B.C. (Canada).

On August 25, 1999, Master Nguyen Thi Cam Binh of San Jose, California, is promoted to First Degree Red Belt by the Grand Master himself after the belt promotion examination in the Altar Hall. Master Nguyen Thi Cam Binh becomes the first woman promoted to the rank of the Senior Masters of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao

And the history of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao still continues...


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(Contributor: Tri Nguyen)

 
  :: Udarbejdet den: 01/10/2005          
             

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