International Grand Master Truong Van Bao                                                                                 World Federation of Vietnam Vocotruyen

During the long history of the Vietnamese nation spanning more than 4000 years of building and defending the country and fighting numerous foreign invaders, the Vietnamese martial arts spirit, indomitable perseverance and strength of tradition have had a strong and lasting influence on shaping the character, determination, prowess, wisdom and even extraordinary abilities of Vietnam and its people.

In the course of history, Vietnamese traditional martial arts – like the country itself – have seen many ups and downs, yet always taking it in stride and with pride and dignity. Each historical period, no matter what the circumstance, produced a great number of glorious heroes and famous generals. Some of them have become part of our legends, inspiring the Vietnamese people who to this day praise their heroic contributions to our nation’s development.

Traditional martial arts originated from the very necessities of survival and self-defense. They were passed down from generation to generation, from one area to another. They were suppressed, reinstated, fragmented into many branches and sects. And they spread in all directions. Today, the traditional martial arts of different areas, branches, and sects throughout the nation share many similar characteristics.

Already at a very early stage of society, our ancestors knew how to use their hands and feet for punching, kicking, wrestling, grabbing and holding and also how to throw stones, javelins... They were adept at fighting with wooden sticks, scimitars, swords, bows and arrows to defend themselves from fierce animals and enemies in order to ensure the survival of their tribes. That is the source of traditional martial arts.

Searching for historical material about Vietnamese traditional martial arts is not an overnight task, and certainly not something that only one person can achieve. It takes the combined effort and research of many martial arts masters, various scholars such as historians, philosophers... because Vietnamese traditional martial arts are truly an inherent part of the entire cultural heritage of Vietnam. Throughout history, our people have been striving to lead a life of spiritual devotion and reverence, upholding high moral and ethical standards and – as genuine human beings – developing compassion, benevolence, righteousness, wisdom. Therefore, Vietnamese traditional martial arts, as well, are nourished by, and firmly based upon, values close to the heart of the Vietnamese people, like compassion, etiquette, integrity, consideration, sincerity.


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