Vietnam Traditional Martial Arts Federation Established in Italy

The Vietnam’s traditional martial arts in Italy have just been established.
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Vietnam traditional martial arts federation established in Italy
Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Thi Bich Hue (in yellow dress) together with martial artists. Source: baoquocte.vn

A workshop on Vietnam’s traditional martial arts (Vocotruyen) and the declaration of establishment of the Vietnam Traditional Martial Arts Federation in Italy took place on July 10 in the northern city of Piacenza, TG&VN reported.

The event was attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Thi Bich Hue; Grand-master Nguyen Cong Tot, Vice President of the World Federation of Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts, Vittorio Andrea Vaccaro, a representative of the National Olympic Committee of Italy; Elena Baio, Deputy Mayor of Piacenza and many masters and students of traditional Vietnamese martial arts in Italy.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Thi Bich Hue said the Vietnamese traditional martial art is a precious cultural heritage and a pride of the country. It reflects humanitarian value and national cultural identity that has been handed down from generations to generations.

Since its establishment in 2015, the World Federation of Vietnam Vocotruyen has worked to popularise the traditional martial arts to international friends.

So far, organisations of Vietnam Vocotruyen have been set up in nearly 70 countries, including about 40 with over 5,000 practitioners in Italy.

28 martial arts schools and nearly 150 masters and students were being present at the inauguration ceremony is a testament to the vitality of Vietnamese traditional martial arts in Italy. She said that the Italian people’s affection for Vietnam is reflected in their efforts to study, practice and promote Vietnamese traditional martial arts.

Vietnam traditional martial arts federation established in Italy
At the inauguration ceremony. Photo: VNA

President of the World Federation of Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts Hoang Vinh Giang sent his greetings to the delegates through video call.

Sharing her love for Vietnam, Deputy Mayor Elena Baio recalled the good memories of Vietnam during her 2017 visit, her impression of the people, historical traditions and culture of Vietnam.

She expressed her pride that Piacenza was chosen as the venue for the event and looked forward to cooperating to promote cultural sharing and exchange, including traditional martial arts.

Supported by the World Federation of Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts and the Italian Olympic Committee, the Vietnam Traditional Martial Arts Federation in Italy was established with the goal of bringing together 40 martial arts in Italy. With more than 5,000 students studying across the country, Italy is the second country in Europe in terms of the number of people studying Vietnam’s traditional martial arts.

The federation was led by master Matteo Foglia from Gruppo Vo-VN.

Vietnam traditional martial arts federation established in Italy
Vietnam’s traditional martial arts are practiced with and without weapons. It is not only about the training the body, but also the mind. Source: baoquocte.vn

Traditional martial arts have been developing for centuries in Vietnam, with hundreds of styles nationwide, including Nam Hong Son, Tay Son Binh Dinh and Vovinam (Viet Vo Dao), according to VNA.

Vietnamese styles have been become popular around the world thanks to their typical characters and practicality.

Vovinam is the most popular style of martial art in Vietnam, as well as around the world. The Vietnam Vovinam Federation confirmed there were more than 2.5 million practising the martial art in 70 countries and territories. The strong growth of the art form can be seen through the establishment of the world federation, as well as continental federations in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Master Nguyen Loc (1912-1960) founded the martial art in 1936 and introduced it to the public two years later.

Loc highlighted his so-called ‘revolution of mind’ to trainers, who are asked to always renew themselves and help others.

Vovinam involves the use of different body parts such as hands, elbows, legs and knees. Trainers also learn to use weapons, including swords, knives and fans. They also practise attacking and defensive skills.

Vovinam began to spread in 1970 and has developed in many countries with hundreds of schools in Poland, Belgium, Russia, France, and ASEAN members.

The first world championship was organised in 2009, marking a turning point in its history.

Vietnam Traditional Martial Arts Federation Established in Italy
Vovinam is the most popular style of martial art in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

Nam Hong Son is a martial art that has existed for nearly 100 years and is practised mostly in northern Vietnam. It has become hugely popular in Hanoi with thousands of trainers.

The martial art was developed as a combination between Vietnamese and Chinese styles by master Nguyen Nguyen To in 1920.

According to master Bui Dang Van, Nam Hong Son’s beautiful moves and special techniques attracted attention in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Like other martial arts, Tay Son Binh Dinh is practised with and without weapons. It involves the use of the hands and legs. Apart from cudgels, spears and swords, Binh Dinh masters could also use scarves, short staffs and poisonous weapons.

Inner force and strength are also important in this art form.

The best masters could lie on broken glass while being run over by a truck, or let sharp spears stab their throats.

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