Vovinam to feature at ASEAN University Games
Vietnam traditional martial arts (Vovinam) will be an official sport at the upcoming ASEAN University Games, said the Southeast Asian Vovinam Federation Vice President Nguyen Binh Dinh.
Vovinam is practised by students from FPT University in 2014. (Credit: fpt.edu.vn)
According to Dinh, one of the reasons that convinced the organisers was that Vovinam had been strongly developed in many countries in the region, such as Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar. Among the Vovinam trainees, many are students.
As a result, Vovinam will be one of the 17 martial arts at the December Games. There will be 17 sets of medals available at the competition: 10 for performance and seven for combat events.
The Southeast Asian Games in 2011 and 2103 included Vovinam. It was also a sport at the Asian Beach Games in 2016.
Vovinam (later renamed Viet Vo Dao) is a Vietnamese martial arts system that was founded by Nguyen Loc (1912-1960) in the late 1930s. The system was developed with the practical intent of both providing, after a short period of study, an efficient means of self-defense and establishing an ideological basis for national identity and patriotism among the beleaguered Vietnamese people.
As Vovinam began to grow in the early 1960s, it maintained its eclecticism, as the instructors combined other useful techniques from a variety of martial art systems. The one aspect that makes Vovinam stand apart from other systems is the special leg techniques. There are many high-flying kicks and scissors takedowns in which the practitioner uses both legs to grasp and trip the opponent. The “flying scissors” techniques are the most recognizable of the Vovinam tactics. Tradition holds that these maneuvers were developed in the thirteenth century as a means to allow Vietnamese foot soldiers to attack Mongol cavalrymen.
The student begins by practicing leg techniques starting at the height of the leg. As the student advances, the level gets higher until the student reaches the neck and face. Many of these techniques are very dangerous, and thus the student must know how to control them. In addition, students must master falling and rolling techniques in order to avoid getting injured during practice./.