Biography of Grandmaster Nguyễn Dần (1928-2016)



Biography of Grandmaster Nguyễn Dần



          • White Belt Supreme, President of the World Council of Masters (annex 1)
          • Direct Disciple of the Master Founder Nguyen Loc.
          • President of the International Federation of Vovinam-VVĐ (1990-1992)
          • President of world Council of Masters (term 2004-2016)



master NguyenDân 

Master Nguyễn Dần

1st World Congress of Vovinam-VVD 1990 California-Usa

Grandmaster Nguyen Dan was born in 1928 in North Vietnam. He is the younger brother and also the disciple of Master Founder Nguyen Loc.

He started in Vovinam at the age of 8 years (1936), during the period of research and structuring of Vovinam by Master Founder Nguyen Loc.

It was part of the group of practitioners who participated in the opening of the first center in 1940 at the "Ecole Normale" of the Hanoi, Street Đỗ Hữu Vi. Later, he helped the Master Founder to open other training centers in Hanoi, as the school district Chu Văn An, Ba Đình.

In addition, in 1948 he had the mission to train in 2000 practitioners at the Cathedral of Tay Ninh, South Vietnam until 1949. Its mission ended, he returned to North Vietnam and continued to develop Vovinam in Hanoi.

In 1954 he will follow Master Nguyen Loc for departure to South Vietnam and became one of the earliest disciples of Vovinam.

In 1975, because of the events in Vietnam, Grandmaster Nguyễn Dần and his family took the path of exile to the United States of America; they embark on the boat Truong Xuan [[1]], with the help of Master Patriarch Trần Huy Phong. Since then, he has regularly participated in all the activities of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao and has actively contributed at the international level. 

In 1990 at the first World Congress of Vovinam-VVD in California-Usa, he was elected to the post of President of the International Federation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao. 

In 1996 the Second World Congress was held in Paris in order to reorganize the functioning of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao internationally and create two new key institutions: the World Council of Masters and the World Federation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Đạo. Master Nguyen Dan was invited as adviser to the World Council of Masters for two successive terms 



California, USA, 1990

1st World Congress of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao

Grandmaster Nguyễn Dần (D)

Master Phi Long (L)


In 2004, he was actively involved during the five days of the fifth World Congress which was held in Houston Texas, despite his advanced age. On this occasion he had said:

"… Despite my age and my physical strength was somewhat diminished, I am always ready to make a contribution to the Vovinam in the possibility of my ability…" 

Reason why, at the request of the World Council of Masters, he accepted to assume the post of President of the World Council of Masters (term 2004-2008) following the renunciation of Master Lê Sáng from this function by letter of August 16 2004 [[2]]. He performed this symbolic function in our international organization without interruption until his death.









Annex 1: White Belt Supreme President of the World Council of Masters 

The "White Belt of the Patriarch" (white belt with 4 colors of lower levels) was reserved exclusively for the master patriarch of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao. 

After the death of master patriarch Lê Sáng in 2010, and the decision to abrogate the patriarch function by the 2nd World Congress of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao (1996), and in accordance with the wishes of master Lê Sáng in 1992 [[3]], the title of patriarch no longer exists, and de facto, the White Belt of Patriarch too. 

During the 7th Congress in May 2012 in Paris, the World Congress of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao voted a resolution to retain the White Belt of Patriarch by changing its name to become "Supreme White Belt of the President of the World Council of Masters". This decision aims to respect the tradition, the system of ranks of the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao and also to keep in mind the contributions of the two previous patriarchs: Lê Sáng and Trần Huy Phong. 


[1]The Truong Xuan boat is the first boat for political refugees (boat people). He left Vietnam, when the Communist army from the North invaded Saigon on April 30, 1975 with 4,000 people on board, including all of Master Nguyễn Lộc's family: Mrs. Nguyễn Lộc, Master Nguyễn Dần, Mr. Nguyễn Hải, Master Nguyễn Chính… a total of about twenty people. Master Nguyễn Tiến Hội, founder of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao from Germany is also present on the boat.


[2]Previously (2002-2004), master Lê Sáng assumed this post on the occasion of the extraordinary meeting of the World Council of Masters, convened on February 4, 2002 in California, USA by the General Secretary of the World Council of Masters, Master Nguyễn Văn Cường, therefore master Lê Sáng is presence.


[3]According to Master Lê Sáng's repentance speech in front of the founding master's altar, read during a year-end meeting with the witnesses of the masters and several officials in Vietnam, on January 20, 1992: "... my head to repent before the soul and the spirit of the founding master and I confess: that my teaching is not strict, the inheritance has failed, and for that I deprived myself of the right to choose and to transmit the title of patriarch to an heir ... ”.







Conseil mondial ds Maîtres
© Fédération mondiale de Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo