Biography of the Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình (1929-2020)

Biography of the Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình  (1929-2020)



  • Supreme White Belt.
  • Direct disciple of Founding Master Nguyễn Lộc.
  • Vice President of the World Council of Supreme Masters (term 2008-2012 and 2012-2016).
  • Recognition as International Grandmaster (10th Dang), by the Vietnamese State through the Vietnamese Olympic Committee and the World Federation of Vocotruyen in 2015



 master PhanDuongBinh

Hanoi - 1994

Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình


Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình was born on October 10, 1929 in Hanoi, Vietnam. He was a highly qualified disciple of the Founding Master Nguyễn Lộc. He joined Vovinam in 1948, at the age of 19, at the same time as the Grandmaster Trần Đức Hợp (1931-2000) at Hàng Than Street, Hanoi 

From the beginning, Founder Master Nguyễn Lộc had noticed the talents of Master Phan Dương Bình, thus asked Master Phan Dương Bình to come and train with him at his private residence in Hàng Than district. Sometime after, the Vovinam class moved to the Tôn Đả district. Master Phan Dương Bình continued to train with the Founding Master at his new address and assisted him in the training sessions. 

In 1948, when Founder Master Nguyễn Lộc left the Bùi Chu-Phát Diệm region to return to Hà Nội, Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình continued to remain by the Founding Master’s side to assist him during the 5 most difficult years in Hà Nội (1949-1954). It was at this time that Grandmaster Lê Sáng postponed his public training to open a shoe shop called Phi Điệp with co-owner Mr Đặng Bẩy (Levacan district).  


nguyenloc monde 1948 

Hanoi – 1948

Left/Right : Trần Đức Hợp, Nguyễn Cao Hách, Phan Dương Bình,

Nguyễn Lộc, Bùi Thiện Nghĩa, Nguyễn Dần


Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình had been very determined to help his master revive Vovinam at every possible opportunity after years of dispersion and stagnation caused by the turmoil within Vietnam. It was Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình who opened new training centres and took the role of main instructor to provide training in the Hàng Trống and Tôn Đản districts, where Grandmaster Lê Văn Phúc trained. Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình, with Master Nguyễn Lộc, opened and created the Việt Nam Võ Sĩ Đoàn movement, an organisation of Vietnamese martial artists, gaining a lot of positive reactions in training centers and schools in Hàng Than.


mephong binh 

Saigon 1986

Masters Trần Huy Phong and Phan Dương Bình, two founders of "Khi Công" of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao

In 1954, he followed Founder Master Nguyen Lộc on a migration to South Vietnam and attended the training center in Aviateur Gago Street (Thủ Khoa Huân). However, due to family reasons, he felt obliged to return to the Northern Vietnam in 1955. Back in the North alone without any contact with Vovinam for more than 31 years (1954-1985), he continued to practice Vovinam and researched various Chinese martial arts. Today, Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình is one of the specialized masters in the field of "internal energy" (Khí Công). 

In 1985 he had the opportunity to make contact again with Vovinam through Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong. In 1986, with the official support of the Department of Youth and Sports of Hanoi, he organized the trip of the 1st delegation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao from Hanoi to go to Saigon and meet the authority of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao. 

This symbolic and moving meeting will mark the history of our School. For the 1st time after 32 years of separation (1954-1986), the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao of the North and the South renewed contacts. 

On this occasion, Master Trần Huy Phong, third generation master patriarch, formally acknowledged Master Phan Dương Bình's rank as 2nd degree red belt (black belt 6th dang). Ten years later, in 1996, Master Phan Dương Bình was promoted to 3rd degree red belt (7th dang) following the grade's formalisation by Master Patriarch Lê Sáng. 


 1eredlgationvvd saigon mebinh


Saigon 1986, the first delegation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Hanoi in Sgon

Nguyễn Bá Dương (1), Vũ Kim Trọng (2), Nguyễn Văn Sen (3), Phan Dương Bình (4), Trần Bản Quế (5), Mai Văn Hiệp (6), Phạm Thị Cúc (7)


In 1995, in response to the appeal of the Master Patriarch Trần Huy Phong, Master Phan Dương Bình and the members of the former Council of Masters of 1964 published on September 16, 1995, the Declaration to officially create the Provisional Council of Masters Abroad. This council is the precursor body of the World Council of Masters and the World Federation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao which were created during the World Congress in 1996 in Paris. At the same time, Master Phan Dương Bình was promoted to the title of Grandmaster, Supreme White Belt because he is one of the members of the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao Tradition [[1]]

Since that date, he has actively participated in the World Council of Masters, and became Vice-President of the Supreme Council of Masters for two terms, from 2008 to 2012 and from 2012 to 2016.



 hano2009grand stage international

Hanoi 2009

Grand international internship in Hanoi, Vietnam





Hanoi 2015

Master thesis defense - Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam

Left/Right, masters : Tran Antonella, Hà Kim Khánh, Ta Jean-Piere, Nguyễn Thế Trường,

Nguyễn Tiến Hội, Phan Dương Bình, Lê Công Danh, Trần Nguyên Đạo, Guerrib Mai,

Miesch Philippe, Phi Long, Guerrib Amar, Py Michel

The candidates : Sene Abdoulaye, Miethe Didier, Nassouri Moussa





Hanoï12009, award of honorary diploma to the grandmaster

International internship, Hanoi, Vietnam

Left/Right, masters: Phan Dương Bình, Nguyễn Thế Trường





Hanoi 2015, the teaching team of

International seminar, Hanoi, Vietnam

Left/Right, masters : Miesch Philippe, Phi Long, Lư Quang Đức, Trần Nguyên Đạo, Trương Quang An, Lê Công Danh et Phan Dương Bình





Hanoi 2009, graduation ceremony

Master thesis defense - Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam

Left/Right, masters : TRAN Antonella, Phan Dương Bình

From 2009, at the age of 80, the master's health slowly deteriorated because of his old age. This is why he wanted to pass on his knowledge of internal energy (Khí Công) which he had mastered after more than 60 years of research. However, he has not yet found the right person to receive such teaching and continue to perpetuate his works. 

During the 1986s, following consultations and research with Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong, Master Phan Dương Bình had contributed a number of materials for the enrichment of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao technical system, with such work as:- Thất Thập Nhị Bát Thức, Khí Công forms (Khí Công Quyền), and dual forms for the elderly (Song Luyen). 

These works have been perpetuated by Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong and Lê Sáng and later passed on to some masters and instructors. Among them, the four masters have had the privilege to receive most advanced trainings were Masters Ngô Kim Tuyền (1947-2019), Nguyễn Chánh Tứ, Trương Quang An, Vũ Kim Trọng and Trần Nguyên Đạo. Therefore these forms of training are more as rich as of today.




Hanoi 2003

Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình

However, Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình was not satisfied because these teachings did not have the expected development and were not part of the official teaching program of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, especially that intended for the elderly and this, despite the efforts of Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong who created the educational system called "Gymnastics of the mind" or "Tâm Thể Dục" in order to teach it at Hùng Vương University, a project which never succeeded in the serious illness of master Trần Huy Phong 

Furthermore, in terms of "khí công" currently taught in Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, we are only at the initiation stage (level 1), and according to Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình, all 5 levels must be incorporated, not just the current level.

For this reason, Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình wished to transmit on his knowledge to Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo, because he felt that he had all the capacities required to continue his work. 

In addition, Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo had also received the teachings and inherited the works of "Khí Công" from Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong before his death. He also had the documents (photos, videos ...) of Master Vũ Kim Trọng and Trương Quan An, when the latter received the teaching of Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong. For Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo, it was quite legitimate to continue the work of Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình, Lê Sáng and Trần Huy Phong. 

Thus, Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo decided to travel regularly to Hà Nội, Vietnam, from May 2013, to complete and complete his training on Khí Công with Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình.




Cover of Khi Công's book

In 2018, the health of Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình, aged 89, showed signs of weakness and this required hospitalization. Aware that master Bình's time was running out, Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo concentrated all his efforts to complete the two books of Khi Cong, supervised by Grandmaster Phan Duong Binh since 2009. In July 2018, Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo went to the bedside of his master at the hospital to present him the two books of "Khí Công". Satisfied and relieved, Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình validates the two works he has been waiting for a long time.


During the summer of 2019, at age 90, Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình's health deteriorated rapidly. He lost his speech and his mobility, but his mind always remained lucid. When the international delegation came to visit him in August 2019, he even performed a few technical gestures with Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo, under the astonished eyes of the masters present [[2]].



 hano 2018hpitalhanoimedao binh

Hano12018 – Hanoi Hospital, Vietnam

Master Trần Nguyên Đạo presents Khi Công's books to

Master Phan Dương Bình

On May 15, 2020, after transmitting all of his knowledge of "Khí Công" to his trusted heir, Grandmaster Trần Nguyên Đạo, the Grandmaster Phan Dương Bình left this world peacefully with satisfaction and relief.




Hanoï2018 – Hanoi Hospital, Vietnam hano 2018hpitalhanoimebinhcertifie

Grand master Phan Dương Bình "certifies" his works of Khi Công, made by master Trần Nguyên Đạo under his supervision

His departure came as no surprise, but the pain was very intense for everyone who knew him.

Grandmaster Phan Dương Binh is a shining star of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao. Her passing left a great void in the hearts of all practitioners. It is a great loss, not only for Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo, but also for all Vietnamese martial arts as a whole.



[1] : Direct disciple of the founding master or/and member of the first Council of Masters in 1964.

[2] : On the occasion of the return of the international delegation to Hanoi to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the first demonstration of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in 1939. Representatives of the international delegation: GrandmasterNguyen The Truong, President of the World Vovinam-Viet Federation Vo Dao, Master Huynh Huu Quí (Belgium), Master Guerrib Mai, President of the Vovinam-Vovinam Federation of France, Master Truong Quang An (Vietnam), Master Geurrib Amar, Technical Director of the French Federation and Grandmaster Tran Nguyen Dao..





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