Biography of the Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong (1938-1997)


Biography of the Patriarch Master  

Trần Huy Phong




          • Patriarch of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo (1986-1990)
          • 5th degree red belt (black belt 9th dang international - 1973)
          • Supreme White Belt (black belt 10th dang international - 1990)



1960-1964 : He assumed the leadership of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo to replace the Founder Master.

1964-1967 : Assistant to the Patriarch, Technical Director and Advisor

1967-1973 : President of the Federation of Youth Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo.

1973-1975 : President of the Formation Federation Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo Việt Nam, President of the Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo International Development Office.

1986-1990 : Patriarch of Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo

1996-1997 : Founder of the World Council of Masters and the World Federation of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo.


maitrephong 10tamniem


Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong - 1990

 The birth 

Master Trần Huy Phong was born on 28-12-1938 in Quần Phương Trung Town, Hải Hậu District, Nam Định Province (Hà Nam Ninh), North Vietnam. His real name Trần Trọng Bách, later changed to Trần Quốc Huy, he is the fourth child from a family of 7. (annex 1)

Son of Mr. Trần Văn Bảng (1898-1975) and Mrs. Trần Thị Nhạn (1913-1993), he comes from a family with a martial tradition since the 12th century, being the 27th descendant of Grand General Hưng Đạo Đại Vương Trần Quốc Tuấn (1230-1300) (annex 2). 

Having grown up in a period when Vietnam was still under French rule (1884-1945), he was lucky enough to live on the lands of the TRAN family (Nam Định) and was able to receive the teachings according to the martial traditions of the family. Every day, his grandfather, Mr. Trần Văn Khiêm (1879-1949), taught him acupuncture classes, martial arts strategies, wrestling techniques, riding techniques and the art of leading and managing. 

This formation had forged him generosity, a noble and chivalrous spirit, a stronger character, ready to defend just causes. 

His courage and willpower were already apparent in adolescence. In 1950 (at the age of 12), because of the Franco-Vietnamese war (1946-1954)[[1]], his family, having lost contact with his father who held the position of manager in the province Cẩm Phả (near the Chinese border) had fallen into poverty and his mother had become seriously ill. 

He decided to take his little brother Trần Huy Quyền (5 years old), to walk on foot a few hundred kilometers [[2]] to find their father. During the reunion, the father of Master Trần Huy Phong very moved, had made the decision to resign from his position to return with his 2 children, to look after his wife. 




Cover of the book "Esprit Trần Huy Phong"

Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his death (1997-2017)


In 1954, following the Geneva agreements [[3]], he followed his family to the South of Vietnam, he met Master Nguyễn Lộc and started Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo in 1954 at the Thủ Khoa Huân Center in Saigon at the age of 16. 

Already having a basic martial arts and possessing great talent, he quickly progressed to become one of the leading disciples of the Master Nguyen Loc 

Master Trần Huy Phong and the dark period 1960-1964 

In 1960, the same year of the death of the Founder Nguyễn Lộc, the Ngô Đình Diệm government banned the activities of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo (1960-1964) [[4]]. At that time, his eldest, Master Lê Sáng had gone to Quảng Đức for his economic activity. Only Master Trần Huy Phong continued to work in the greatest secrecy to develop martial art. He created the Movement "Vovinam for a strong youth" (Thanh Niên Khỏe Luyện Tập Vovinam - Young People Practicing Vovinam), with the objective of training of practitioners and executives on 3 levels: Spirit, Virtue, Corps

Professor of mathematics in high schools in Saigon, and taking advantage of his status, he was able to open multiple training centers of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo in the school setting, in the places where he taught his cultural education. As a result, the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao movement in this period, despite the ban, had experienced exceptional development. The numbers had increased steadily, and many of the young and enthusiastic instructors he had trained served as the foundation for a large expansion of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in the years 1964-1975. 

Training centers such as: Hồ Vũ, Ánh Sáng, Thánh Thomas, Thăng Long, Trí Đức, Đức Thánh Trần (General Trần Hưng Đạo) etc. are considered historical centers! They symbolised Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo's willingness, perseverance, "not to bow to the difficulties" as well as adaptability during the darkest period of its history. Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo did not break out under the prohibition of a political regime, on the contrary, it was able to develop very widely in all social strata, attracting many practitioners, becoming a civil organisation useful to society thanks to his goal of serving the man and his neighbours.




The first disciples of Master Trần Huy Phong - 1964

From left to right, the teachers: Trần Văn Bé, Nguyễn Văn Hoàn, Dương Hoành San, Trần Văn Trung, Trần Huy Phong, Phan Quỳnh, Nguyễn Văn Lễ,

Trần Huy Quyền and Lê Công Danh. 


The period 1960-1964 was a wonderful and exceptional period in the history of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo ! 

All these results were made thanks to Master Trần Huy Phong. By his active contribution, he had been able to bring Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo, from the situation of a few training centers, by a fulgurating expansion, in spite of the prohibitions of the political regime, to a great institution which had acquired its nobility in the years 1964-1975, that all current practitioners continue to enjoy. 

Master Trần Huy Phong and the period of development (1964-1975) 



maitrephong projection 

Master Trần Huy Phong- 1964

In early 1964, Vovinam was allowed to resume it’s activities [[5]]. Faced with the rapid growth of Vovinam, the creating a structure was required. Master Trần Huy Phong and the masters of the time: Lê Sáng, Mạnh Hoàng, Nguyễn Văn Thư, Ngô Hữu Liễn, Phan Quỳnh, Trần Bản Quế, Nguyễn Văn Cường, Nguyễn Văn Thông had established a project to structure the organisation of Vovinam. 

A management committee was born. Master Lê Sáng was elected to the office of Patriarch and Master Trần Huy Phong was appointed as assistant to the patriarch as well as Technical Director and Vovinam Development. It was a large project announcing a brilliant period in the history of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao . 

On the organisational level, Master Trần Huy Phong had actively contributed with the help of the masters of the time, for the development of Vovinam, through the following actions: 

Creation of basic structures 

  • Creation of the National Federation of Vovinam
  • Establishment of the statutes (statutes 1964).
  • Definition of the function of the patriarch (annex 3).
  • Establishment of the Council of Masters (annex 4). 

Creation of the program 

  • Development of the rank system.
  • Development of a technical education program.
  • Systems and regulations for Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo degree examinations.
  • Development of a program of theoretical and philosophical education.
  • Writing the 10 basic principles.

Drafting of basic regulations 

  • Change of Vovinam name to Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo.
  • Creation of the tradition of master thesis presentation.
  • Design of "võ phục" (training suit).
  • The Vovinam- Việt Võ Đạo emblem.
  • Definition of rites and rituals. 

On the technical side 

Through his research, he had contributed to the Vovinam-VVĐ technical system : 

  • Development and implementation of new scissors techniques (Đòn Chân) for medium level, from number 13 to number 21.
  • Laying the bases of the combat strategy system, through the first 20 basic strategy techniques (Chiến Lược) of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao.
  • Development of the wrestling system (vật) through the 15 basic wrestling techniques following research in traditional wrestling techniques in Vietnam
  • Establishment of the "bare-hands" defense system against weapons such as: machete, ax, bayonet and stick.
  • Developed the framed combat system: rules, procedure, security, equipment, arbitration. Before 1964, Vovinam did not yet have a combat system or competition rules. Thanks to this contribution that the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao has a modern combat system for exams and competitions that we still enjoy today. 

On the philosophical side 




Master Trần Huy Phong- 1964

Master Trần Huy Phong had developed following his research, the following theories : 

  • Theory of the harmony of strength and flexibility, based on the "bamboo philosophy".
  • Demonstration by mathematical theories and physics methods of falls and rolls of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo.
  • Implementation of the "Năm Tu Bốn Tiến" lifestyle concept (5 principles and 4 progression methods) for the training program for Vietnam officials.
  • Demonstration of the ethnic character of Việt Võ Đạo.
  • Demonstration of the scientific character of Việt Võ Đạo.
  • Demonstration of the educational character of Việt Võ Đạo.
  • Elaboration of the art of management.
  • Writing the theory of the Revolution of the Body and the Spirit (Chủ Thuyết Cách Mạng Tâm Thân).
  • Elaboration of the educational program for the subject of Pedagogy of Body and Mind (Tâm Thể) to be taught in the university.
  • Elaboration of theories and methods of teaching internal energy (Nội Công Tâm Pháp), Khí Công, Bát Thủ Pháp ... for higher levels.

The Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao within National Education 

In 1965, the program Vovinam Viet Vo Dao in school environments (annex 5) was booming in high schools: Chu Van An, Trong Vang, Cao Thong, Gia Long and Petrus Ky. At that time, masters Mạnh Hoàng and Trần Huy Phong were teachers in high schools in Saigon. They used their status and their knowledge to easily obtain authorisations for demonstrations that had allowed the many openings of training centers in the aforementioned high schools with more than 8,000 registrations. 

The Hoa Lư Center and the Việt Võ Đạo Youth Federation 

In 1966, Master Trần Huy Phong and Master Mạnh Hoàng had created the Hoa Lư Training Center at number 2 bis Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, Sài Gòn. Master Trần Huy Phong also held the position of Director of this center, which was very famous before 1975, being the training ground for thousands of practitioners and where many talented teachers were still working in many countries (annex 6). 

In 1968, Master Trần Huy Phong created the Việt Võ Đạo Youth Federation, and was the president. The aim of this organisation was to train young practitioners by actively involving them in social, humanitarian and cultural activities, in addition to their training. 

As president of the Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo youth federation (1968-1973), he had opened numerous centers throughout Vietnam as well as courses for army corps such as: the national police, the development service in the countryside, the 81st Parachute Regiment, the General Staff, the 4th Tactical Corps at the Cái Vồn Training Center, the 3rd Military Police Regiment, Minh Đức University in Saigon, the Cường Để Seminar , Minh Mạng University Campus, Biên Hoà, Vĩnh Long, Thủ Đức, Vũng Tầu, Cần Thơ ... 

Social and humanitarian contribution 

From 1961 to 1965, with his teacher friends : Mạnh Hoàng, Hoàng Quân, Đinh Đức Mậu, Nguyễn Văn Cường, Phan Quỳnh, Nguyễn Xuân Thiều, Mai Trung Hoa, he created the Pedagogical Center for the General Public for provide free revision courses for school exams as well as training for self-defense, for students from modest families in Sài Gòn and Chợ Lớn. 

At the beginning of 1968, after the war during the feast of the new year of the monkey (Tết Mậu Thân) [[6]], Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo had organized great assistance and relief to the victims of the war : managing tens of thousands of people in schools that have become refugee centers located in Saigon as the 5th, 6th and 8th arrondissement and various places in the city including Pham Dinh Ho, Minh Phung, Khai Tu, Hong Bang, Binh Tay etc. So that these refugees can find accommodation and food during the difficult period. Vovinam, through these humanitarian and social operations, was well known and appreciated by the general public. 

At the beginning of 1970, Master Trần Huy Phong created the Việt Võ Đạo Community in the hamlet of Tân Tạo, Bình Chánh district, Gia Định province with an area of 3 km, had dug dozens of kilometers of canals, install water purification systems, build more than a thousand homes for practitioners and supporters at a low price. At the same time, with friends, he had created an Agricultural Cooperative Việt Võ Đạo for the exploitation of the products. After the 30th of April 1975, the Government of Viet Nam confiscated this place to transform it into a New Economy Zone Dương Minh Xuân. 

Cultural contribution - University 

In 1970 that Master Trần Huy Phong had also created the Commission for the installation of the Temple of the Founder of the Vietnamese Nation, King Hùng Vương [[7]] with dozens of associations and religious organisations in South Viet Nam such as: Buddhism , Catholicism, Protestantism, Hoà Hảo, Caodaism.

This commission of a size equivalent to that of a nation, had set up its headquarters at the Hoa Lư Training Center. Every year, the King Hùng Vương commemoration ceremony was always celebrated at the head office and had the privilege of welcoming government officials such as: the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, ministers, deputies, senators, as well as religious, cultural and martial arts organizations. 

The most typical cultural work and it is also the will of Master Trần Huy Phong, was the creation of Hùng Vương University to introduce Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo as a university subject baptized Pedagogy of the Body and the Spirit (Giáo Dục Tâm Thể). In 1974, he had created, with the help of personalities of the time in South Vietnam such as: Ngô Gia Hy, Nguyễn Huy, Hoàng Xuân Định, Nguyễn Trí Văn, Nguyễn Nhã, Lê Linh Thảo, Nguyễn Thượng Nam, Nguyễn Văn Thức, private university Hùng Vương. Authorizations were issued, but the project could not succeed because of the fall of South Vietnam on 30-04-1975.


The program of the Faculty of Education of the Body and the Spirit, the University Hung Vuong



This aspiration had not left him. He had begun to realise his project in 1991 with Messrs Ngô Gia Hy, Nguyễn Chung Tú, Phan Tấn chức, Nguyễn Nhã, Hà Bính Thân, etc. The project was completed in 1993. On 03-11-1993, the Ministry of Education had issued authorisation (Decision 2395 / QĐ-TCCB) for the creation of a private and civil university Hùng Vương, whose seat was located at the home of Master Trần Huy Phong, at No. 97 Hoàng Văn Thụ Street - Sài Gòn.

Originally, Hùng Vương University comprised 3 faculties: Computer Science, Medicine and Management. Especially for the Faculty of Sports, the section Pedagogy of Body and Mind (Giáo Dục Tâm Thể) Vovinam-Viet Võ Đạo, despite the already established teaching program, could not see the day because Master Trần Huy Phong was seriously ill, forcing him to seek treatment in France. He died in December 1997, taking with him his desire to enter the university, in the martial culture of Vietnam (lack of people able to continue his work). However, Hùng Vương University continues its activities by training hundreds of students every year and contributing to the cultural work of Vietnam.

Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao International development 


 maitrphong mephanhoang

Centre de Hoa Lu, 1973 Khanh : 1974

G/D, Maîtres : Phan Quỳnh, Trần Huy Phong, professeur Phan Hoàng et monsieur Bùi Thế Thông

In 1973, Trần Huy Phong held the position of President of the Formation Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo, along with that of President of the Development Office of Vovinam International (VietVoDao International Central Office). He was the man who laid the foundation for developing Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao abroad, through seminars (1973, 1974) and the recognition of the French Federation of Viet Vo Dao - (chaired by Professor Phan Hoang), as well as the official appointment of two teachers (Trần Nguyên Đạo, Nguyễn Thị Huệ), whose mission is to develop Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo in Europe. It was from this moment that Vovinam-VVĐ was taught in Europe and Africa.  


Master Trần Huy Phong in the dark years 1975-1990 


In 1975, the situation in Vietnam changed, Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo was banned from activity by the Vietnamese communist regime for 15 years (1975-1990). At that time, Master Trần Huy Phong, as Patriarch Lê Sáng as well as the master leaders were locked up for many years in concentration camps. 


Once released, Master Trần Huy Phong continued his work of teaching and training in the greatest secrecy, discreetly organized the departure abroad of hundreds of teachers and masters for freedom and to be able to develop the martial art. Thanks to these actions, today there is a multitude of high level masters who continue to lead and develop Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in different countries such as: United States of America, Canada, Australia, and Europe. 


In 1986, he was the 3rd generation Patriarch of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, and in 1990, he handed over this responsibility to Master Lê Sáng, the 2nd generation Patriarch, to devote himself to research. 


In 1992, he established the Vovinam Viet Vo Dao Training Center, called "Võ Đạo Quán Cây Tre" which was the first private training room to Martial Arts after 15 years of prohibition by the regime of the time. He had also organised the first Vovinam Viet Vo Dao championships at the city level (1992) and at the national level (1993).



Võ Đạo Quán Cây Tre 1993 – Maitre patriarche Trần Huy Phong

Et la délégation Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao France

Master Trần Huy Phong illness

In 1994, Master Trần Huy Phong had a very serious illness. His younger brother, Master Trần Nguyên Đạo had brought him to France to be treated. Despite the violence of the pain that had tortured him during the last 3 years of his life, Master Trần Huy Phong suffered but with extreme courage he was able to complete his work on the theory of the Revolution of the Body and the Spirit (Cách Mạng Tâm Thân), to bequeathed to Vovinam Viet Vo Dao and future generations a valuable cultural heritage.


Knowing that he did not have much time to live, in parallel with the drafting of his work, he was aware of the importance of his position regarding the reestablishment of the governing body of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao. It is for this reason that he wrote on 19-03-1995, from Gustave Roussy Hospital (France) to the masters of all countries, calling on them to unite to find a solution for the future of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao. 

This call had created a great emotion among all the masters who had responded positively. Six months later, Master Trần Huy Phong and the senior teachers had issued the Declaration of Formally Establishing the Council of Masters to lead Vovinam Viet Vo Dao on 16-09-1995, and Master Trần Nguyên Đạo had been given the mission of organizing the 2nd World Congress of Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo. 

Over the 16th and 17th August 1996, the Congress was held in Paris - France, under the chairmanship of Master Trần Huy Phong, with a massive participation of masters around the world. From this congress, 2 governing bodies of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao are created and which continue their activity until today: 

  • The World Council of Masters of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo
  • The World Federation of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo. 

In July 1997, he returned to Vietnam with his family and his faithful disciples. On 13-12-1997, Master Trần Huy Phong died in Saigon, Vietnam. Before passing, he had left his will, precious books and documents asking his disciples to continue his work and to transmit them to Master Trần Nguyên Đạo, who has the duty to fulfill his will. 

Master Trần Huy Phong had left a great work for Vovinam Viet Vo Dao and for future generations. He had trained many disciples who are now continuing to perpetuate the noble work of their master, thus contributing to the martial culture of Vietnam. 

Every year, on the anniversary of the master's death, the disciples of all the countries of the world, organise commemoration ceremonies, for the recognition of the great work and legacy that Master Trần Huy Phong bequeathed. 

The personality of Master Trần Huy Phong 

"... Master Tran Huy Phong was faithful and loyal to Vovinam, behaved fairly towards its neighbors. 

He was impregnated by the spirit of Việt Võ Đạo, clearly representing the 3 principles of life of Việt Võ Đạo: Live, Let others live and live for others. 

He had a spirit of commitment, courage, the ability to take responsibility, feared no risk. He had faith, confidence, perseverance and unparalleled responsiveness. 

His life was simple, honest and sincere. He was still selfless in serving the Vovinam Viet Vo Dao Ideal. 

He possessed an extraordinary personality, virtue, a will to progress, a great knowledge of martial arts, competence, a great charisma and a great leader ... "

 ((Extract from the handwritten letter from Master Patriarch Lê Sáng, May 12, 1986).



Võ Đạo Quán Cây Tre 1992 – Master patriarch Trần Huy Phong

Left/right : Nguyễn Trung Thành, Vũ Kim Trọng, Trần Nguyên Đạo,

Trần Đức Hùng,



 Annex 1 : Master Trần Huy Phong's family 

Master Trần Huy Phong was the 4th child of a family of 7 children in the following order: 

  1. 1.Trần Thị Nguyệt (1931-2015).
  2. 2.Trần Bản Quế (Supreme White Belt).
  3. 3.Trần Thế Tùng (yellow belt level - 1965).
  4. 4.Trần Huy Phong (1938-1997) (Patriarch).
  5. 5.Trần Huy Quyền (1945-2001) (Supreme White Belt).
  6. 6.Trần Thiện Cơ (Yellow Belt - 1971).
  7. 7.Trần Nguyên Đạo (Supreme White Belt). 

Annex 2 : Descendancy of Grand General Hưng Đạo Đại Vương Trần Quốc Tuấn 

The Trần family had settled for several generations in Nam Định province, North Vietnam. She has always kept the tradition of establishing the altar of ancestors as well as the genealogical inscriptions. When the family is too large, it can be broken down into branches, each branch can have several generations and each generation has the duty to complete the family tree for future generations. 

It is for this reason that the Trần family has several branches and several genealogies and branches. In order to be able to search for his position or ascendants, comparisons must be made between the branches of the ancestors of the previous generation and those of the descendants of the next generation. 

Concerning the branch of the Trần family of Master Tran Huy Phong, it belongs to one of Mr. Trần Thiên Táng (real name Trần Quốc Ninh) down 16th Grand General Hung Dao Dai Vuong Tran Quoc Tuấn and 5th descendant of the ancestor Trần Vu. 

The genealogy of this branch was carried out by Mr. Trần Văn Gia, who was the Supervisor during the reign of King Tự Đức (1847-1883), in the year 36. It was written in ancient Vietnamese (Hán-Nôm) and was named Trần Tông Ngọc Phả, tracing the tree from the first generation, that of General Trần Quốc Tuấn, to the 16th generation, that of Mr. Trần Quốc Ninh. This tree has been completed by subsequent generations since the 17th generation and later. 

Today, this family tree under the name Trần Tông Ngọc Phả, is kept by Mr. Trần Quốc Hoàn (29th descendant - the direct nephew of Master Trần Huy Phong), who currently lives in Hà Nội Việt Nam. Thanks to this family tree, Master Trần Huy Phong was able to know his position as the 27th descendant of Grand General Hưng Đạo Đại Vương Trần Quốc Tuấn. 

In 1993, during his homecoming in Nam Định province, Master Trần Nguyên Đạo had the privilege of being guided by his brothers, the masters Trần Bản Quế, Trần Huy Phong and their nephew, Mr. Trần Ngọc Giá (the father of Trần Quốc Hoàn) to visit the tombs, the altars of the ancestors and also to study the family tree of the Trần family. From that moment, he was able to create a new branch to register the Trần family abroad, thus continuing the genealogical tradition since the 27th generation. His will is to trace the family tree from the first generation (1230) to the present day. 

Annex 3 : The Patriarch function. 

During the period when master Nguyễn Lộc created and directed the Vovinam (1938-1960) and that when master Trần Huy Phong took up the torch and developed the School underground (1960-1964), the function and the title of patriarch do not yet exist. Master Nguyễn Lộc, always presented himself as the founding master. The function of patriarch appears when the legalization of Vovinam in 1964 and the 1st Council of Masters (Central Directorate), elected Master Lê Sáng to this function. 

Annex 4 : 1st Council of Masters (Central Directorate) 

The Central Directorate (the Council of Masters) is a collegial management body. Defined by the 1964 statutes, its role is to command, manage and administer Vovinam activities, unlike the post of patriarch which is more of a symbolic function. 

For the first time in 26 years of existence (1938-1964), the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao has a collective management body, responding to the principles: collegial, democratic, impartial, with a modern operating method such as: elections, collective decision, statutes, internal regulations, etc.




The first Council of Masters in 1964

Left/right : Ngô Hữu Liễn, Phan Quỳnh, Nguyễn Văn Thư, Lê Sáng, Trần Huy Phong, Nguyễn Văn Thông and Trần Bản Quế



Members of the first Council of Masters: 




Lê Sáng

Assistant to the Patriarch, Technical Director

Trần Huy Phong

President of the Commission for External Relations

Mạnh Hoàng

President of the Legal Committee

Ngô Hữu Liễn

President of the Control Committee

Nguyễn Văn Thư

President of the commission of organization of ceremonies

Trần Bản Quế


Nguyễn Văn Cường


Phan Quỳnh

President of the Finance Committee

Nguyễn Văn Thông

Technical Commission

Président : Trần Huy Phong. Membres : Nguyễn Văn Thư, Trần Thế Phượng, Trịnh Ngọc Minh, Trần Đức Hợp, Nguyễn Văn Thông           


Nguyễn Hữu Nhạc

 Annex 5 : The Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao within National Education 

In 1965, Professor Trần Ngọc Ninh, Minister of Education (Regime of the Republic of Vietnam, South Viet Nam), during his visit to South Korea, noticed that Teakwondo, the national martial art, was taught in schools and in the army. 

Upon his return to Vietnam, he had the idea of introducing martial arts education in schools to strengthen the minds and bodies of Vietnamese students. On this occasion, Master Mạnh Hoàng, being the ambassador of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao, had cleverly woven relations and had succeeded in placing Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo as one of the three subjects to be selected by the Ministry of Education for to be taught in school environments . 



Practitioners from Boys' High School Pétrus Ký - 1966


In the first stage, the ministry had selected 5 famous high schools in Saigon to serve as pilot sites for the school-based martial arts curriculum: Chu Van An, Gia Long, Petrus Ký, Trưng Vương và Cao Thắng. At that time, the teachers Mạnh Hoàng and Trần Huy Phong being teachers in the high schools in Saigon, had knowledge with the educational environment. They easily obtained authorizations to organize demonstrations in the pilot schools mentioned above. 

Following numerous demonstrations led by Master Trần Huy Phong, Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo was very popular with students. Hundreds of centers were opened and in record time there were more than 8,000 registered student registrations. 



Practitioners from Gia Long Girls' High School - 1966

 Annex 6 : Hoa Lư Training Center 

Masters from this center : 

  • Việt Nam : Vũ Kim Trọng, Nguyễn Văn Chi, Mai Văn Hiệp, Trần Đức Hùng, Khâu Thanh Danh, Hoàng Việt Quý, Nguyễn Văn Lộc, Nguyễn Văn Vang, Nguyễn Văn Khải, Lê Văn Thuyết, Lê Hoàng Ngân, Tô Văn Thiện, Trần Quyền, Huỳnh Văn Hoa, Nguyễn Ngọc Thơ, Phạm Công Đệ. 
  • USA : Phùng Mạnh Tâm, Nguyễn Xuân Ngọc, Phạm Đình Phúc,Trần Văn Bé, Nguyễn Văn Đông, Nguyễn Gia Đức, Nguyễn Tiến Hoá, Phạm Văn Bảo, Nguyễn Thế Hùng, Phạm Phú Thành, Nguyễn Văn Lương, Nguyễn Quân [[1]], Nguyễn Chính [[2]], Tạ Văn Lương Việt, Bùi Khắc Hùng, Nguyễn Trung Thành, Nguyễn Thị Lài, Nguyễn Thế Tài, Thái Thanh Xuân, Lê Quang Liêm, Nguyễn Bá Dương, Phạm Thị Cúc… 
  • Canada : Trần Văn Trung, Phạm Đình Tự, Nguyễn Ngọc Thanh, Trịnh Dzương Minh, Lê Minh Thiền, Huỳnh Lâm, Lê Hữu Phước, Khúc Thị Ngọc Hậu. 
  • Europa : Trần Nguyên Đạo, Nguyễn Điện, Nguyễn Thị Huệ, Nguyễn Tiến Hội, Sudorruslan Mohamet. 
  • Australia : Trần Huy Quyền, Lê Công Danh, Phạm Thị Loan, Lê Thành Nhân, Trần Thiện Cơ, Trần Quang Sơn. 



Hoa Lư Training Center - 1970








[1] : Also called the Indochina War, it is an armed conflict that took place from 1946 to 1954 in French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) in the Viêt Minh


[2] : The distance from Nam Dinh to Cam Pha and about 180 km.

[3] : The Geneva accords were signed on 20-07-1954 under the sponsorship of the foreign ministers of the countries: Soviet Union (Molotov), United States (John Foster Dulles), China (Zhou Enlai) and Great Britain (Anthony Eden), ending the Indochina War between Vietnam and France. Vietnam is divided into two states, taking the 17th parallel as the border. The North is under the communist regime led by Mr. Hồ Chí Minh, the South is republican under the leadership of Emperor Bảo Đại.   

[4] : During the period 1960-1964, Vovinam was banned by the Ngô Đình Diệm government because of the failed coup in 1960. Among the insurgents are masters Phạm Lợi (Judo) and Tám Kiểng (Traditional martial arts). It is for this reason that all martial arts disciplines are prohibited. During this period of prohibition, Master Lê Sáng stopped all Vovinam activity to go and work in Quảng Đức (memoir of Master Patriarch Lê Sáng, 2001), while Master Trần Huy Phong continued to operate in secret.

[5] : The Ngo Dinh Diem government was overthrown on November 1, 1963.

[6] : The 1968 Tết offensive was a military campaign led by the combined forces of the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (or Việt Cộng) and the Vietnamese People's Army (Communist). The goal is to provoke the uprising of the South Vietnamese population against the Republic of South Vietnam. This offensive ended in failure with nearly 80,000 soldiers killed and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths.

[7]It is a dynasty of 17 kings between 2888 BC. AD until 258 BC. AD Considered the founders of the country and celebrated every year on the tenth day of the third lunar month (in April)..

[8] : The son of Master Nguyễn Dần, nephew of Master Founder Nguyễn Lộc.

[9] : The son of Master Nguyễn Lộc






Conseil Mondial des Maîtres
© Fédération Mondiale de Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo