Biography of the Grand Master Trần Huy Quyền (1945-2001)


Biography of the Grand Master Trần Huy Quyền




  • Supreme White Belt (2008)
  • Red Belt I Stripe (1989)
  • The Founder of Vovinam- Việt Võ Đạo in Australia
  • The Vice President of The Vovinam- Việt Võ Đạo World Federation



 metranhuyquyen melbourne1986

Melbourne, Australia, 1986

Grandmaster Trần Huy Quyền


Grandmaster Trần Huy Quyền, whose birth name is Trần Ích Quyền, born December 24, 1945, in Quan Phuong Trung, Hai Hau district, Nam Dinh province (Ha Nam Ninh), North Vietnam, was the fifth of a family of seven children (annex 1). 

He grew up in a country torn by wars: between revolutionaries and the French colonialist government (1884-1945), then the fight against Japanese domination (1940-1945), the war between the Việt Minh and the French (1946- 1954) [[1]], and finally the war between North and South Vietnam (1954-1975).

He didn't have much of a chance in his youth. Her mother gave birth to him on the way to the maternity ward, at the foot of the banyan tree [[2]] at the entrance to the village. While her father was away, her mother cut the umbilical cord on her own and brought him home. 

By the age of 8, Master Trần Huy Quyền only owned one brown shirt. His birthday wish that year was to eat an orange, to grant him his wish, his beloved sister sold her blouse and his family did not eat for a day to raise enough money to buy him an orange.

At the age of 9 (1954), he and his family migrated to Central Vietnam, Da Nang, and sometime later his father was transferred to Ban Me Thuot for professional reasons. As a result, he followed his brothers to Saigon where they stayed with acquaintances of the family. From that moment he lost the happiness of living in the family cocoon and was forced to fend for himself until he was an adult.



1944 lecongdanh tranhuyquyen 

Hoa Lu Center, Saigon 1964.

Left, master Trần Huy Quyền (10th Flying Scissor Tech)

Right, master Lê Công Danh (7th Flying Scissor Tech)



In 1960, Master Trần Huy Quyền started Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo at the training center located on Trần Hưng Đạo Street, Saigon [[3]], and the teaching was provided by Masters Lê Sáng and Trần Huy Phong. 

He was very talented at martial arts, a year later (December 1961) he was selected to be part of the demonstration team [[4]] at the Olympic Hall, Saigon, on the occasion of a fundraiser in favor of flood victims in Southeast Vietnam. 

In 1963 Master Trần Huy Quyền went to Ban Me Thuot to visit his family and while he was there a request was made for him to help the youth at Tao Tac army base to train in the skills of self-defense and intensity. Hence, he started his first martial arts class. One of the disciples from this class later progressed to become Master Trần Nguyên Đạo. 

In 1965, he was one of the first disciples of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo to be promoted by Master Trần Huy Phong to the title of instructor at the Vinh Vien Street training center, which was also the headquarters of Vovinam at the time. Among the classmates promoted as instructors, there were also other masters: Nguyễn Văn Thái (Thái Đen), Lê Công Danh, Trần Văn Bé, Trần Văn Trung, Nguyễn Văn Thông. 

Between 1965 and 1975 he taught in the following centers: Cai Von Training Center, Vinh Long Province club, 81st Parachute Commando Battalion. He also created the Hieu Nghia High School training center in Saigon where he holds the position of Mathematics teacher and director of the Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo training center. 

Graduated from Saigon Education University major in Mathematics and worked as a teacher until 1975. However, due to the war situation in Vietnam, he had to serve in the army rangers for many years.



 metranhuyquyen trungtamcaivon1972

1972 - The Cai Von Training Center - 4th Army

From left to right: standing with arms crossed in the first row: Masters: Nguyễn Văn Lộc (1), Hồ Tuấn Anh (2), Trần Huy Quyền (3), Trần Huy Phong (4), Phan Quỳnh (5), Nguyễn Ngọc Thanh (6).


In 1974, he married Mrs. Trần Thị Ân; from this union born: Trần Thị Quỳnh Anh (1975) and Trần Huy Quang (1986). 

In 1975, like all masters, he was imprisoned in re-education camps for six long years (1975-1981). At first, he was locked up for three years in Chi Hoa Prison (Saigon) with Patriarch Master Lê Sáng, and then he was transferred to another location. Seeing no hope of being released, he escaped in 1981 and lived in hiding. 

In 1982, thanks to the organization of his brother, Master Trần Huy Phong, his family and a group of fellow masters [[5]], they managed to leave the country. In October 1984, he and his family moved to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 

As soon as he arrived in Australia, he began to develop Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo and actively participated in the activities with the Vietnamese community in all fields: cultural, media, charitable, artistic, etc. 

Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo’s first training hall in Australia was at his home. He gave lessons to about ten disciples. Then the number of students and classes grew throughout the territory of the state of Victoria.



 metranhuyquyen australie 1986

Australia 1986

Grand Master Trần Huy Quyền (1945-2001)

Founder of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in Australia


He brings together the other masters to form the direction of Vovinam Viet Vo Dao in Australia, in Melbourne, masters Nguyễn Văn Thông, Lê Thành Nhân, Diệp Khôi, in Adelaide master Phạm Thị Loan, in Sydney master Lê Công Danh, etc., in order to manage thousands of practitioners across Australia, similar to what they did during their youth back in Saigon, Vietnam. 

In 1986, he created the Australian Federation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao. Ten years later the Australian federation is one of the six founding federations of the World Federation of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao, in 1996 in Paris, of which he was elected vice-president. 

Beside the Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao, he also participated in the activities of the Vietnamese community such as the ceremonies of King Hung Vuong, the two Trưng Sisters, the celebrations of the festivals of different peoples (Momba). 

He was also editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Vietnam Today" [[6]] under different literary pseudonyms like Bao Bất Đồng, Chu Văn, Vương Ngọc Yến, etc., responsible for FM 97.4 radio programs under the names of Đông A Cư Sĩ, Mộ Dung Tiên Sinh, Trần Huy and Trần Văn etc… 

Through his cultural activities, he energized the forums on Vietnamese democracy, thus gaining the respect of many Australian politicians who often asked him for his opinion on the problems concerning Vietnam.



 vs tranhuyquyen botruonguc

Master Trần Huy Quyền, Mr. Gareth John Evans, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia and Mrs. Trần Thị Ân, wife of Master Quyền



On January 12, 2001, Master Trần Huy Quyền died at his home in Springvale, Victoria State, Australia, at the age of 56. 

The passing of the master left strong mourning emotions, leaving behind the image of a joyful master, full of life, simple and dynamic. 

Master Trần huy Quyền was a shining star of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo. He went down in history and became one of the models of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo martial culture. 

In 2008, during the 6th World Congress of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao in Paris from May 5 to 8, on the proposal of the Secretary General of the World Council of Masters, Master Trần Nguyên Đạo, he was honored and posthumously promoted to Grand Master, Supreme White Belt, by the World Council of Masters.



Annex 1: Master Tran Huy Quyen's family 

Master Trần huy Quyền was the fifth of seven children in a family with a long history of martial arts tradition. He was the younger brother of Patriarch Master Trần Huy Phong. Below are the names of his brother and sisters in order from eldest to youngest: 

1-    Tran Thi Nguyet (1931-2015).

2-    Tran Ban Que (Supreme White Belt).

3-    Tran The Tung (Yellow Belt- 1965).

4-    Tran Huy Phong (1938-1997) (Patriarch Master).

5-    Tran Huy Quyen (Supreme White Belt).

6-    Tran Thien Co (Yellow Belt- 1971).

7-    Tran Nguyen Dao (Supreme White Belt). 

Most of his brothers are disciples of Vovinam-Việt Võ Đạo, starting with Master Trần Huy Phong. Everyone has contributed to the discipline according to their abilities. Having a brother in important positions is not of benefit to other family members. The rule of impartiality is in order according to tradition and family education. The descendants of the Trần family must respect the following 5 moral behaviors: 

  • Self-reliance
  • Self-education
  • Self-defense
  • Self-improvement
  • Self-control

[1] : Also called the Indochina War, it is an armed conflict that took place from 1946 to 1954, between France and Viêt Minh. The conflict ends after the defeat of the French army in Dien Bien Phu, ends, following the Geneva agreements. France (George Bidaut, foreign ministers) signs the Geneva Agreements (July 20, 1954) with Vietnam (Tạ Quang Bửu) and the foreign ministers: John Foster Dulles (United States), Molotov (Soviet Union) , Anthony Eden (United Kingdom), Chu En-lai (Popular China). Dividing Vietnam into two rival states, having as a border the 17th parallel. The North is ruled by Hồ Chí Minh who establishes the communist regime; the South is ruled by Bảo Đại under the monarchical Republican regime. France renounces its colonialist intentions and withdraws from Indochina. The Indochina war claimed more than 500,000 victims.

[2] : Hence his nickname "Mr. Banyan".

[3] : 1st Vovinam training center after the death of master founder Nguyễn Lộc.

[4] : First Song Luyện with his fellow student Nguyễn Văn Thái.

[5] : Among the masters who succeeded in leaving Vietnam by boat with master Quyền, there were also other masters: Lê Công Danh (Sydney), Nguyễn Văn Thông (Melbourne), Nguyễn Văn Đông (Usa), Phùng Mạnh Tâm (USA).

[6] : "Việt Nam Thời Nay", is the 1st daily newspaper in Vietnamese language, subsidized by the State of Victoria, Australia.

World Council of Masters
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