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In history, Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts (Võ Thuật Cổ Truyền Việt Nam) have been practiced since 2879 B.C. The culture stressed the effectiveness of this particular martial arts system for promoting excellent health and vitality as well as opening up potential ways to spiritual fulfillment.

Traditional Vietnamese martial arts epitomizes the strength and resilience of the Vietnamese culture. It dates back more than a thousand years and strives to hold onto its original values and identity. Traditional Vietnamese martial arts not only focus on the development of a healthy body but also seeks to train the mind to be resilient and the spirit to be devoted to family and to society. Training in martial arts means developing one’s body and self, cherishing the home and family, and protecting the country. By training in traditional Vietnamese Martial Arts, the weak could defeat the strong, the short could stand above the tall, the small could take on the large, and the few could overwhelm the many. Its weapon skills and bare-handed techniques are extremely difficult, requiring years of practice to develop speed, strength, and accuracy within each blow that aims to be imperceptible to one’s opponent.


The name, Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts, encompasses a number of offensive and defensive fighting systems rooted deeply in Vietnamese philosophies.  This classical system of Vietnamese martial arts is still practiced today by people all over the world.

Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts consists of various forms of fighting skills such as empty hand, weapons as well as other fighting routines and unarmed combat techniques, especially close-combat skills.  

Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts are not only appealing to practitioners through their effective fighting techniques but also through their artistic and aesthetically pleasing forms.

At the beginning and end of a form, the martial artist starts by kowtowing – actions that serve to honor and acknowledge the ancestors and teachers, fellow practitioners, and the audience. Occasionally, one might observe that each set of movements within a form is accompanied by an oration of poetic stanzas that help describe and explain the reason for every motion. These stanzas are important in identifying the authenticity of a form.

Moreover, it is used to improve the energy flow in practitioners in order to cure or prevent health problems.  Apart from its martial self-defense purposes, it is a culturally significant, comprehensive way of cultivating the human body and spirit. The continued practice of traditional martial arts will help pass on important aspects of Vietnamese culture to future generations.

Vietnamese Traditional
Martial Arts Legacy

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