Master Nguyen Loc
The Martial Arts Discipline of Vovinam-Viet Vo
Dao was founded by Master Nguyen Loc in 1938. It uses a combination
of the traditional martial arts of Vietnam and traditional wrestling. He researched into other martial arts with the intention of combining specific aspects from the other martial arts into one style of martial art that would be suitable for the physical frame of the Vietnamese people, thin, but fast, flexible and enduring. He later named the combined martial art Vovinam. Master Loc grew up in
the period when Vietnam was still under the French colonial rule.
At that time, young men were either seduced by the French into
lusty lives or they joined the revolutionary war against the French.
Master Nguyen Loc believed that the only way to
free Vietnam from colonial rule was to train them to have a strong,
invincible will for liberty and independence. That will would be
produced by a strong body and a rational mind. Carrying that belief,
Loc practiced diligently and researched many Vietnamese traditional
martial arts as well as many foreign martial arts. Through his
research, he found a new discipline of martial arts, which he named "VOVINAM",
understood as the "MARTIAL ARTS OF VIETNAM." Since 1964,
the new title "VIET VO DAO" ("THE PHILOSOPHY OF
VIETNAMESE MARTIAL ARTS") was added to become "VOVINAM-VIET
In 1960, before passing away, Master Loc promoted
his eldest student, Master Le Sang, to Grand Master. Since then,
under the leadership of Grand Master Le Sang, Vovinam - Viet Vo
Dao became an international martial art with more than one million
practitioners from around the world.
The goals of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao are to:
1. Preserve and develop the martial arts of Vietnam,
applying the "Hard-Soft Co-development".
2. Research and innovate new martial arts' techniques
to improve Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao's technical resources.
3. Train disciples on the Strength, Techniques,
Strength: Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao will train disciples to have a solid body and
strong endurance against obstacles and diseases.
Techniques: Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao will train disciples to have practical techniques
for self-defense and just causes.
Philosophy: Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao will train disciples to have a rational mind,
an invincible will, and a gallant character. Disciples will be living in a
self-disciplined and forgiving way and become model citizens, and serve oneself,
one's family, one's state, and mankind.
To achieve these goals, Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao follows
1. All the functions of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao are based on an established
foundation: take Mankind as the end, take Characters as the goals,
and take Invincible Will as the means.
2. Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao is an extended family, in which disciples
love and respect one another. This respect and love will be the
discipline of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao, which will help the disciples
to unite and honor the uprightness of Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao, serving
3. Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao actively participates in the education
of young men and women.
4. Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao is independent of political and religious influence.
5. Vovinam-Viet Vo Dao always respects other disciplines of martial