Who's Who in
Vovinam is a Vietnamese martial art.
Vovinam is practiced with and without weapons. It is based on the
principle of harmony between hard and soft. It includes training of
the body as well as the mind. It uses force and reaction of the
Vo (Võ): "Martial Arts".
Vinam stands for "Vietnam"
Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo is a martial art
designed for self defense, health and personal development.
Vovinam includes hand "đòn tay", elbow "chỏ", kicks "đá", throws,
escape- and levering techniques. Both attack and defense techniques
are trained, just as foot techniques, forms (Quyền, Song Luyện & Đa
Luyện ), combat and traditional wrestling ("Vật").
The wide range of techniques include punching, kicking etc. as well
as Quyens ("Katas", "Forms"), wrestling, sword, Con staff (not the
Chinese "Gun" staff), axe, (folding-)fan and others.
Self defense techniques cover defense against weaponless attacks
like choking from behind or grabbing and against attacks with knife
Advanced students learn to combine the techniques and learn to
defend himself/herself against armed opponents. Instructors train
traditional weapons like the long stick, short stick, knife, sword
and sabre. Thereby the weapons serve as training devices for
reaching optimal body control. Outermost concentration is necessary.
Hard and Soft
The Yin & Yang-Theory (Vietnamese: "Âm-Dương")
states that everything in the universe and on earth is initiated
through the interrelation of Yin (negative) and Yang (positive). As
to this theory there are martial arts that prefer the hard over the
soft and others that prefer the soft over the hard. Vovinam Việt Võ
Đạo does not prefer any over the other. Hard and Soft are used
equally to adapt to every situation, to every problem.
Based on Võ-Thuật the student will develop the ability to combine
hard and soft at the right relation, in combat and in daily life.
This will develop both physical abilities as well as the student's
Not only the principle of the harmony of hard & soft but also many
other things resulting from the training contribute to internalizing
the martial art philosophy, e.g. fighting spirit, courage, tenacity,
fairness, modesty and tolerance. Above all the training morality and
the way of applying the techniques shape the students' character.
The greatest difficulty is to see through ones own ego and then to
overcome it. On success in doing so the Vovinam student will gain
generosity and tolerance with other people. With the awareness that
the most important thing in life of a human are other humans the
final goal is to be able to not only help oneself but also to help
others to live in peace and harmony with ones surrounding.
With the salutation, "Hand of steel on a benevolent heart" the
student is reminded about the main principle and about the goal of
Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo with every training. It is also about using the
opponent's force and reaction, hence reach maximum effect with