​World Vovinam Championship opens, spreading the essence of Vietnamese martial arts to the world

November 25, 2023 - 08:47
Beyond the aim of competing, Vovinam martial artists also view this event as an opportunity to reconnect with the roots of Vietnamese martial arts.
Vovinam martial artists train for the World Vovinam Championships 2023. — Photo thanhnien.vn


HCM CITY — The seventh World Vovinam (Vietnamese traditional martial art) Championships will begin today at the Phú Thọ Indoor Stadium in HCM City.

The event features 650 athletes, coaches, and referees from 35 countries and territories, competing for a total of 44 sets of medals.

Within the competition, there are 26 sets of medals in the performance category, with 15 designated for men and 11 for women. Additionally, there are 18 sets of medals for sparring events. Men compete across 11 weight categories, ranging from 51kg to over 92kg, while women participate in seven weight categories, from 48kg to over 66kg.

Beyond the aim of competing, Vovinam martial artists also view this event as an opportunity to reconnect with the roots of Vietnamese martial arts. Maestro Vittorio Cera, the master and technical director of the Italian team, took advantage of the occasion to bring his team to visit Vovinam's ancestral hall and engage in conversations with veteran masters, in order to deepen their understanding of the essence of Vietnamese martial arts.

Italian athlete Francesco Brambilla expressed his observation of the training teams, adding: "In my opinion, the level of athletes this year is very high, with little difference. I hope to effectively demonstrate what I have learned from my coaches and achieve a high ranking."

Meanwhile, Maxime Chung, an athlete from the French Vovinam team, shared his excitement about practising and competing in Vovinam's ancestral land, within a fun and warm atmosphere.

He said: "We are actively preparing and constantly learning from strong teams. I feel thrilled as I approach the competition, and I hope we perform well and create impressive moments."

Nguyễn Bình Định, general secretary of the Việt Nam Vovinam Federation (VVF), said: "In addition to organising the world championship, the VVF is also coordinating sideline activities to welcome Vovinam athletes back to Việt Nam after 12 years."

The World Vovinam Federation has provided support for all travel and accommodation expenses for the 35 teams participating in this year's championships.

This year’s World Vovinam Championships will run until November 30.

In other news, the World Vovinam Federation Congress for the 2023-27 term was also held on Friday, marking a new stage of development as the federation adjusts its charter and operating methods to align with the regulations and criteria of the International Olympic Committee. This is a crucial step towards Vovinam's potential inclusion in competitions such as the Asian Games (ASIAD) and the Olympics, similar to taekwondo, judo, and karate.

Vovinam has been recognised as a national intangible heritage. Founded by the late master Nguyễn Lộc in 1938 in Hà Nội, this traditional martial art has been diligently preserved, promoted, and developed by generations of martial art masters. Currently, Vovinam is practised by over 2.5 million martial artists from approximately 70 countries and territories. — VNS