Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Muay Thai master Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất made history by becoming the first Vietnamese fighter to win the world championship title seven times at the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur World Championships in Minsk, Belarus on May 11.
However, few people know the story of his mother, former mixed martial artist Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Ánh (more commonly known as Minh Ánh Ngọc).
Born in 1963, she was one of the country’s most famous female fighters in the 1980’s. She was considered a “martial artist with no competitors” throughout domestic rings between 1982 and 1984.
Then, in her own way, she passed her mastery to her son.
“What I have learnt from my mother is not anything dealing with fighting,” said Nhất. “She has taught me martial arts’ principles and behaviors in daily life.”
She has always told Nhất: if the competitor fights better, he will win. But the important thing is fully expressing one’s capabilities so that when the fight is over, there is no regret.
“That’s also my philosophy: spare no efforts to follow my passion so that I’ll not regret it even when I lose,” Nhất said.
Ngọc lost herself in mixed martial arts when she was small.
At 15, she joined Minh Lan Martial Arts School run by famed artist Minh Cảnh in Nha Trang.
She learned every trick necessary for mixed martial arts success. After only a year, she began fighting at official rings and had no rivals.
“At that time (in 1978), people frowned at girls practising martial arts,” Ngọc said, “No boy would play with such a girl. But having the passion in my blood, I did not care what people said. I just spent time practising.”
“People said it hurts when kicking and punching on the sand sack,” she continues, “But I like practising with the sand sack. My arms and legs got swollen. I always fought like I was competing at an official ring, no matter what the prizes were.”
Now at her mid 50’s, people can find her training female fighter at Nhất’s private martial arts school in HCM City’s District 1 or sewing Muay Thai costumes for sale.
“The secret of martial arts is endurance,” she said, “We win means we make concessions. Making concession helps people survive.”
Ngọc has inspired her son and her trainees. She’s taught passion, passed her capability to endure hardship, and demonstrated a dedication to practise that leads achieve success in life.
“We practise martial arts to obtain good health and be confident, not to fight,” she said. “Martial artists should not challenge others to fight.”
To Ngọc, martial arts means the art of philosophy, by which she has nurtured the world amateur champion Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất.
Nhất has five times winning the world Muay Thai Amateur Championships in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
He also won the Asian Muay Thai Amateur Championships in 2012.
Nhất has also completed his degree from HCM City Sports University and has proved to have good capabilities in training young fighters.
Many of his trainees have won high prizes at Muay Thai Championship for Young Fighters in HCM City and overseas. — VNS