“Ban nguyet”– An Especially Distinctive Martial Arts Weapon

The Nam Tong martial arts school in Ho Cho Minh city is known for different martial-art performances and practices with rarely seen weapons.  “Ban nguyet” (half-circle) was developed by late martial arts master Tam Kieu who learned this martial art fighting skill from a Chinese master.
“Ban nguyet” is like a long-handled spear, 165 cm- 170cm long. The handle is handmade of wood and the spear is made of metal in a half-circle shape like a sickle with two edges usually sharpened. “Ban nguyet” has existed for more than 50 years.

Only Nam Tong martial arts school in Ho Chi Minh City practices “ban nguyet” and it is reserved only for martial art instructors and senior martial art masters.

“Ban nguyet” with a long wooden handle and metal head made in a half-circle shape.

 “Phi than giang dia” disposition, jumping high to attack the opponents from above.
Martial arts master Quan Van Trieu, senior master of Nam Tong school, performing “ban nguyet”.
 A defensive position in “ban nguyet”.
A forward thrust with “ban nguyet”.
“Ly ngu vuot thuy” position with “ban nguyet” used for upward thrust.
 “Tan phap cong thanh” position in “ban nguyet” practice, attacking opponents from behind.
“Phuc ho” position of upward thrust in “ban nguyet”.

With its special structure, almost all parts of “ban nguyet” are used for attacking as well as defense. The martial artists use “ban nguyet” with both hands, attacking adversaries from above or under with “ban nguyet” blades aiming at their throats. On defense, “ban nguyet” is used to divert the opponents’ weapons, proving to be very effective. With “ban nguyet’ in hand, depending on the user, the martial artists can neutralise the adversaries’ attacks with double swords, a long-handled spear, knife-shaped lances and sticks.

At present, only martial-art master Quan Van Trieu of Nam Tong School, a senior seventh level martial arts master of the Union of Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts, can perform “ban nguyet” fighting skills. He became a disciple of master Tam Kieu at the age of 15 and practiced with different kinds of weapons at Nam Tong School. Though 68 now, master Quan Van Trieu still shows the countenance of bravery and firmness through definite, fast, clear-cut movements in attacks and flexibility in defense, demonstrating the “cuong- nhu” principle (firmness in combination with flexibility) to neutralise the opponents’ attacks.

Martial arts master Quan Van Trieu said he would pass on “ban nguyet” skills to his favourite disciple, martial arts trainee Duong Quoc Cuong, who is already skillful with “song thiet” (double-instrument) weapon, the most typical one of Nam Tong schools.

With “ban nguyet” in hand, Nam Tong martial art masters can neutralize double swords, long-handled spears,
knife-shaped lances and sticks used by opponents.
 Using “ban nguyet” to block and neutralise the forward thrust of long-handled spears.
“Ban nguyet” against the scimitar in fighting.
 A position of blocking a knife-shaped lance.  

 Story: Son Nghia - Photos: Thong Hai

SEA Games 31 officially opens in Hanoi

SEA Games 31 officially opens in Hanoi

The 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31), the region’s biggest sporting event, officially began with a grand opening ceremony held at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on May 12 evening.