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Vovinam with mission to popularise Vietnamese martial arts at SEA Games

Vovinam with mission to popularise Vietnamese martial arts at SEA Games Vovinam (Vietnamese traditional martial arts) has not been a permanent sport competed at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games; however, the increasing number of competing countries in recent tournaments shows that it has been extensively welcomed.

At the 31st SEA Games hosted by Vietnam last year, seven countries, namely Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, vied for medal sets of Vovinam.

Earlier, at the 26th and 27th SEA Games in 2011 and 2013 that the sport was present, there were only four competing nations.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Vovinam Federation Nguyen Binh Dinh said that the presence of Vovinam in the 31st Games and the upcoming 32nd Games in Cambodia is one of the good chances to promote the Vietnamese traditional martial arts to the world.

At the coming tournament in May, Vietnam set a target of pocketing seven gold medals, one more compared to the previous edition.

Vovinam, the most popular style of martial art in Vietnam, as well as around the world, was founded by master Nguyen Loc in 1936, and introduced to the public two years later.

Vovinam involves the use of different body parts such as hands, elbows, legs and knees. Trainers also learn to use weapons, including swords, knives and fans. They also practise attacking and defensive skills.

Vovinam began to spread in 1970 and has developed in many countries with hundreds of schools in Poland, Belgium, Russia, France, and ASEAN members.

According to the Vietnam Vovinam Federation, there are around 2.5 million practising the martial art in 70 countries and territories. The strong growth of the art form can be seen through the establishment of the world federation, as well as continental federations in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The first world championship was organised in 2009, marking a turning point in its history. Vietnam will be the host of the 2023 world championship slated for November./.