16/01/2016 17:29 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Undaunted Spirit of A Martial Arts Master

Losing one leg after an accident at the age of 21, Ta Anh Dung seemed to surrender his fate. Yet, with his undaunted spirit and endeavors he continued pursuing his dream and became a martial arts master, bringing fame to the martial arts school of Kim Ke Tay Son Nhan. 
Martial arts master Ta Anh Dung was born into a family with a tradition of martial arts in Ho Chi Minh City. His father, Ta Anh Dang, alias Anh Sang, was a fighter who often participated in fighting arena during the French domination. Therefore, Ta Anh Dung was taught by his father the simple movements and basic traditional martial arts performances at the age of four. At his primary school, he attended at a Takewondo training class. He then practiced Aikido from Japan and the martial arts of Shaolin from China when he studied at secondary school because he always craved learning about other martial schools to find out their strengths and weaknesses and the ways to overcome them.

In the full bloom of youth, he suffered an accident and lost one leg that extinguished his burning flame for martial arts. Recalling that time, Dung said: “All my dream and aspirations seemed to go. With only one leg, I faced tremendous difficulties in travelling and in daily activities, let alone practicing martial arts”. However, with an ardent love for the martial arts together with support from his family, Dung gradually felt optimistic with the improvement of his health and persisted in practicing martial arts in a creative way, suitable for his disability.

To keep his balance on one leg, he practiced standing positions for many hours and went up stairs with a crutch and carried dumb-bells when working. He also used to play table tennis and go swimming to improve his reaction ability and build strength in his arms.

Martial arts master Ta Anh Dung performs “Doc lu huong”  – one of 10  lessons
of Vietnamese traditional martial arts. 

He can stand or move by one leg during an hour. 

With only one leg, martial arts master Ta Anh Dung still shines with many weapons. 

He starts his work of delivering news papers from 5am in districts of 5 and 6; the Binh Tay and and Lon markets to earn his living.

Martial arts master Ta Anh Dung  does excercises at the sports centre in District 5 to improve his strength.

He practices well many basic exercises. 

Exercising for the right leg’s muscles. 


After many years of training hard, he is able to master his body and follows the martial arts school of Kim Ke Tay Son Nhan headed by martial arts master Dang Van Anh. With only one leg, he cannot practice kicking techniques so he focuses on training his entire body as a natural weapon for striking, wrestling, grappling, employing techniques that are executed by the hands, elbows and knees. He also finds ways to turn his cons into pros with a suitable style of attacking. He creates his own techniques with crutches, two-piece or three-piece sticks which are used to attack and defend and teach other disabled people like him.

After 30 years practicing the martial arts, Ta Anh Dung is known as a “one leg” martial arts master who receives great respect and admiration from the martial arts circle. He is also good at boxing, Thai Muay and Pencak Silat. He said: “The more difficult life is, the more effort we should make to overcome and keep our passion”.

Every day, he starts his job distributing newspapers in districts 5 and 6 from 5am. He then teaches martial arts at two secondary schools, Ly Phong and Hiep An every evening. Many of his students are now members of the city’s youth teams who won prizes at local and regional contests.

The martial arts master instructs his disciples on a quan performance. 

His students hardly practise.

The martial arts master and his daughter Ta Minh Tu Trinh instruct students during a lesson. 

He teaches students a squat stance. 

Martial art master Ta Anh Dung teaches his student a defensive posture. 

Many students attend the club because of their admiration for the energetic master. 


Story: Son Nghia - Photos: Nguyen Luan