20/12/2015 23:49 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Uy Long Martial Arts – Power from Simple Objects

Although having just joined the traditional Vietnamese martial arts system four years ago, Uy Long has now become the martial arts attracting the largest number of disciples and has spread rapidly in Hai Phong. 
The quintessence of the martial arts is the variation of traditional martial arts performances with the combination of daily objects, such as hoes, shovels, chairs and bamboo yokes. Related to  the  history of the martial arts,  Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam, the youngest martial arts master in the north, acknowledged that she started practicing martial arts at the age of 13.  She first studied Karate at the Children’s Palace in Hai Phong and then traditional martial arts where she revealed her aptitude. In 1992, she won a silver medal at the national traditional martial arts festival that marked the time she officially began a professional martial arts career. With a desire to further promote the traditional martial arts and have her own private space to satisfy her passion, she established Uy Long Martial Arts School.

Martial arts master Thanh Tam instructs her students on practicing the double knife performance. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang

Uy Long has quickly affirmed its strength in Hai Phong in a short period of time. Photo: Vu Khanh Long

Uy Long students perform with a knife. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang

The technique using weapons is unique and diverse. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang

A bamboo yoke is used as a dangerous weapon by  Uy Long students. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang

A small chair is also used as a weapon. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang

A shovel is used as a weapon by Uy Long students. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang

For Uy Long students, a hoe is a unique object for self-protection. Photo: Vu Khanh Long

Most farming tools are used as weapons by Uy Long students. Photo: Tran Thanh Giang.        

In 2010, disciples from Uy Long martial arts school were invited to perform at the millennium anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and then participated in the Open Hanoi Martial Arts Festival in 2012 where they won three gold medals, two silvers and 11 bronze medals, ranking 3rd among 64 delegations. Martial arts master Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam was also invited to participate in the exchange of martial arts in China, Thailand and Japan. 
The difference between Uy Long and other martial arts schools is the variation of traditional martial arts performances with new weapons such as hoes, shovels, chairs and bamboo yokes. All qigong performances of the martial arts school help students improve  flexibility, skillfulness and health.

To promote the school, martial arts master Thanh Tam introduced the martial arts to primary and secondary schools through the physical education curriculum. It is a sound direction because after one year most parents of the pupils expressed their satisfaction with their children’s improved health. Therefore, more schools have invited the martial arts school’s masters to teach their students.

After six years, the martial arts school has the largest number of students, sometimes reaching thousands of students. Martial art master Thanh Tam said: “I have a target of promoting the practice of the traditional martial arts to improve physical health  and cultivate  the self-reliance and strength for teenagers in Hai Phong”.

Story: Thao Vy - Photos: Tran Thanh Giang & Vu Khanh Long